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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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?
Member Since: June 21, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 33
Quoting LBAR:


Josh Marthers on WCBD (NBC)


Brad Miller @ ch 5 is my go to guy
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1284. Joe21
Quoting tennisgirl08:
My gut--- I think we are about to see the NHC track do the windshield wiper effect.

You mean change the track
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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.
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Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
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:
Reposted image: My track not official

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.



Please spare us the interruptions. Maybe start your own blog and do it there. Just post the totals here.
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100 MPH Category 2 is my best guess... but landfall as a 75 MPH Category 1.
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1277. nigel20
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. Cat 2
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7445
1276. GPTGUY
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It didn't make landfall as a hurricane.


your right my mistake
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1275. Patrap
2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
1274. LBAR
Quoting presslord:


Which one?


Josh Marthers on WCBD (NBC)
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1273. RevInFL
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.





A
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1272. Patrap
Im advised not to Poll without a attorney or Presslord present.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GPTGUY:



Hurricane Allison 1995


Didn't make landfall as a hurricane though...
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
You would think so.


Its not a record, in 1968, Brenda became a hurricane at 12Z on June 23rd
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Quoting GPTGUY:



Hurricane Allison 1995

It didn't make landfall as a hurricane.
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1266. Levi32
.
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Thank you WunderBlogAdmin.
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1264. Patrap
Quoting presslord:


Which one?

Chucktown obviously..


; )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting NCHurricane2009:
If Debby becomes a hurricane...do we break the record for the earliest 2nd Atlantic hurricane?

Yes. That is a record Hurricane Dennis from 2005 also held.
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1261. wpb
Quoting Ameister12:
Here's the man of the hour: STACY STEWART!!!
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------

Navy Reservist served in Iraq as part of troop surge

By Dennis Feltgen, NOAA NHC Public Affairs Officer

After nearly 20 months of active duty, Commander Stacy Stewart has returned to his civilian job as a Senior Hurricane Specialist at NOAA's National Hurricane Center in Miami.

His biggest adjustment is returning to South Florida traffic. "I was used to driving down the middle of the road in a 15,000 pound Hummer with a .50 caliber machine gun and avoiding any kind of debris," he said.

A 35-year Navy reservist, Stewart was recalled to active duty in January 2007 to aid in the troop surge in Iraq. He was part of the Coalition Army Advisory Training Team, providing advice and mentorship to three Iraqi Army divisions at An Neumaniyah Military Base. That's 20,000 Iraqi soldiers. He also assisted in the training of three Iraqi brigades.

Stewart says his greatest challenge in Iraq was just staying alive during any of the 160 end to end convoy movements in which he participated. "Once you left the base, you were no longer safe, even for just a few miles." During a mission on March 27, 2008, with Stewart serving as the forward machine gunner behind ballistic glass on top of a Hummer vehicle, an IED (improvised explosive device) detonated alongside the vehicle. No one was killed, but Stewart's left leg and knee were injured in the blast. Fortunately, he only required four months of physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Stewart is very adamant about his tour in Iraq. "I was honored to be able to go to Iraq as part of the surge. I saw it from the inside and I am proud of what my four teams accomplished. Iraq is a much better place now."

What he missed most while away was his family and co-workers. Being on an Iraqi base, there was no Post Exchange, post office, or chaplain. A food convoy had to be picked up and escorted 80 kilometers to his base every two weeks. The weather was rather dull, too. "There is not much weather in Iraq, just a lot of sand, dust and 125 degree heat. Sometimes, the sea breeze arrived and knocked it down to 115 in southern Iraq."

Back at the National Hurricane Center, Stewart is rapidly catching up on some of the revised operational procedures used to distribute the routine hurricane products, as well as working with some of the new computer models. He is already back at work with his NHC colleagues and issuing tropical cyclone advisories.

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1260. Patrap
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: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Hurricane Bonnie in 1986.


Bonnie was a tiny system...

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
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....


Which one?
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1257. GPTGUY
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Hurricane Bonnie in 1986.



Hurricane Allison 1995
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1256. LBAR
Quoting Patrap:



Does have good TV hair?


No, actually, he's bald on top...haha.
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Quoting all4hurricanes:
when was the last time a hurricane hit the US in June?


Probably thousands of times...but nobody was keeping track back then.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:
If Debby becomes a hurricane...do we break the record for the earliest 2nd Atlantic hurricane?
You would think so.
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If Debby becomes a hurricane...do we break the record for the earliest 2nd Atlantic hurricane?
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1252. Patrap
O-kay
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
1251. nigel20
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Yes.

I think so too!
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7445
1250. DocBen
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Yes.


Yes. I had predicted Cat 1 when the official was saying only TS. Official is now saying 1; I'll go with 2.
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1249. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting CosmicEvents:
There's plenty of us who lurk and appreciate your thoughts. These youngin's should respect their elders as much as we respect those who are studying.


True, Cosmic.

K'man, can't disagree. Periphery of the high retreating. Troughing seems a bit deeper. Multiple vortices (or decoupled coc) with mid-level circ being further east and intensifying. There's a reason models are all over the place - they can't properly initialize first of all, imo, and consequently, current conditions are, at best, not even really moderately developed.

This is just a good, old-fashioned TS taking a beating from shear and some dry air, none of which is going to change too drastically very soon. Debby's best out will be attraction to the slightest weakness - right now, that's northeast; and, motion seems trending exactly in that direction.

Debby, may intensify, but probably not too much, still disorganized, asymmetric, no convection overhead to speak of - at least not in a real developing scenario.

My guess is she'll be a rainmaker, but not much else.
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Quoting all4hurricanes:
when was the last time a hurricane hit the US in June?

Hurricane Bonnie in 1986.
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Quoting nigel20:
Good evening everyone!

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 24/0300Z 26.3N 87.5W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 24/1200Z 26.7N 87.8W 50 KT 60 MPH
24H 25/0000Z 27.0N 88.1W 50 KT 60 MPH
36H 25/1200Z 27.1N 88.8W 55 KT 65 MPH
48H 26/0000Z 27.2N 89.8W 60 KT 70 MPH
72H 27/0000Z 27.2N 91.8W 65 KT 75 MPH
96H 28/0000Z 27.2N 93.7W 70 KT 80 MPH
120H 29/0000Z 27.2N 95.2W 70 KT 80 MPH

Do you guys think that Debby can make to a cat 2?

Yes.
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when was the last time a hurricane hit the US in June?
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1243. Patrap
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....



Does have good TV hair?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Wow Debby is not even making landfall in Florida and she's giving them hell.
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I just saw the new NHC track and now I really think Debbie will become a Cat 2. Seems to be to much time between cat 1 and landfall for there not to be strengthening. The new convection burst is very close to the center and I bet in a few hours it will move over. Would not be to surprised to see a strong TS in the morning. Anybody think I am over doing it on the intensity?
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1240. 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....
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


If he mentions the west coast trough...what's the deal with not bending the track more northwestward by 5 days when it appears the west coast trough should begin eroding the ridge? This is what I am expecting...which brings Debby closer to the upper Texas coast.
but I don't want it by the upper Texas coast ! I thought it was all Floridas!
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1238. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Have you made an account on GRlevelXStuff and looked through the downloads section?

Yeah I have an account, but no I haven't gone through the download section.
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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.


Hmmm...I was looking at this HPC map forecast...which hints at the ridge (blue H) north of Debby becoming pushed eastward by day 4...as storm system from west coast moves into the picture. Am I interpreting this correctly?
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About JeffMasters

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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