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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It's important not to get worked up over a couple of eastward shifts. Do they mean something? Of course they do. But unless it continues, or the Euro joins in, I wouldn't expect a drastic eastward shift in the next advisory.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
when does the EURO run?
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Debby is still very much stationary.

Link
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Quoting HrDelta:


That's a solid Category in strength right there. That's a problem. Let's hope Debby doesn't pull an Audrey.


Aware me of Audrey.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
1632. Drakoen
Quoting Patrap:
The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room
No space to rent in this town



Debby Long Floater - Rainbow Color Imagery Loop


You're out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck
And you're not moving anywhere (Debby?)


@FSUCOOPMAN in a half an hour.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30595
Quoting Drakoen:


King Euro may be demoted to prince over the next couple of hours.
When does the next one come out?
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1630. gator23
Quoting louisianaboy444:
Lol just when we thought we were getting more sure about something now the whole Northern Gulf coast is back in play...this is nuts


The big bend aread of Florida is mist at risk of the steering layers and gfs verify
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Interesting.


See this is why I didnt want to make any plans I knew something like this could happen lol jk
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352
Quoting MississippiWx:


How strong is that?
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1627. Patrap
The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room
No space to rent in this town



Debby Long Floater - Rainbow Color Imagery Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
1626. Drakoen
Quoting MississippiWx:


Maybe. There hasn't really been a major shift yet. The UKMET is the biggest shift. CMC has been flopping around from Louisiana to MS to FL. Of course, the trend is east. King Euro will be interesting to see.


King Euro may be demoted to prince over the next couple of hours.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30595
I got my windshield wipers on.

-models except the GFS
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1624. HrDelta
Quoting MississippiWx:


That's a solid Category in strength right there. That's a problem. Let's hope Debby doesn't pull an Audrey.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
CMC falls to the GFS...



Interesting.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
Quoting louisianaboy444:
Lol just when we thought we were getting more sure about something now the whole Northern Gulf coast is back in play...this is nuts


LOL I would say "Nuts" is the right word here :o)

Taco :o)
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Quoting Drakoen:
The HWRF may not be picking up in its regional domain on what the Global Models are now seeing.


Maybe. There hasn't really been a major shift yet. The UKMET is the biggest shift. CMC has been flopping around from Louisiana to MS to FL. Of course, the trend is east. King Euro will be interesting to see.
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The LLC appears to be around 27.2N and 86.8W and moving about 5dg or just E or due north
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1619. Patrap
Quoting RussianWinter:


Oh it moved a bit east all right, I saw it with my own eyes!



Почему вы идете девушка...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Lol just when we thought we were getting more sure about something now the whole Northern Gulf coast is back in play...this is nuts
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352
Anyone at all concerned that Debby might wander around aimless in the gulf for a few days and confuse everyone as to where she wishes to go? I myself have been more believing of the eastward trend of the models. Somewhere around Mobile/Florida Panhandle seems likely to me because we are in June. Typically most storms get pulled northward in June right over Florida.
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Quoting nigel20:

Agreed...that's what I'm seeing as well.


Think it's possible to see both?
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
0z hwrf gets close to la but bends wsw and deepens
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1614. gator23
Quoting MississippiWx:
If she hits SE Louisiana/MS, just go ahead and give me the unlimited supply of crow. Florida/TX are still much more likely with Texas still having the edge.


The steering layers suggest it will do what the GFS is saying. The fact that the CMC and UKMet have shifted east is indicative of an Eastward trend.
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1613. nigel20
Quoting Patrap:
The CoC has not moved East at all..the Storm remains the Same one could say save for some convection building, TOWARD the CoC, not vice versa.


RAMSDIS TS Debby FLoater


Agreed...that's what I'm seeing as well.
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Quoting Patrap:
The CoC has not moved East at all..the Storm remains the Same one could say save for some convection building, TOWARD the CoC, not vice versa.


RAMSDIS TS Debby FLoater



Oh it moved a bit east all right, I saw it with my own eyes!
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
What I don't understand is why the SPC doesn't issue a tornado watch box? There has been one confirmed tornado today and several rotation/waterspouts signatures on NWS Tampa radar already.
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1609. Drakoen
The HWRF may not be picking up in its regional domain on what the Global Models are now seeing.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30595
If she hits SE Louisiana/MS, just go ahead and give me the unlimited supply of crow. Florida/TX are still much more likely with Texas still having the edge.
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1607. nigel20
Quoting MississippiWx:
HWRF huge the Louisiana coast, then heads WSW towards Texas as a fairly strong hurricane. Hasn't finished its run yet.


Tomorrow's track forecast should be very interesting.
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Those models been flip flopping since the beginning so they are kind of hard to believe right now...If the EURO shifts also i will pay attention....just for goofs what does the HWRF and GFDL say?
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352
1605. Patrap
The CoC has not moved East at all..the Storm remains the Same one could say save for some convection building, TOWARD the CoC, not vice versa.


RAMSDIS TS Debby FLoater

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting scott39:
I said 2 days ago this was going to be a La/MS/AL W Fl. panhandle event.


I saw this Too.... I think warnings will go out tomorrow as well..... North Gulf Coast.....


Taco :o)
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Models are shifting back EAST a great bunch it appears.
Quoting Drakoen:
So maybe the GFS isn't so crazy after all :). Never count out a top performing model.


Everyone is crazy except for themselves right?
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
HWRF hugs the Louisiana coast, then heads WSW towards Texas as a fairly strong hurricane. Hasn't finished its run yet.

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COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY RUSKIN FL
107 AM EDT SUN JUN 24 2012

...MINOR TO MODERATE COASTAL FLOODING EXPECTED ALONG WITH BUILDING
SURF AND RIP CURRENTS...

.TROPICAL STORM DEBBY OVER THE EAST-CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO IS
FORECAST TO DRIFT SLOWLY NORTH TODAY. AN INCREASING SOUTHEAST TO
SOUTHERLY WIND FLOW WILL LEAD TO BUILDING SEAS AND SURF ALONG THE
WEST COAST OF FLORIDA THROUGH MONDAY. THE BUILDING SEAS WILL LEAD
TO ABOVE NORMAL TIDES ALONG THE COAST...ESPECIALLY AT TIMES OF
HIGH TIDE...WHICH ARE EXPECTED TO PRODUCE MINOR TO MODERATE
COASTAL FLOODING OF LOW LYING COASTAL LOCATIONS. IN ADDITION...THE
BUILDING SURF AND LARGE BREAKING WAVE ACTION WILL PRODUCE VERY
HAZARDS SURF ALONG AREA BEACHES...ALONG WITH AN INCREASED RISK FOR
RIP CURRENTS.

FLZ050-051-250000-
/O.EXT.KTBW.CF.Y.0001.000000T0000Z-120625T1600Z/
/O.CON.KTBW.SU.Y.0005.000000T0000Z-120625T0000Z/
PINELLAS-HILLSBOROUGH-
107 AM EDT SUN JUN 24 2012

...COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EDT MONDAY...
...HIGH SURF ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS
EVENING...

* COASTAL FLOODING...BUILDING SEAS WILL LEAD TO ABOVE NORMAL TIDES
ALONG THE COAST THROUGH MONDAY. THE ABOVE NORMAL TIDES MAY
PRODUCE SOME MINOR COASTAL FLOODING...ESPECIALLY AT TIMES OF
HIGH TIDE. IN ADDITION SOME OVERWASH FROM BREAKING WAVES MAY
RESULT IN SOME MINOR FLOODING OF COASTAL ROADWAYS.

* WAVES AND SURF...SOUTHEAST TO SOUTH WINDS WILL INCREASE INTO THE
20 TO 25 KNOT RANGE WITH A FEW HIGHER GUSTS. THESE INCREASING
WINDS WILL HELP TO BUILD SEAS INTO THE 6 TO 10 FOOT RANGE NEAR
SHORE AND 12 TO 16 FEET WELL OFFSHORE.

* TIMING...TODAY THROUGH MONDAY.

* IMPACTS...MINOR COASTAL FLOODING WITH SOME OVERWASH FROM
BREAKING WAVE ACTION WILL BE POSSIBLE AT TIMES OF HIGH TIDE
THROUGH MONDAY. AT THE CURRENT TIME TIDES ARE ANTICIPATED TO RUN
AS MUCH AS 2 TO 3 FEET ABOVE MEAN SEA LEVEL AT THE TIMES OF HIGH
TIDE. THE BUILDING SURF AND BREAKING WAVE ACTION WILL ALSO
INCREASE THE RISK FOR RIP CURRENTS ALONG AREA BEACHES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TO AVOID GETTING CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT...SWIM AT GUARDED
BEACHES AND HEED THE ADVICE OF THE BEACH PATROL. AT UNGUARDED
BEACHES AND NEAR PIERS...JETTIES...AND INLETS...DO NOT GO INTO
THE SURF MUCH ABOVE YOUR KNEES. CAUTION SHOULD BE USED WHEN IN OR
NEAR THE WATER.

IF CAUGHT IN THE SEAWARD PULL OF A RIP CURRENT...DO NOT PANIC OR
ATTEMPT TO MOVE DIRECTLY TOWARD SHORE. INSTEAD...MOVE SIDEWAYS
ACROSS THE RIP CURRENT UNTIL THE PULL EASES. ONCE YOU ARE AWAY
FROM THE FORCE OF THE RIP CURRENT...BEGIN TO SWIM BACK TO THE
BEACH.

A HIGH SURF ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN DANGEROUS WATER ACTION IS
EXPECTED ALONG THE COAST. THIS INCLUDES ROUGH SURF...LARGE
BREAKING WAVES...RIP CURRENTS...AND STRONG UNDERTOW.

BEACH GOERS ARE URGED TO HEED LIFEGUARD WARNINGS.

A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES
WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE SHORE.
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I know one thing it is pouring rain here in Tampa
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1599. 7544
oh boy here we go could the gfs be the crown king after all
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If the EURO shifts east...uh-oh.
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1597. scott39
I said 2 days ago this was going to be a La/MS/AL W Fl. panhandle event.
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1596. yqt1001
I'm assuming the changes are due to recon data?
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Ruh roh.


Lol. Something had to give.

We are at the point where it's harder and harder to be incorrect.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Models are shifting back EAST a great bunch it appears.
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if debbie hot wheels tracks it like some models call for she should be a real strong 2 smacking my door come wed night
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1592. Drakoen
So maybe the GFS isn't so crazy after all :). Never count out a top performing model.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30595
This is getting ugly fast.

Sooner than expected landfall and more importantly, the GFS may be right about this whole thing.

I'm done for the night...
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15945
1590. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting scott39:
Yea, She has a nice window of time to make to at least a cat1. Im not buying into a Texas landfall.


I donot either..... The opening between the High pressure and the Trough puts it on the Florida Panhandle...... maybe Destin FL.....

I think we will know more tomorrow and I also think that the Models will shift back to the East aswell....

Taco :o)
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Quoting Drakoen:
UKMET 00z has shifted way east. Louisiana landfall.


Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15945
1587. Drakoen
Quoting louisianaboy444:


Link?


UKMET
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30595
1586. Patrap
I saw dat.

Stop it.

We gonna disregard dat un till the next.

Grumble, need mo Gas, need mo water, need 18 Volt charger, grumble..bah, Humbug
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089

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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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