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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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: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting Drakoen:
UKMET 00z has shifted way east. Louisiana landfall.


Rut roh.
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Right now we are looking at a Storm that needs recon in it to find out what is going on.

Unfortunately the best thing we have is Radar. Latest NHC has Debbie around 26.3N and 87.5W as of 10pm.

Since then the system has gotten more convection and you can see clearly a midlevel circulation around 85.5W and 27.2N. Also the Vis imagery shows the LLC possible being absorbed again into the convection leaving the older LLC behind as a vortex.

Not saying this has happened but it looks like the LLC could be closer to the SW side of convection blow up or around 27N and 86.8W and moving just east of due north. I expect to be more due north tonight and maybe even slight NNW later Sunday as it slows down around 28N-29N and 87W.

3 things.. 1 if the LLC does develop or is getting pulled into the convection.. then this will be a impact on the panhandle and western florida as the GFS has been saying. If the LLC doesn't move into the convection and stay near the edge, then it's still up in the air till Sunday afternoon when we will get a better idea on the 12Z model runs. Let me just say this for the models. The GFS has done a Outstanding Job with this so far... the GFS was the only model that kept this system east of 88W.. Euro,UkMet,CMC all wanted this around 90W by Sat evening. Now they say by Sunday afternoon. It's been east of there with the GFS.
So in all, the recon heading out in the morning will tell us where the LLC is still.. if it's in the convection.. or just on the SW edge or further west near 87.5 .. if it 's on the 3rd scenerio by 87.5-88W by Sunday morning. then it will probably go more west.
For me, I favor the GFS cause it's always reliable and been doing well with this..but will wait till Sunday afternoon cause really... I'm not confident yet on anything till I see where the location of the LLC is by morning.
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Quoting Drakoen:
UKMET 00z has shifted way east. Louisiana landfall.


Link?
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1582. Patrap
Quoting Drakoen:


Yep


I zoomed in on the Rainbow Long Floater here, then Tropical Forecast "Pernt's".


..that's no Moon..

Debby Long Floater - Rainbow Color Imagery Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
1581. Drakoen
UKMET 00z has shifted way east. Louisiana landfall.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29884
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
CMC falls to the GFS...



Noooo...go away! :-)

I'm gonna have to work the Florida Emergency Information Line, if it doesn't stay away from FL.
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Still a lot of headaches to be had with this one...Flippidy flopp.
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1578. Seastep
Red Bay Long Range
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Quoting JLPR2:
The last frame of the GFS shows something really interesting about to move off Africa. I know it is highly unlikely it will materialize as it is so long range, still it looks interesting.


if it were to become something, how long does it take to start affecting the east coast/gom?
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CMC falls to the GFS...

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
1575. Drakoen
Quoting Patrap:
27.3N 87.5W



Yep
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29884
Quoting StormHype:
Lots of road flooding on Siesta Key. The rain bands have been pounding coastal parts of Sarasota county here where I'm at since 4pm.


I am in the Manatee EOC. Has Sarasota ordered any evacuations yet on Siesta?
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1573. Patrap
27.3N 87.5W

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting Drakoen:


On the site that no one uses for some reason.

GGEM

Always make sure you check the times of the graphics themselves so that everything is consistent.


Ah, thanks.

I only ever used that site for winter in the east.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
Debby Does Destin
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1570. scott39
Quoting taco2me61:


I agree with this.... The storm is going towards the Deep Convection, although it is very slowly but does appear that way..... I too think by tomorrow morning we will have a stronger Debby.... 60 to 65 MPH

Taco :o)
Yea, She has a nice window of time to make to at least a cat1. Im not buying into a Texas landfall.
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1569. MahFL
Quoting Drakoen:
The latest ASCAT places Debby farther north and east of the NHC estimate.


Oh crap, but oh good, I might get some action
!
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1568. Drakoen
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Where did you get the CMC so early?


On the site that no one uses for some reason.

GGEM

Always make sure you check the times of the graphics themselves so that everything is consistent.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29884
She's coming together nicely.

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1566. JLPR2
Quoting washingtonian115:
its been consistent with it though for two weeks now.


But it's at the last frame how could it show it for so long if it's the last one? Are you sure it is the same one?

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Quoting Drakoen:


Good to see you as well.

The CMC 00z has moved farther east and now has a Florida Panhandle landfall.


Where did you get the CMC so early?
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
Have a great night, everyone! I will be very interested to see what Debby looks like in the morning.
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1563. Drakoen
Quoting BahaHurican:
Good to see u, Drak.


Good to see you as well.

The CMC 00z has moved farther east and now has a Florida Panhandle landfall.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29884
CIMSS 500mb layer heights..
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Quoting scott39:
Its obvious that the low is getting tucked under that convection. Thats going to make debbie a whole new ball game.


I agree with this.... The storm is going towards the Deep Convection, although it is very slowly but does appear that way..... I too think by tomorrow morning we will have a stronger Debby.... 60 to 65 MPH

Taco :o)
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Quoting JLPR2:
The last frame of the GFS shows something really interesting about to move off Africa. I know it is highly unlikely it will materialize as it is so long range, still it looks interesting.

its been consistent with it though for two weeks now.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16383
Lots of road flooding on Siesta Key. The rain bands have been pounding coastal parts of Sarasota county here where I'm at since 4pm.
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1558. Patrap
Mobile
NEXRAD Radar

Storm Relative Mean Radial Velocity 0.5° Elevation
Range 124 NMI

She's a Big Gurl fo sho'


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
1557. nigel20
Quoting BahaHurican:
Good to see u, Drak.

Hey Baha...what's the weather like in the Bahamas at the moment?
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7819
GFS is still showing the low cutting off, though is far weaker with it, it is still enough to draw Debby NE into the trough. Just goes to show that the slightest tug like that would indeed send it into the trough. However, I believe this will not happen, as the GFS is the only model showing a secondary possible tropical cyclone.


Whenever the GFS drops the low, expect it to go under the ridge. If the GFS verifies, which is unlikely, we'd be facing the possibility of another Tropical Storm before July.
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1555. scott39
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Not when you have a deep-layer ridge blocking you.
Is the ridge there now?
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1554. JLPR2
The last frame of the GFS shows something really interesting about to move off Africa. I know it is highly unlikely it will materialize as it is so long range, still it looks interesting.

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1553. Patrap
Quoting scott39:
Batton down the hatches Patrap....Debbie is coming to your neck of the woods.


The Tree Cutter felled a Tree in the Back Yard and best get it out of there tomorrow.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
1552. Walshy
Quoting MississippiWx:


Debby does da dirty.



-.-
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1551. Patrap
Quoting swflurker:
LOL, I was driving towards East Naples and ran right though this thing. I called the wife as told her I thought I drove through a tornado. Couldn't tell until I was south of it and could see the V going to the ground. Debris every where!


Tropical Twisters rarely come with any warning ,and Im glad you were Ok fer sure.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
1550. nigel20
Quoting Patrap:
It aint moved squat since 10pm

Yeah, it's just meandering over the same general area.
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7819
Quoting scott39:
Stronger=polward....This is going to be an La event.
Not when you have a deep-layer ridge blocking you.
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LOL, I was driving towards East Naples and ran right though this thing. I called the wife as told her I thought I drove through a tornado. Couldn't tell until I was south of it and could see the V going to the ground. Debris every where!
Quoting Patrap:


This Video of a Tornado was taken by a wunderblogger in Naples, Fla today and shows us that a Tropical Storm can and usually does damage well inland from the Center.

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Quoting MississippiWx:


No reason to worry. The chances of it impacting MS with more than just some rain and winds in the 20-25 mph range are very low.

well with that said I'm going to call it a night take care see you all in the morning.
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1546. scott39
Batton down the hatches Patrap....Debbie is coming to your neck of the woods.
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Quoting floridaT:
everyone discounting a ne movement but remember the gfs


I'm not sure if you missed the discussion or not, but the NHC was expecting this to happen.

The general movement is poleward.
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1544. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting Walshy:
Don't be such a Debby downer.

Debby cakes.

Debby dumped on Florida.

Debby lost weight.

Debby dwindles despite deteriorating down Drake's deposition.

Debra.

Debby doing dandy.


Lord Debby probably wants to be sheared to death right now or hit someone as a major.



Debby does da dirty.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Good to see u, Drak.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Looks like the NHC saw that one coming.
ALTHOUGH THERE MAY BE SOME SLIGHT
NORTHEASTWARD MOTION DUE TO REDEVELOPMENT OF THE CENTER CLOSER TO
THE DEEP CONVECTION.
..THE GENERAL MOTION FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS OR
SO SHOULD BE SLOWLY POLEWARD.


wonder what their definition of slowly is...

4 mph over 24 hours would put it nearly 100 miles due north.

If it heads west, at that point, the entire northern GOM is gonna get raked.
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Quoting scott39:
Expect the NHC track to shift to the Right
yup
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everyone discounting a ne movement but remember the gfs
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Quoting floridaT:
i cant see how this is going west
agree
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1537. scott39
Stronger=polward....This is going to be an La event.
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1536. Walshy
Don't be such a Debby downer.

Debby cakes.

Debby dumped on Florida.

Debby lost weight.

Debby dwindles despite deteriorating down Drake's deposition.

Debra.

Debby doing dandy.


Lord Debby probably wants to be sheared to death right now or hit someone as a major.

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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.