Tropical Storm Debby has formed in the Gulf of Mexico

By: angelafritz , 9:18 PM GMT on June 23, 2012

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Tropical Storm Debby has been named by the National Hurricane Center this afternoon after hurricane hunters investigated Invest 96L and found a solid closed circulation, with maximum winds of 50mph and gusts up to 65mph. All interests along the Gulf of Mexico coast should pay attention to the progress of Debby. Debby is drifting north at 5mph. The storm has brought heavy rains to Western Cuba, South Florida, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula over the past two days, but the disturbance's heaviest rains are located well offshore over the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, where heavy thunderstorms are generating winds near tropical storm-force. A buoy 243 miles west of Naples, FL measured sustained winds of 31 mph, gusting to 38 mph, with 10-foot waves, at 8 am EDT Saturday morning. Our Wundermap for the surrounding ocean areas shows a large region of the northern and eastern Gulf of Mexico is experiencing winds of 20 - 30 mph.

Visible satellite loops show an unorganized tropical cyclone with an obvious surface circulation, though the thunderstorm activity is well displaced to the east. The heavy thunderstorm activity is slowly expanding and growing more intense. Upper-level winds out of the west continue to create moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear over the region, though that is expected to increase over the next few days. Water vapor satellite loops show a region of dry air over the central Gulf of Mexico, which will continue to interfere with Debby's development and make it hard for the west side of the circulation to maintain heavy thunderstorms. Ocean temperatures are about 28.5°C (83°F) in the Central Gulf of Mexico, which is about 1°F above average.


Figure 1. Saturday afternoon satellite image of Tropical Storm Debby in the Gulf of Mexico.


Figure 2. Saturday afternoon forecast track for Tropical Storm Debby.

Forecast for Debby
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Debby to remain a tropical cyclone over the next 5 days as it drifts north and then west toward Texas. The Hurricane Center is forecasting a very slow progression of the storm, with a potential landfall not occurring until Friday. However, most of the models that predict the turn to the west suggest landfall will happen before or around Wednesday. The models are still generally split on the forecast for Debby; by Monday, the majority of the reliable models, including the ECMWF, NOGAPS, HWRF, and UKMET, agree that a ridge of high pressure will build in over the Southern U.S., forcing Debby west across the Gulf of Mexico and into South Texas by Wednesday. However, the GFS model, which has been our 2nd most reliable track model over the past two years (behind the ECMWF), has consistently been predicting that a trough of low pressure pushing off of the U.S. East Coast will be capable of grabbing the disturbance and accelerating it to the northeast across Florida north of Tampa Bay on Monday. The GFDL model splits the difference between these extremes and takes Debby north to a landfall near the Alabama/Florida border on Tuesday. The predicted track west to Texas is still the most likely outcome, though it remains a low-confidence forecast. In terms of intensity, none of the models is predicting Debby will become a hurricane, nor is the Hurricane Center. Though sea surface temperature is warm (and around 1°F above average), the actual heat content of the Gulf is relatively low. Wind shear is predicted to remain moderately strong through Sunday, but will increase to 30+ knots by Tuesday.

Debby's place in history (by Jeff Masters)
Remarkably, Debby's formation on June 23 comes a full two months ahead of the usual formation date of the season's fourth storm in the Atlantic, August 23. Debby's formation beats by twelve days the previous record for formation of the fourth named storm of the year in the Atlantic, set in 2005, when Hurricane Dennis was named on July 5. An early start to the Atlantic hurricane season has been increasingly common in recent years. In 2008, I blogged about the research of Dr. Jim Kossin of the University of Wisconsin, who published a 2008 paper in Geophysical Research Letters, titled "Is the North Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?" He concluded that yes, there is a "apparent tendency toward more common early- and late-season storms that correlates with warming Sea Surface Temperature but the uncertainty in these relationships is high". Three out of four of this year's early quartet of storms--Alberto, Beryl, and Debby--formed in ocean areas that were more than 1°F above average, which is an unusually high amount of warmth. We should expect to see more early-season Atlantic tropical storms as a consequence of global warming, since cool ocean temperatures are a key impediment to formation of such storms. However, this assumes that factors such as wind shear and atmospheric stability won't grow more hostile for tropical cyclone formation during the early part of hurricane season, and this is uncertain. If we do end up seeing a substantial increase in early-season tropical storms as a consequence of global warming, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Early-season tropical storms are often more boon than bane, bringing much-needed drought-busting rains, like Tropical Storm Beryl did for North Florida last month. With drought frequency and intensity predicted to increase for much of the Gulf Coastal states in coming decades, an increase in rainfall from early-season tropical storms may do more good than the damages inflicted by the high winds and flooding these storms may bring. There is typically a lot of wind shear around in May, June, and July, making it difficult for early season storms to reach major hurricane status. According to Wunderground's list of major early-season hurricanes, since record keeping began in 1851, there has been only one major hurricane in May, two in June, and nine in July. Three of these occurred in the past ten years, so there has not as yet been a large increase in early-season major hurricanes due to global warming.

References
Kossin, J., 2008, "Is the North Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?", Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, L23705, doi:10.1029/2008GL036012, 2008.

Angela and Jeff

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Mhmmm, yeah yeah. K. ;)

You staying up until the 5a.m advisory?


Haha probably. I'm almost done with a research paper, but I keep getting distracted by this crazy situation we have. My interest was also perked when the UKMET/Euro brought Debby through my area...got a feeling they will continue shifting east tomorrow. They have been the farther west models of the bunch...trends make me think they will keep going east. Who knows though...
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Mhmmm, yeah yeah. K. ;)

You staying up until the 5a.m advisory?

I know I'm not... I don't know if it's me being hungry or not... But I keep smelling cooked poptarts! I don't know what's wrong with me. Its happened twice now. Good night
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Quoting MississippiWx:
I must say, I will get plenty of humor out of reading NWS discussions later this morning. NHC discussions might be humorous too.


Start cooking the crow for them
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Quoting MississippiWx:
I can say for certain that this is why we all love tracking tropical cyclones. It doesn't get much more thrilling than drastic models swings when a tropical cyclone is knocking on the door of the US.


+1

As long as not a serious storm....lol.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Russianwinter.
The ULL is forecasted to head SW.


That's what they said 6 hours ago 0.0


That thing better follow the forecast then!
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Good night everyone stay safe please stay calm. nights from a Honduran kid.this is just one run in the next can be west again who knows,but I need to say that with these system I had always say a Florida landfall.hope it doesn`t strength much.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
I must say, I will get plenty of humor out of reading NWS discussions later this morning. NHC discussions might be humorous too.


Might start out as WTF....NITE
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NOGAPS STILL WEST

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I expect next advisory to read like this:

*throws hands in the air* *face palm*

WE GIVE UP...YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS OURS
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Russianwinter.
The ULL is forecasted to head SW.
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I got all the model links and all the satellites on my website if you all need....i am off to bed....someone can post my site if you don't know it! Good nite all.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Whaaattt?? I'm as innocent as the driven snow.
Mhmmm, yeah yeah. K. ;)

You staying up until the 5a.m advisory?
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I must say, I will get plenty of humor out of reading NWS discussions later this morning. NHC discussions might be humorous too.
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Quoting bigwes6844:
finally off from work and i see no change in debby. no sign of debby yet in the New Orleans area. but the winds are ene at 13


Latest euro heads it your way ;)

in 96 hours...
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Stewart went home. :/ We stuck with Pasch throughout the night shift. (Don't say anything MissWX lolololol).


Whaaattt?? I'm as innocent as the driven snow.
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Quoting farupnorth:
Anybody know where the ULL that is currently keeping Debbie in check is going to go?

Looking at water vapor it seems to be pretty stationary. Almost spreading out.


Whoa, you could be on to something here.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
1920. emguy
Couple of notes on the models...

1.) Recon data does go into the models for the most part...but it is my understanding the data does not get ingested into the Euro. So...for the Euro to change, there is something more afoot outside of recon data in the models.
2.) The Euro vs GFS debate on here seems to have been nested in the fact that (and it is true)...the EURO has been most reliable in past few years, and had remained consistent. On this one...It's probably keen to remember the GFS and the EURO were both in agreement on a Florida landfall. The Euro broke rank and consistently went to Texas...and just broke rank again and heads more toward NOLA and MS. Mean time, GFS never broke rank and has been consistent...period.
3.) What does it mean? For the purposes of Debby, the EURO is not the most consistent on this one...and if it goes back to a Texas solution now...It's just windshield wipered and it still has lost some street cred on this one. One thing scientists like...is consistency.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


my fault that was the GFDL...been looking at too many at the same time! as i posted...LOL
It's all good man.
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anyway, headed to bed, see you all in the morning
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7397
finally off from work and i see no change in debby. no sign of debby yet in the New Orleans area. but the winds are ene at 13
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Not even from good 'ol Stewart? Oh, that's just dreadful.
Stewart went home. :/ We stuck with Pasch throughout the night shift. (Don't say anything MissWX lolololol).
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Quoting TampaCat5:
OK, so last night not a drop of rain, tonight continuous drizzle from Debby. Is she just getting larger, is she further east than yesterday or neither? Just trying to make sense of all this rain tonight vs. none yesterday. Perhaps it is just a sign of a healthier tropical system. (rain doesn't stop when sun goes down)


Larger/North/East



All of the above bro!
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Anybody know where the ULL that is currently keeping Debbie in check is going to go?

Looking at water vapor it seems to be pretty stationary. Almost spreading out.
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GFDL=GFS basically, in this situation...
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
That was the GFDL.

HWRF points towards Texas...as I posted.


my fault that was the GFDL...been looking at too many at the same time! as i posted...LOL
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1911. GetReal



The highest current surface pressures are currently over Florida from Panama City east over towars Tampa. The lowest surface pressure readings are over the north central gulf coast from Pensacola west into and off the La coast, which could be an indicator of future immediate movment.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
when does the 00Z NOGAPS come out?

00z NOGAPS This is out 6 hrs.



Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Already did. same spot. Same intensity... Damn short-bus model.


link?
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7397
Quoting Hurricanes101:
when does the 00Z NOGAPS come out?
Already did.

Southern Texas landfall.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
when does the 00Z NOGAPS come out?

Already did. same spot. Same intensity... Damn short-bus model.
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I can say for certain that this is why we all love tracking tropical cyclones. It doesn't get much more thrilling than drastic models swings when a tropical cyclone is knocking on the door of the US.
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OK, so last night not a drop of rain, tonight continuous drizzle from Debby. Is she just getting larger, is she further east than yesterday or neither? Just trying to make sense of all this rain tonight vs. none yesterday. Perhaps it is just a sign of a healthier tropical system. (rain doesn't stop when sun goes down)
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1904. Walshy
HWRF is better at intensity than track...maybe the NHC will do a 180 on their cone at 5AM.

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Quoting tennisgirl08:


Hahaha! Funny. No bath salts for any bloggers.

The NHC did make the safest bet. I agree. Just need to change it soon.


Like I said, they will change it tomorrow if needed, or they won't if it ends up heading west. Either way, if people haven't been tuning in to keep an eye on Debbie or before it was Debbie around here in Florida, they won't anyway if warnings are issued. Whereas most people will continue to tune in, and will have plenty of time to prepare. I honestly don't see Debbie being a big deal anyway except for areas of rainfall flooding and maybe some tornado impacts, surge and wind will likely be minimal unless Debbie pulls an intensity surprise.

I will be more of a helper than a destroyer in my opinion. While Florida has had lots of rain, that long term drought has probably still left ground moisture a bit low, a tropical cyclone this large and with this much moisture would be a great help. Rain and more rain is always a good thing in Florida as long as it stays out of homes and business, lol.
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Quoting cheaterwon:
Yes the EMCWF did move east a little bit, but it still has the same fundamental differences from the GFS and why it doesn't depict a Florida landfall and won't. And that is that it doesn't over amplify the troff and form a second TS off the East Coast to draw the storm out to the NE and that's why the GFS goes NE and the EMCWF still doesn't even begin to flirt with that Idea. I believe this is far East as the euro will go and will start to go back in forth between New Orleans and Corpus over the next 2 days by then the track will be pretty much set in stone I believe. Somewhere between those two spots.

Meet in the middle xD
= Houston
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1901. nigel20
I think that it's (Debby) is moving slightly NW, based on the last couple frames of the rainbow satellite loop, but i could be wrong.
Have a great night everyone...I'm off to bed.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


The storm is moving slow, there is plenty of time to issue T.S. watches and warnings tomorrow if necessary, and remember, that's a huge if, there's no way to tell tonight if this storm is actually heading to Florida.

BTW, the rain went light and now it just started pouring really hard with strong gusty winds to about 35 mph, a nice little squall moving through, its so shallow I'm not sure if the radar can see the difference between it and the blanket of steady rain, lol.

Now I've been leaning towards a Florida landfall for days now as I said earlier, but I've never been very confident about it all because many models were against an eastern track, as well as some bright weather minds, I'd be highly arrogant if I was sure it was going to go right given the strong uncertainty and spread of possible paths.


My only point is that, especially for a storm this lopsided and this large, landfall point really isnt a big deal (unless she strengthens and becomes much more organized). The heaviest convection and thunderstorms are to the East and starting to form to the N. This is also where the TS force winds are located. It just seems like common sense that NW and N FL westward should have been included in the warnings. Even if the landfall doesn't happen for days, and it happens in LA, N and NW Florida will likely see TS force conditions by tomorrow morning or afternoon.

Whereas the areas under a warning likely won't be seeing anything for a couple days... even if the storm does go west
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Keeping it at 50mph/998mb.

AL, 04, 2012062406, , BEST, 0, 270N, 873W, 45, 998, TS

Don't expect a change until Recon investigates.


Not even from good 'ol Stewart? Oh, that's just dreadful.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 558 Comments: 20010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
New Orleans landfall. Category 2 pressure (985mb). Uh-oh. 96 hours.



Dislike!
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when does the 00Z NOGAPS come out?
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7397
Keeping it at 50mph/998mb.

AL, 04, 2012062406, , BEST, 0, 270N, 873W, 45, 998, TS

Don't expect a change until Recon investigates.
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The way I see it:

West-40%
HWRF
Nogaps

Central-40%
CMC
Euro
Bamm Suites
Ukmet

East-20%
GFS
GFDL
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Very true, so this run does draw precedence over all the previous ones; but still, I'd like to see a few more runs...as anyone would.


I'm telling ya we'll know more ONCE they use the data from the 6 am flight. Recon is one of the most valuable tools tropical meteorologists have.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
i have to say tho, that this storm seems to beg for a reliance on good ole meteorology than any other i have seen recently. watching the satellite loops and such have given me more insight than the models. and that's a change as of recently. dont know if anybody remembers nash roberts...but that guy would eat this storm for breakfast lunch and dinner and there would be no question about where it was going lol
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Quoting FLWaterFront:


One should surely never chew on the face of a meteorologist!

They are the ones who so many depend upon for so much, such as keeping them safe with vital weather data. But if anyone were to ever chew on the face of a meteorologist, how would they ever even be able to see the clouds through all the rain? It would definitely not be a good thing, I can tell you that much. ;-)


LOL!! The blog gets rather funny late at night.
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Yes the EMCWF did move east a little bit, but it still has the same fundamental differences from the GFS and why it doesn't depict a Florida landfall and won't. And that is that it doesn't over amplify the trough and form a second TS off the East Coast to draw the storm out to the NE and that's why the GFS goes NE and the EMCWF still doesn't even begin to flirt with that Idea. I believe this is far East as the euro will go and will start to go back in forth between New Orleans and Corpus over the next 2 days by then the track will be pretty much set in stone I believe. Somewhere between those two spots.
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The NHC never makes drastic changes to their forecast track in one advisory package. However, with none of the reliable models (except HWRF) point to Texas I have to believe a cone pointing to SE Louisiana will come with the 5AM package. Might be a day of eastward shifting tomorrow. Who knows.
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Quoting CarolinaHurricanes87:


Im not bashing them for following predictions of most of the models... but I am a complete amateur and with ALL the heavy convection on the E side of the storm... and the storm slowly drifting N.... that puts TS conditions at or very near NW and N FL, and AL. I understand their long term forecast going W.... but still seems like common sense that TS warnings should've been issued for the areas I mentioned. Too late now... hopefully she doesn't blow up overnight


The storm is moving slow, there is plenty of time to issue T.S. watches and warnings tomorrow if necessary, and remember, that's a huge if, there's no way to tell tonight if this storm is actually heading to Florida.

BTW, the rain went light and now it just started pouring really hard with strong gusty winds to about 35 mph, a nice little squall moving through, its so shallow I'm not sure if the radar can see the difference between it and the blanket of steady rain, lol.

Now I've been leaning towards a Florida landfall for days now as I said earlier, but I've never been very confident about it all because many models were against an eastern track, as well as some bright weather minds, I'd be highly arrogant if I was sure it was going to go right given the strong uncertainty and spread of possible paths.
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I do believe that even though the HWRF still says Texas, it also shifted northward
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7397
Quoting tennisgirl08:


Thank you. I live in Mobile/Pensacola area and we had a TON of rain a few weeks ago. 12-20" to be exact. Well...looks like we're about to get some more.


I think that might happen to tennisgirl..... I think we are going to get 10 to 15 more inches of rain from "Lil Debbie"..... I also think Warnings and Watches should have gone up already....
Just Saying ....

Taco :o)
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Yes, but the 0z suites (to my knowledge) were the first to have actual recon data incorporated.
Very true, so this run does draw precedence over all the previous ones; but still, I'd like to see a few more runs...as anyone would.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.