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 Ameister12:

Yeah. It looks like a pretty intense storm off East Coast.


yuppers
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(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

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Member Since: July 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1162
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

You are correct, but with debby being at her current state she won't intensify too considerably(while she's stationary) to where there would be a lot of upwelling, yes she would upwell the waters, but she would still be able to maintain strength. Once she starts to move west, she will be going at a good enough pace, where upwelling wont be a problem.

Thanks
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Quoting docrod:
Well - A new Debby is here. My first encounter with with J Cantore was when another Debbie was threatening the FL Keys and NOGAPS was a major outlier model showing that Debbie to dive beneath Cuba and expire rather than a major hurricane here (Fl Keys). Cantore was staying about a mile away; nice bus this team has.

In the latest discussion for this particular Debby see below. - take care - out for the eve. We shall see.

NOGAPS MODELS SEEMS A MORE REASONABLE SCENARIO.

I think you are referring to Debby of 12 years ago?
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This model disagreement is driving me crazy.
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Quoting presslord:


that graphic is unsettling ;-)

Yeah. It looks like a pretty intense storm off East Coast.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4979
Quoting Ameister12:

Hard to make out, but it looks like 996 mbars.
That probably is a moderate tropical storm right?
Member Since: July 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 225
Quoting nigel20:

Debby is within the 990-999mb layer.
Ahh okay , thank you for clarifying this.
Member Since: July 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 225
Quoting Ameister12:
Umm... What?

Hour 90


Hour 96


Just act like it's not there, and it won't do anything crazy... Slowly back away... RUN!
Don't encourage it!
Joking of course.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
1425. 7544
man the gfs has to be seeeing something all the others dont thought it would have change this run if its still showing in the next few runs we could see a 90 degeree turn here
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Quoting Ameister12:

Stop what?


that graphic is unsettling ;-)
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Quoting patrikdude2:
What's Debby's pressure on the 2nd pic?

Hard to make out, but it looks like 996 mbars.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4979
1422. Walshy
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
7 Day forecast: DEBBY
Sunday -
2am: 50 mph
5am: 60 mph
8am: 60 mph
11am: 60 mph
2pm: 65 mph
5pm: 65 mph
8pm: 70 mph
11pm: 70 mph
Monday -
2am: 70 mph
5am: 70 mph
8am: 70 mph
11am: 75 mph
2pm: 75 mph
5pm: 75 mph
8pm: 80 mph
11pm: 80 mph
Tuesday -
2am: 80 mph
5am: 85 mph
8am: 90 mph
11am: 90 mph
2pm: 90 mph
5pm: 90 mph
8pm: 90 mph
11pm: 100 mph
Wednesday -
2am: 100 mph
5am: 100 mph
8am: 100 mph
11am: 90 mph(EWRC)
2pm: 90 mph
5pm: 100 mph
8pm: 100 mph
11pm: 105 mph
Thursday -
2am: 105 mph
5am: 105 mph
8am: 105 mph
11am: 105 mph
2pm: 105 mph
5pm: 110 mph
11pm: 110 mph
Friday -
2am: 110 mph
5am: 110 mph (Landfall-Corpus Christi)
8am: 105 mph
11am: 100 mph
2pm: 85 mph
5pm: 75 mph
8pm: 60 mph
11pm: 45 mph
Saturday -
2am: 30 mph (Debby Dissipates in western Tex-Mex border)
5am to Day 15: No storms to speak of.


It's a leap year...
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1421. Patrap
Of note tonight is the ULL fading last few frames as it slides Swest.

TFP's and Zoom are active

Gulf Of Mexico - Water Vapor Loop
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1420. nigel20
Quoting patrikdude2:
Which layer is usually used to predict future path in a storm?

Debby is within the 990-999mb layer.
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Quoting presslord:


stop it

Stop what?
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Quoting Ameister12:
Umm... What?

Hour 90


Hour 96

What's Debby's pressure on the 2nd pic?
Member Since: July 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 225
I guess I'll show my intensity forecast considering I'm not writing a blog until morning.

*NOT OFFICIAL, JUST MY OPINION*

INIT 23/0300Z 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 24/1200Z 50 KT 60 MPH
24H 25/0000Z 55 KT 65 MPH
36H 25/1200Z 60 KT 70 MPH
48H 26/0000Z 65 KT 75 MPH
72H 27/0000Z 75 KT 85 MPH
96H 28/0000Z 90 KT 100 MPH
120H 29/0000Z 95 KT 105 MPH
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32072
Quoting Ameister12:
Umm... What?

Hour 90


Hour 96



stop it
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I still never get the timings on the ASCAT right... D'oh!
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1414. Patrap

Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)

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Quoting MississippiBoy:

It would build to a point going as slow as it is,then it would level out or decrease due to upwelling from cooler waters down below.If I'm wrong would somebody correect me,thanks.

You are correct, but with debby being at her current state she won't intensify too considerably(while she's stationary) to where there would be a lot of upwelling, yes she would upwell the waters, but she would still be able to maintain strength. Once she starts to move west, she will be going at a good enough pace, where upwelling wont be a problem.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting angiest:


That appeared to be the wrong layer for this storm. It said <940mb unless I read it wrong from my phone.
Which layer is usually used to predict future path in a storm?
Member Since: July 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 225
Hour 90


Hour 96

Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4979
1410. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Two centers on this ASCAT, but I'm not sure how old it is exactly...



Note the 15:11 in purple at the bottom. That is over 12hrs old. One I posted is about 1 1/2hrs old, (time stamp over FL & GA)
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1409. Seastep
Quoting Drakoen:
GFS 00z still as stubborn as ever.


Drak appears.
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Quoting Grothar:



Are you kidding? You want me to really answer that on this blog???? :)

Let's just say I posted it because I thought the lines were nice.
No I was not kidding. I am just not as aware of comprehending steering layer charts as you. LOL
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1407. gator23
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
I'll disregard the GFS once we get a stacked Debby. Louisiana getting picked on tonight.



This suggest an eastward shift especially with the bamm models
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1406. Grothar
Quoting mynameispaul:
If Debby jogs east, then back west, then back east, then back west for 3 days someone's gonna commit hairy karey on this message board.


Paul, you know I think you are a great guy, but I just had to laugh at that one.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26151
1405. docrod
Well - A new Debby is here. My first encounter with with J Cantore was when another Debbie was threatening the FL Keys and NOGAPS was a major outlier model showing that Debbie to dive beneath Cuba and expire rather than a major hurricane here (Fl Keys). Cantore was staying about a mile away; nice bus this team has.

In the latest discussion for this particular Debby see below. - take care - out for the eve. We shall see.

NOGAPS MODELS SEEMS A MORE REASONABLE SCENARIO.
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1404. Patrap
Some are gifted, and dont have to read the NHC advisory and discussion.

I post it cuz I ferget easily.


; )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
7 Day forecast: DEBBY
Sunday -
2am: 50 mph
5am: 60 mph
8am: 60 mph
11am: 60 mph
2pm: 65 mph
5pm: 65 mph
8pm: 70 mph
11pm: 70 mph
Monday -
2am: 70 mph
5am: 70 mph
8am: 70 mph
11am: 75 mph
2pm: 75 mph
5pm: 75 mph
8pm: 80 mph
11pm: 80 mph
Tuesday -
2am: 80 mph
5am: 85 mph
8am: 90 mph
11am: 90 mph
2pm: 90 mph
5pm: 90 mph
8pm: 90 mph
11pm: 100 mph
Wednesday -
2am: 100 mph
5am: 100 mph
8am: 100 mph
11am: 90 mph(EWRC)
2pm: 90 mph
5pm: 100 mph
8pm: 100 mph
11pm: 105 mph
Thursday -
2am: 105 mph
5am: 105 mph
8am: 105 mph
11am: 105 mph
2pm: 105 mph
5pm: 110 mph
11pm: 110 mph
Friday -
2am: 110 mph
5am: 110 mph (Landfall-Corpus Christi)
8am: 105 mph
11am: 100 mph
2pm: 85 mph
5pm: 75 mph
8pm: 60 mph
11pm: 45 mph
Saturday -
2am: 30 mph (Debby Dissipates in western Tex-Mex border)
5am to Day 15: No storms to speak of.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting HimacaneBrees:


Wow that long. With sheer decreasing, being stationary, and very warm water she could possibly really build up.
Or am I thinking wrong?

It would build to a point going as slow as it is,then it would level out or decrease due to upwelling from cooler waters down below.If I'm wrong would somebody correect me,thanks.
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1401. TropicalAnalystwx13
3:59 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Two centers on this ASCAT, but I'm not sure how old it is exactly...


That's from this morning.
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1400. sporteguy03
3:58 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
FWIW the NHC track has Debby making the turn West on Sunday Night into Monday..while GFS starts its turn East at the same time roughly, so I guess we'll see what happens in 24-36 hours as Debby is pretty much stationary in movement at this time.
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1399. Ameister12
3:58 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
Strengthening off the NE Florida coast.
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1398. Patrap
3:58 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM DEBBY WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 26.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 87.5 WEST. DEBBY HAS
BEEN NEARLY STATIONARY THIS EVENING...AND LITTLE MOVEMENT IS
EXPECTED THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING. A SLOW NORTHWARD MOTION IS
FORECAST TO BEGIN BY SUNDAY AFTERNOON...FOLLOWED BY A GRADUAL
WESTWARD TURN SUNDAY NIGHT OR MONDAY MORNING. ON THE FORECAST
TRACK...THE CENTER OF DEBBY WILL BE MOVING OVER THE NORTHERN GULF
OF MEXICO DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 50 MPH...85 KM/H...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. THESE WINDS ARE OCCURRING WELL EAST OF THE CENTER OF
CIRCULATION. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS...AND DEBBY COULD BE NEAR HURRICANE STRENGTH BY MONDAY NIGHT.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM..
MAINLY NORTHEAST AND EAST OF THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE BASED ON NEARBY SHIP AND BUOY
REPORTS IS 998 MB...29.47 INCHES.
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1397. Gorty
3:57 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
Quoting nola70119:


Dry air.....lots of it, wil inhibit strengthening. This was forecast as early as Thursday.


NHC has it a hurricane...
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1396. WxGeekVA
3:57 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
Quoting Skyepony:
Fresh ASCAT


Two centers on this ASCAT, but I'm not sure how old it is exactly...

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1395. Patrap
3:57 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
GOES-13 RAMSDIS TS Debby Floater Viz to Night IR
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1394. owntime
3:56 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
Quoting wxgeek723:
WU Fantasy: Debby strikes Houston as a category 4
Reality: Debby hits rural Texas as a small category 1
Rain for Texas please, thats all we need. We have been lucky on rain for a while but last summer almost burn us up.
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1393. mynameispaul
3:56 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
If Debby jogs east, then back west, then back east, then back west for 3 days someone's gonna commit hairy karey on this message board.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 369
1392. nola70119
3:56 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
Quoting HimacaneBrees:


Wow that long. With sheer decreasing, being stationary, and very warm water she could possibly really build up.
Or am I thinking wrong?


Dry air.....lots of it, wil inhibit strengthening. This was forecast as early as Thursday.
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1391. washingaway
3:56 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
Quoting Drakoen:
GFS 00z still as stubborn as ever.


Ain't it though.
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1390. Skyepony (Mod)
3:56 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
Fresh ASCAT
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1389. ProgressivePulse
3:55 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
I'll disregard the GFS once we get a stacked Debby. Louisiana getting picked on tonight.

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1388. TropicalAnalystwx13
3:54 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
Quoting wxgeek723:


I was joking Cody -__-

Ok ok.
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1387. Patrap
3:54 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
When hasn't the GFS taken Debby east?

: )
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1386. WxGeekVA
3:54 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
Quoting Ameister12:
GFS still has Debby going east...


Sigh, looks like it'll be having an epic fail then...
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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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