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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Hey Levi, I'm having issues accessing your site if you are still online, just FYI.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
I really don't understand why they bother you so much. Please explain.

Because they are uninformative thats why
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Quoting washingaway:
AND THE LOCATION OF THE LARGER STATIONARY GYRE IS
THE ADVISORY POSITION. ALTHOUGH THERE MAY BE SOME SLIGHT NORTHEASTWARD MOTION DUE TO REDEVELOPMENT OF THE CENTER CLOSER TO THE DEEP CONVECTION...



I KNEW IT!
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting rxse7en:
I lhave sex daily. Er, I mean, I have dyslexia.
The hell!??
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1308: Karl was the last Hurricane in the Gulf
and I noticed that since 2008 the US Gulf coast has gotten almost nothing
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1331. HrDelta
Quoting washingtonian115:
Man &$&@ these polls..


Sorry about that. I was just wondering what everyone thought the Post-Season Analysis of Beryl will find.
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That's some crazy flow there...

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
1329. Walshy
A for poll 1
C for poll 2
A for poll 3
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1328. nigel20
Quoting WxGeekVA:
Wind shear is <20kts near Debby now, should see convection wrapping by the AM.


Agreed.
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7877
1327. rxse7en
Firing up some cold tops now. http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters/04L/flas h-avn-long.html
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Man &$&@ these polls..
I really don't understand why they bother you so much. Please explain.
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1199 CaicosRetiredSailor: "...AND EXTENDING AS FAR EAST AS THE CAROLINA COASTS."
How many coasts does the Carolina have?

The old one... and the new one it shares with Tennessee, Kentucky, and BlueRidge.
Two states fell off the edge of their FlatEarth... Living in a fantasy does carry its own risks, y'know.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Yes. That is a record Hurricane Dennis from 2005 also held.

What about the 1908 AHS? There was two hurricanes even before June 1
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I believe Debby should organize quite rapidly over the day tomorrow, and wrap up into her convection, and become a potent and strong TS(65 mph) by this time tomorrow.
Becoming a Category 1 Late Monday/Early Tuesday.
Intensifying into a Category 2 Mid afternoon Wednesday. and Topping off there right as landfall comes for Texas.
I'm saving this comment to post on the blog Wednesday if this comes true. If not I'll post it anyway, and you guys can make me eat loads of crow.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
AND THE LOCATION OF THE LARGER STATIONARY GYRE IS
THE ADVISORY POSITION. ALTHOUGH THERE MAY BE SOME SLIGHT NORTHEASTWARD MOTION DUE TO REDEVELOPMENT OF THE CENTER CLOSER TO THE DEEP CONVECTION...

Member Since: July 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1144
Quoting dixiebelow:
C


C/B
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Man &$&@ these polls..
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Quoting Levi32:


It should take quite a while to erode the ridge to that point. The life cycle of massive Texas ridges is fairly predictable. If Debby moves slower is still over water by late Thursday, a bend towards the northwest could become a possibility.


I was thinking around Wednesday night, and I think Debby will at some point travel a little bit WSW sometime Monday Night thru Tuesday Evening.
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Quoting presslord:


Brad Miller @ ch 5 is my go to guy


Mine too, wink wink !!
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Debby looks very healthy tonight Texas is going to be slammed.If you look at the radar from Tampa Florida you can see she is really getting her act together.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Just going to do a poll and actually tally the votes. Then at the same time Sunday I will do it again. Then again all the way to landfall. Will be interesting to see the opinions change over time!

What will be Debbie's peak intensity?
A.) TS
B.) Cat 1
C.) Cat 2
D.) Cat 3
E.) Cat 4
F.) Cat 5

My vote is C.

B CAT 1
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Quoting rxse7en:
I lhave sex daily. Er, I mean, I have dyslexia.


Just spat out my Fresca! LOL!
But please keep it PG rated sir!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The upper level low is shearing it and should back southwestward as high pressure builds in from the west. Wind shear will decrease and in return should be replaced by an anticyclone.
Not much stopping it during that phase. You got warm sst's no shear and no dry air. Sounds dangerous to me.
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Link

are my eyes playing tricks on meh?
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Reposted image: My track not official



I am in close agreement with you as of 8:40 PM EDT...but I go with a slightly more north landfall and 85 mph instead of 80...
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1310. rxse7en
Quoting HimacaneBrees:
damn lysdexia is a killer.
I lhave sex daily. Er, I mean, I have dyslexia.
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Wind shear is <20kts near Debby now, should see convection wrapping by the AM.

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Debby still looks like it has a little while ago. Seeing signs of the system picking a dominant center and expanding convection over it, but still has a little while to go. If the ULL moves SW as predicted, that would obviously aid the system significantly.

A storm with the capability of striking the US Gulf Coast at hurricane strength has become an uncommon occurrence in recent years. The last hurricane in the GOM happened a full two years ago with Alex. The last hurricane to strike the US Gulf Coast was Ike- nearly four years ago. The last major hurricane to strike the US Gulf Coast, or any part of the US for that matter, was Wilma seven years ago.
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1307. Patrap
RAMSDIS DEBBY Floater: Viz to Night IR Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127636
Quoting IAmRooot:
(See Link)Please explain why the H Level winds & the L Level winds just west of Debbie are not come from the same direction AND why is there even an ULL so close to Debbie? Thank u in advance.

Link

The upper level low is shearing it and should back southwestward as high pressure builds in from the west. Wind shear will decrease and in return should be replaced by an anticyclone.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31536
Quoting LBAR:
Local meteorologist here in Charleston said he's "not buying" that forecast track. He thinks it a good possibility the center reforms underneath the convection. Hmmmmmmmmm....

Maybe he has more satellites and models in his hand than the NOAA or maybe he can predict the future....that is less probability than Debby reach category 5
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Quoting HrDelta:
It will be interesting to see the Post-Season Analysis for Beryl. I wonder if it found to have been a Minimal Hurricane.

Small Poll:

Do you think the NHC will find Beryl was a minimal Hurricane at its peak, like Hurricane Cindy in 2005:?

a) Yes
b) No

Please stop with the polls.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Just going to do a poll and actually tally the votes. Then at the same time Sunday I will do it again. Then again all the way to landfall. Will be interesting to see the opinions change over time!

What will be Debbie's peak intensity?
A.) TS
B.) Cat 1
C.) Cat 2
D.) Cat 3
E.) Cat 4
F.) Cat 5

My vote is C.
C
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LBAR:


I've seen him before. I prefer WCBD, then WCIV, then WCSC, although I think WCSC is the ratings leader. I just thought it was pretty bold to openly state a view contrary to the NHC.


yup
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Oh boy...

No kidding. Shear-less once the ULL moves out of the way.
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(See Link)Please explain why the H Level winds & the L Level winds just west of Debbie are not come from the same direction AND why is there even an ULL so close to Debbie? Thank u in advance.

Link
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Quoting Tazmanian:




go too the nhc site they have the track there
it was sarcastic
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1298. LBAR
Quoting presslord:


Brad Miller @ ch 5 is my go to guy


I've seen him before. I prefer WCBD, then WCIV, then WCSC, although I think WCSC is the ratings leader. I just thought it was pretty bold to openly state a view contrary to the NHC.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1296. Bitmap7
Any shortwave IR links to share?
Member Since: May 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 429
1295. Patrap
The LLC is stalled ...and still in da same place from earlier.


try the Tropical Forecast Points to see .


Debby Long Floater - RGB Color Imagery Loop

also..

Tropical Storm DEBBY


...DEBBY REMAINS STATIONARY OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO... ...HEAVY SQUALLS AFFECTING PORTIONS OF WEST-CENTRAL AND SOUTHWESTERN FLORIDA...

10:00 PM CDT Sat Jun 23

Location: 26.3°N 87.5°W

Moving: Stationary

Min pressure: 998 mb
Max sustained: 50 mph
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127636
1294. HrDelta
It will be interesting to see the Post-Season Analysis for Beryl. I wonder if it found to have been a Minimal Hurricane.

Small Poll:

Do you think the NHC will find Beryl was a minimal Hurricane at its peak, like Hurricane Cindy in 2005:?

a) Yes
b) No
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Oh boy...

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
Quoting Methurricanes:
Can someone please post the NHC path, I don't think ive seen it on here




go too the nhc site they have the track there
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Can someone please post the NHC path, I don't think ive seen it on here
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1290. 7544
drum roll gfs is now running will it flip or stay the same
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Quoting GPTGUY:


your right my mistake

No problem.

Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Just going to do a poll and actually tally the votes. Then at the same time Sunday I will do it again. Then again all the way to landfall. Will be interesting to see the opinions change over time!

What will be Debbie's peak intensity?
A.) TS
B.) Cat 1
C.) Cat 2
D.) Cat 3
E.) Cat 4
F.) Cat 5

My vote is C.

C.

Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Bonnie was a tiny system...


Yeah. Nice June hurricane.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31536
Quoting rolltide36526:



Please spare us the interruptions. Maybe start your own blog and do it there. Just post the totals here.
I see so you run the blog? Put me on ignore if it bothers you so much.
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I vote for B.
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The LLC has displaced to the right as of the past few hours - Much convection S of Panama City FL - As of now looks like a Florida/Big Bend area storm - any opinions?
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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.