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 Patrap:


Dat can't happen itsa movin Neast I thought?

Im so confused now.

;(
Aww Pat, time to batten down the hatches, close the shutters, buy 15 gallons of water, and run for the hills.

Nah just joking, you still got days to chill and drink Fresca's. ;)
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1835. Walshy
oh dear...
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 904
Quoting KoritheMan:


Wait, never mind. You're right. I don't know what I was thinking. Brain fart on my end, folks. It happens. Let's all move along now.


NO.

You're one of them!

You're a wishcaster and you know it!

Just kidding, it's that time of the night haziness is playing all sorts of tricks on our heads.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
1833. Patrap
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
New Orleans landfall. Category 2 pressure (985mb). Uh-oh. 96 hours.



Dat can't happen itsa movin Neast I thought?

Im so confused now.

;(
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
1832. Drakoen
Quoting Hurricanes101:
The eastward shift has begun, lets see if it sticks

NHC really should have issued some sort of watch or warning for areas further eastward than LA


Agreed. Everyone from Louisiana to the west coast of Florida needs to be alert for Debby.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30490
I can't handle the stupid questions and cluelessness of the night shift, and trolls. Too tired, to deal with East-casters and and all the questions.
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1830. Ryuujin
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
New Orleans landfall. Category 2 pressure (985mb). Uh-oh. 96 hours.



Oh boy the trolls are really gonna come out of the woodwork.

And what's up Levi, Mississipi et all!
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How can I find the greatest pressure falls on land besides going from one reporting site to another?
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1828. GBguy88
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
New Orleans landfall. Category 2 pressure (985mb). Uh-oh. 96 hours.



I think 985 is closer to marginal Cat-1, but still not good news.
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The eastward shift has begun, lets see if it sticks

NHC really should have issued some sort of watch or warning for areas further eastward than LA
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7687
Quoting tennisgirl08:


They took a gamble on the Euro...and lost. It wasn't a bad bet...just the wrong one.

I agree, though....thank goodness this is not a more serious storm.


Cmon man, don't give up on the euro. Smart ol'Euro is still goin west!
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
1825. GetReal


Interesting observation, keep an eye on the convection that is starting to kick off the Se La coast. It is sinking south and there is no evidence, as of yet, of any shearing. This may be the first evidence, IMO, that the convection will finally be able get wrapped around the west side of Debbie. It should get real interesting for Debbie around dawn.
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1824. Drakoen
Euro says Louisiana. Huge shift in the major models tonight.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30490
Quoting Hurricanes101:


87.5 to 87.3 is a move eastward, not westward

I have the track on my hurricane softward, the storm has moved NNE since 5pm

At 5pm it was 26.2 87.6
At 11pm it was 26.3 87.5
Now it is at 26.8 87.3

That is NNE


Wait, never mind. You're right. I don't know what I was thinking. Brain fart on my end, folks. It happens. Let's all move along now.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20573
New Orleans landfall. Category 2 pressure (985mb). Uh-oh. 96 hours.

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Quoting Jedkins01:


Well, I worded that wrong, I was gone away from home for a while, and just returned, I got little excited about some recent developments so that was probably the reason for that, but there is of course yet much to be resolved though, and plenty of uncertainty.
These stalls and vortices rotating around a mean center make the forecasting of these tropical systems tricky and even fool the models.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


No they don't. It's still on the same longitude line as it was at 03z. If anything, it's shifted further west since then (03z position was 87.5W, 06z is 87.3W). It has moved north nearly a degree though.



OH THREE ZULU POSITION AT EIGHTY SEVEN POINT FIVE WEST

THREE HOURS LATER...

OH SIX ZULU POSITION AT EIGHTY SEVEN POINT THREE WEST


cmon son. It moved east.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting CarolinaHurricanes87:
Looking at the radar... the NHC messed up. There should be tropical storm warnings RIGHT NOW from the points they did issue warnings all the way to NW Florida. NW and N florida, and coastal areas of Alabama will be experiencing tropical storm conditions by morning, based on the blowup of convection tonight and heaviest thunderstorms continuing to be on the E side.

Luckily they only dropped the ball for tropical storm warnings and this is not a more serious system... for now. Either way, everywhere east of the actual warnings towards NW florida will likely experience tropical storm conditions by tomorrow morning. Hopefully it doesn't intensify quickly .... it would definitely catch a lot of people off guard


They took a gamble on the Euro...and lost. It wasn't a bad bet...just the wrong one.

I agree, though....thank goodness this is not a more serious storm.
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1818. Patrap
One can ZOOM in here on the Night IR Loop to see TS Debby tonight

RAMSDIS Floater
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
1817. GBguy88
Quoting KoritheMan:


No they don't. It's still on the same longitude line as it was at 03z. If anything, it's shifted further west since then (03z position was 87.5W, 06z is 87.3W). It has moved north nearly a degree though.


87.5 to 87. 3 would indicate a slight eastward shift.
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Euro makes landfall in LA on Thursday
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7687
I like watching water vapor loops. Just dropping off the RAMSDIS, all day long water vapor loop. Goes through about 11:45 pm last eve so far, but you can refresh when a new frame comes up. Some of you might find this interesting. I did. Actions by Debby and her friends seem to have nearly obliterated the ridge to her N....
Or maybe it's just my imagination.

Have a nice night.
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1814. Drakoen
Quoting KoritheMan:


No they don't. It's still on the same longitude line as it was at 03z. If anything, it's shifted further west since then (03z position was 87.5W, 06z is 87.3W). It has moved north nearly a degree though.


Decreasing longitude means eastward.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30490
isn't 87.5 to 87.3 East...?

The grid lines I read get larger as you head west.
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Some amazing live stream footage of the Waldo Canyon fire outside Colorado Springs right now, flames shooting above the ridge.
Link
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1811. nigel20
Quoting tennisgirl08:


What you are seeing is a more poleward movement.

Yes.
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1810. Patrap
Quoting KoritheMan:


No they don't. It's still on the same longitude line as it was at 03z. If anything, it's shifted further west since then (03z position was 87.5W, 06z is 87.3W). It has moved north nearly a degree though.


Right as rain Kori..is

TO the Forward NHC Bunker, take us..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
Quoting KoritheMan:


No they don't. It's still on the same longitude line as it was at 03z. If anything, it's shifted further west since then (03z position was 87.5W, 06z is 87.3W). It has moved north nearly a degree though.


87.5 to 87.3 is a move eastward, not westward

I have the track on my hurricane softward, the storm has moved NNE since 5pm

At 5pm it was 26.2 87.6
At 11pm it was 26.3 87.5
Now it is at 26.8 87.3

That is NNE
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7687
Quoting Drakoen:


Yes to the latter of your statement than the former.


Well, I worded that wrong, I was gone away from home for a while, and just returned, I got little excited about some recent developments so that was probably the reason for that, but there is of course yet much to be resolved though, and plenty of uncertainty.
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Quoting CarolinaHurricanes87:
Looking at the radar... the NHC messed up. There should be tropical storm warnings RIGHT NOW from the points they did issue warnings all the way to NW Florida. NW and N florida, and coastal areas of Alabama will be experiencing tropical storm conditions by morning, based on the blowup of convection tonight and heaviest thunderstorms continuing to be on the E side.

Luckily they only dropped the ball for tropical storm warnings and this is not a more serious system... for now. Either way, everywhere east of the actual warnings towards NW florida will likely experience tropical storm conditions by tomorrow morning. Hopefully it doesn't intensify quickly .... it would definitely catch a lot of people off guard


Call the NHC about that. Based on satellite convection is wrapping..
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
1806. gator23
Quoting Surferdude:
Euro will trend to LA tonight and slowly get in line with GFS :)


Looks like. And NHC tends to go with the model that is performing the most consistently
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Quoting tennisgirl08:


Moving much faster and NOT west. Wow! I bet she skirts all along the northern gulf coast. Major changes in NHC track coming!

Realize that Debby is forecasted to Drift Northward for the next COUPLE of days before turning west.
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Quoting nigel20:

I'm not seeing the so called eastward movement (looking at that radar loop).


What you are seeing is a more poleward movement.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


the NHC coordinats show it is further east than it was earlier today


No they don't. It's still on the same longitude line as it was at 03z. If anything, it's shifted further west since then (03z position was 87.5W, 06z is 87.3W). It has moved north nearly a degree though.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20573
Euro will trend to LA tonight and slowly get in line with GFS :)
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Looking at the radar... the NHC messed up. There should be tropical storm warnings RIGHT NOW from the points they did issue warnings all the way to NW Florida. NW and N florida, and coastal areas of Alabama will be experiencing tropical storm conditions by morning, based on the blowup of convection tonight and heaviest thunderstorms continuing to be on the E side.

Luckily they only dropped the ball for tropical storm warnings and this is not a more serious system... for now. Either way, everywhere east of the actual warnings towards NW florida will likely experience tropical storm conditions by tomorrow morning. Hopefully it doesn't intensify quickly .... it would definitely catch a lot of people off guard
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
This is where the Euro had Debby on its 12Z run on Tues.



In the latest run here is where the Euro has Debby on Tues.



Oh @&$&!!!! The GFS remains King.
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1799. Patrap
05:45 UTC

Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
1798. nigel20
Quoting Patrap:

I'm not seeing the so called eastward movement (looking at that radar loop).
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Looks like euro trending to LA landfall is right.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Slowest and most intense run the Euro has had to date. 72 hours out with a pressure of 988mb. Still basically drifting towards the WNW.

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Quoting RussianWinter:


You're a funny little guy aren't ya?


I try to be. :|
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20573
Quoting RussianWinter:


What's the % contained?


Critical fire weather the past few days pushed containment down to 45%, I believe it was at 55%. Not much relief tomorrow with high dry based thunderstorms producing gusty winds and lightning but nill rain. Not to mention it hit 104 degrees in Denver today and 103 the day before.
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This is where the Euro had Debby on its 12Z run on Tues.



In the latest run here is where the Euro has Debby on Tues.

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Quoting GBguy88:
I'm surprised that there hasn't been at least a tropical storm watch issued for northern Florida, on the panhandle. Apalachicola is already seeing gusts to 30, and the heaviest thunderstorms are still a couple of hours out. Seems unreasonable, especially given the uncertainty in the track.


Yea the Ascat showed us earlier that the strongest winds are far away from the center...
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting wolftribe2009:


No a major hurricane would be horrifying in june. I can't even begin to imagine if that happened. No mainly I was going to pray it be a weak system with no tornadoes and flooding. Yes I'll pray for everyone on that. I know a lot of us could use the rain though.


Do as you will. Like I said, I appreciate your sincerity. Peace.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20573
Quoting Walshy:


I think we both know what it's going to do...
Cat. 5 to Sarah Palin's house in Alaska?
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Quoting GBguy88:
I'm surprised that there hasn't been at least a tropical storm watch issued for northern Florida, on the panhandle. Apalachicola is already seeing gusts to 30, and the heaviest thunderstorms are still a couple of hours out. Seems unreasonable, especially given the uncertainty in the track.


I agree. I have been saying this all night. TS Watches should be posted for the northern gulf coast from LA to Tampa, FL.
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1788. Patrap
Mobile
NEXRAD Radar

Storm Relative Mean Radial Velocity 0.5° Elevation
Range 124 NMI

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
Quoting GBguy88:
I'm surprised that there hasn't been at least a tropical storm watch issued for northern Florida, on the panhandle. Apalachicola is already seeing gusts to 30, and the heaviest thunderstorms are still a couple of hours out. Seems unreasonable, especially given the uncertainty in the track.

Not only that, where is the tornado watches?
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Euro is overall slower and a little farther to the north and east so far when compared to the 12z run.
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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.

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