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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2685. Drakoen
Debby is currently playing tug a war with ridge and the trough so expect so erratic but slow motion as we go throughout the day today.
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Quoting Kristina40:
I am in Panama City as well.
Out on the Beach--near 79 and Back Beach road.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Your welcome to come live in Florida. :)
I would Love the Beaches and the Fishing but I am not a fan of your humidity and to me there is such thing as too much rain, when I lived in La. during the Summer it rained every stinking day some years. Never been to Florida, I may have to visit.
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2682. centex
The only thing moving is the models and forecast track. Could see some record swings with this system. Hard for them to smooth this out.
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Whatever happened to orca?? I think she had a google map with all of the bloggers' locations plotted on it
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2680. icmoore
Quoting shoreacres:
@Grothar - nice response, re: the sarcasm flag. That's precisely why it's so good to have you around here.


I guess I need more coffee to wake up my brain because everyone has been saying FL ain't getting it and what I am seeing out my window and on that sat pic , says say what!?! I have been thinking GFS and history and who knows still.
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2679. LargoFl
..............hope that gfs run is wrong, thats way too close for comfort
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Pensacola looks ok right now but the weathers about to change for them tonight and tommorrow possiable 1 to 2 inch's over night but this could change by the hour






Link
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
IKE - I'm not far from there...
Quoting panamasteve:


Ike?
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Quoting Grothar:
Hey, do we know anyone in De Funiak Springs?




Our long time poster, Ike, is from Defuniak but he stopped posting this year...........
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Am I seeing things? On visible it looks like there is a convective CoC racing north away from the low level center, which isn't budging.
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I am in Panama City as well.
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Aww man Rutgers website hasn't updated their index of images. Water Vapor Loop
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Don't be gone for long; you would't want to miss the opportunity to argue if someone mentions Debby going somewhere besides west!


Snicker Snicker. Lol
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
GFS is the boss and all other models need to get in line behind it.
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Quoting Kristina40:
Yeah, IIRC Ike is Defuniak. It's been awhile since I've been here but pretty certain that is correct.
About 50 miles North of me.
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Quoting weatherh98:
I'm out for now I'll pop in throughout the day, I have a swim meet
Don't be gone for long; you would't want to miss the opportunity to argue if someone mentions Debby going somewhere besides west!
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Yeah, IIRC Ike is Defuniak. It's been awhile since I've been here but pretty certain that is correct.
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2667. LargoFl
.......................................st.petersb urg beach cam
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Quoting Grothar:
Hey, do we know anyone in De Funiak Springs?



Ike!
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Can tell you this, Debby is gettng her act together on the west side finally! IMHO I got this gut feeling like I had with IKE which is not good! IMHO I think SETX is not out of the woods yet. I am watching Debby carefully!
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The Big Bend and Panhandle of Florida has lots of trees and our biggest worry, inland, is trees falling on houses and cars (happens even during strong t-storms).

This could be a real problem; a slow soaking rain into the roots and branches for 12-24 hours, she tightens up offshore, and, a few stronger bands from the wind field come back in tomorrow.......Down come the trees.

All folks living in North Florida would be well advised to move your parked cars and boats away from under trees if that is the case and be careful driving out there.
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Quoting Drakoen:


Right now, I agree with the GFS, GFDL, CMC models. I think the European models initialized Debby a degree or so farther west than where it really was. Water vapor imagery shows the trough digging in deep into the Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys.


Alright, Thanks. It appears you were correct yesterday when you favored an east track.

Models shifted to agree with you.

Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
Quoting Grothar:
Hey, do we know anyone in De Funiak Springs?




Ike?
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2661. air360
Quoting weatherh98:
I'm out for now I'll pop in throughout the day, I have a swim meet


Hopefully it is not being hosted at the beach on the west side of FL :)
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When do you think we will know for certain which direction (east or west) this thing is headed?

By tomorrow afternoon?
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cyclones?all.are.different.w.fl.might.get.the.worst .of.this.one
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2658. Grothar
Hey, do we know anyone in De Funiak Springs?


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2657. LargoFl
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
857 AM EDT SUN JUN 24 2012

FLZ069-070-241345-
COASTAL COLLIER COUNTY FL INLAND COLLIER COUNTY FL
857 AM EDT SUN JUN 24 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY FOR...
WESTERN COLLIER COUNTY

* UNTIL 945 AM EDT

* AT 851 AM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED
NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE GULF WATERS MOVING
NORTH AT 20 MPH.

* THE SHOWERS AND STORMS WILL AFFECT...
MARCO ISLAND...
MARCO ISLAND AIRPORT...
BELLE MEADE...
SOUTH NAPLES...
NAPLES...
WEST TOLL GATE ON ALLIGATOR ALLEY...
AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES.

THE PRIMARY IMPACTS WILL BE GUSTY WINDS OF 40 TO 50 MPH. THESE WINDS
CAN DOWN SMALL TREE LIMBS AND BRANCHES...AND BLOW AROUND UNSECURED
SMALL OBJECTS. SEEK SHELTER IN A SAFE BUILDING UNTIL THE STORM
PASSES.

ALSO...THESE SHOWERS AND STORMS ARE DEVELOPING IN AN ENVIRONMENT
FAVORABLE FOR FUNNEL CLOUDS.

STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO AND OTHER LOCAL MEDIA FOR FURTHER
DETAILS OR UPDATES.

LAT...LON 2632 8167 2641 8167 2641 8154 2589 8156
2590 8162 2589 8164 2590 8165 2589 8169
2587 8166 2586 8167 2586 8170 2591 8174
2599 8176 2609 8181 2633 8185
TIME...MOT...LOC 1255Z 178DEG 17KT 2594 8182

$$
GARCIA
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Quoting air360:
Alright - After much analysis and studying the models and all the conditions involved...I am ready to make my prediction. I am very confident, near 100%, on this forecast. There will be no future updates as this is 100% accurate. Debby will make landfall between South Padre Island, Texas and Key West, Fl.

Now I know you all may be impressed, amazed, or even blown away (no pun intended) by my amazing forecast ability...but I believe with a lot of hard work and studying any one on this board can be just as good, if not better than I am.

Good luck yall!

Don't get pissed...just smile...because you know you have to agree that the above is the only thing that is certain right now.
+1
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Quoting Flawestcoast:
Tropical storm force conditions in Largo, FL. Don't really understand why no warnings have been issued for West Central Fl. Power has gone out once already. Strange storm.
A power outage is not a sign that TS warnings are required... Debby wasn't even a TD on Thursday... we got rain here all day - torrential at times, with some strong gusts - and yes, there were a few power outages....

Just sayin'....

[Though I gotta admit Tampa area is getting some pretty good rain from this. About time, I'd say...]

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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
A Texan here born in Waco, Lived in Austin area for over 40 years and Debby seems to be just a rainmaker for Florida, maybe too much rain for parts of that state? I have a drought going on here I don't need a flood on top of that anyway. I am OK with the Heat and Lower humidity so keep Debby in Florida that is Cool with this Texan. I have nothing against anyone from Florida, have a good day. I also lived in Louisiana, another state that gets alot of rain just like Florida.


Your welcome to come live in Florida. :)
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
Forecast for a Texas storm becoming "more and more less likely."
That's from our local meteorolgist.
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I'm out for now I'll pop in throughout the day, I have a swim meet
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It's been raining and thundering pretty much all morning long here in Oakland Park. Nice way to wake up on a Sunday morning :)
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2650. scott39
Quoting TXCaneCrasher:

TropicalAnalyst is correct. If you are going to make a statement like that on here you need to end it with IMO. Just do what others do on here.
It was a sarcastic joke about cans of Tuna...Sheesh
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Quoting LargoFl:
hiya GT..hows the weather over by you?
Having a few rain bands moving in with gusty winds, bending some of the smaller trees.
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Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
2647. air360
Alright - After much analysis and studying the models and all the conditions involved...I am ready to make my prediction. I am very confident, near 100%, on this forecast. There will be no future updates as this is 100% accurate. Debby will make landfall between South Padre Island, Texas and Key West, Fl.

Now I know you all may be impressed, amazed, or even blown away (no pun intended) by my amazing forecast ability...but I believe with a lot of hard work and studying any one on this board can be just as good, if not better than I am.

Good luck yall!

Don't get pissed...just smile...because you know you have to agree that the above is the only thing that is certain right now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2646. Drakoen
Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Are you still sticking with the GFS?


Right now, I agree with the GFS, GFDL, CMC models. I think the European models initialized Debby a degree or so farther west than where it really was. Water vapor imagery shows the trough digging in deep into the Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Who will win the battle of the "Tug of War" East Coast Trough vs. Central Plains Ridge.

I hope the ridge wins and it goes into Texas. They need the rain, Florida is already getting a bunch of it, and they've had a tropical storm (Beryl) already.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32830
I'm not an expert by any means but have noticed over the years watching these storms that when an Upper Level Low (ULL) is near a forming cyclone and a developing cyclone, the models are all over the place. This is one of those times.

Correct me if I'm wrong but just something I've noticed.
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@Grothar - nice response, re: the sarcasm flag. That's precisely why it's so good to have you around here.
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Quoting weatherh98:


Hey, give the texans time to wake up and then the crow throwing can begin

@floridians texans war
A Texan here born in Waco, Lived in Austin area for over 40 years and Debby seems to be just a rainmaker for Florida, maybe too much rain for parts of that state? I have a drought going on here I don't need a flood on top of that anyway. I am OK with the Heat and Lower humidity so keep Debby in Florida that is Cool with this Texan. I have nothing against anyone from Florida, have a good day. I also lived in Louisiana, another state that gets alot of rain just like Florida.
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2641. LargoFl
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Quoting scott39:
To think anyone took that as being official is well....laughable...lighten up dude!

TropicalAnalyst is correct. If you are going to make a statement like that on here you need to end it with IMO. Just do what others do on here.
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Heavy rain in Panama City Beach right now, not sure of wind speed but my 135ft ham radio antenna that has been up for months in a couple of 75ft. pine trees is pulling it's end weights from ground level up 20 feet on one end...
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Who will win the battle of the "Tug of War" East Coast Trough vs. Central Plains Ridge.
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2637. LargoFl
Quoting GTcooliebai:
hiya GT..hows the weather over by you?
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2636. Drakoen
Quoting charlottefl:
When you get under these storms, they are dropping huge amounts of rain in a very short period of time. If you live in the Panhandle, I would for sure prepare for some flooding.


Yes. I was being conservative with what the GFS was showing. 1-2ft of rain is really what the GFS wants to paint across the Panhandle and Big Bend regions.
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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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