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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Hello everybody. Professional luker here. Just wanted to give a shout out to all you wunder bloggers out there. Have a great night! :)
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1085. Patrap
re-cap


7:00 PM CDT Sat Jun 23

Location: 26.1°N 87.5°W

Moving: Stationary

Min pressure: 1000 mb

Max sustained: 50 mph
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting WxGeekVA:
must....avoid....posting....off....topic....meme. ...images....

C'mon...make one for me like post 1081 says...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
000
NOUS42 KNHC 231530
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1130 AM EDT SAT JUN 23 2012
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 24/1100Z TO 25/1100Z JUN 2012
TCPOD NUMBER.....12-036

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (GULF OF MEXICO)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70 --
A. 25/0000Z, 0600Z
B. AFXXX 0304A CYCLONE
C. 23/2245Z
D. 27.5N 88.2W
E. 24/2300Z TO 25/0600Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71 --
A. 25/1200,1800Z
B. AFXXX 0404A CYCLONE
C. 25/1045Z
D. 27.5N 88.2W
E. 25/1100Z TO 25/1800Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: CONTINUE 6-HRLY FIXES.
3. REMARK: MISSION FOR 24/1200-1800Z FORM POD 12-035
WILL FLY AS ALREADY TASKED.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.
WVW

Anybody wanna explain to me what A C and E stand for again? I always forget
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Quoting klew136:
and what kind of light are you looking from blacklight or iredescent


Not sure...

We could settle for a black light so Floodman can break out some of his psychedelic shirts...
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Meme of the day for Floridians....

NHC....u no agree with GFS?!
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Quoting weatherh98:
my wish is that this unscrewaa itself up... night guys


good night weather98...sleep tight
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1079. Grothar
Early 00z models




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1078. Patrap
.."Will it go round in circles",,

GOES-13 Viz to Night IR Long Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
The ridge is retreating? That's news to me.

Watch the 590dm line over Shreveport, LA shift EAST to Birmingham, AL

FULL


FULL
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Checking in from South Central Texas, we need the rain but if Debby doesnt come this way that is OK with me, hit 100 at my house today after low of 70, pretty dry air, current humidity around 50 percent with a temp of 82, not bad once the sun goes down. Our forecast is 102 to 106 thru Wednesday then High Pressure moving west and we should drop below 100 by end of the week, no mention of rain yet because no one knows where Debby is headed, for me to get rain it would almost have to come straight towards me. Have a great evening.
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1075. Drakoen
Quoting KoritheMan:
What's there to pull it north [Florida]?

0z upper air data from the southeast US:

Atlanta:



Charleston:



Jacksonville:



Northerly winds at 500 mb, and the GFS still expects a strike in Florida? Really? Water vapor imagery also doesn't show any significant weakness in the vicinity of 80W.


There are northerlies west of the upper level trough axis. Keep in mind that this initial trough is not the one that could potentially pull out Debby.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29885
1074. Patrap
The center is still where it was at the last advisory save fo a klick N..maybe

Ya chasing the Convective tops and swirls ..not the Surface feature.

It aint jumped 25-75 Miles.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting Hurricanes101:


you seem to be forgetting something

the west coast of Florida is already getting this storm and could have more impacts in terms of flooding rains, tornadoes and gusty winds, then most of the other coastal areas along the gulf coast

so to me at this point, I already have this storm, where it goes from here will not change that much


To a somewhat lesser extent, the east coast is right there with y'all. I agree; she's ours for now! So maybe both sets of models will be right! :o

I have to admit I'm rather paranoid now. We in Indiantown were hit with a tornado in November of last year. I live in a camper. Now every time a storm gets going... :s
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1072. jpsb
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Either the greatest GFS victory, or a humiliating defeat...

Yup, nicely said.
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Quoting Drakoen:


The eastern extent of the ridge has retreated a little to the west. Steering currents still pretty weak though.


Yes it has retreated and that has left stalling conditions for the system. That ULL to the West is not going anywhere at the moment so if anything the path of least resistance for now is to the NE where the only open door for motion at this time exists. Nothing dramatic of course but an opportunity to escape nonetheless.
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Pretty obvious on RAMSDIS visible loop where the center is still just uh...sitting there:

Link
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
Quoting yqt1001:
I'm looking forward to the rain map of Debby. It'll probably be like Allison just the entire Gulf Coast will be a solid purple. They'll probably even manage to blame some rain on Debby in Puerto Rico just to add some more land to the map.


lets hope this thing picks up some speed once it makes landfall and moves on Inland
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Quoting Drakoen:


Definitely interesting, quite a cluster. I saw a similar dichotomy on the Euro ensembles, but more towards Texas.



I'm sticking with the CMC, its been about 2 days ahead of the rest of the models.
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Here is more of the text from Tallahassee NWS tonight;

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
946 PM EDT Sat Jun 23 2012
It appeared that the center of Debby was moving northeast in the last couple of visible satellite pics of the day. However, we are attributing that to a wobble and anticipate little movement with this system during the overnight hours. However, if the trend does not reverse itself, then we may need to finally consider the possibility that the GFS solution (which we have been routinely discounting for days) may have some merit. That said, both this office and the national hurricane center continue to feel that an eventual turn to the west is expected as the large upper level ridge over the Southern Plains builds.



At least they are in consensus, and solidarity, with NHC.
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Strongest storms west of Fort Myers have move west ever so slightly. Consolidating and maybe showing the first slight signs of Western movement?
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my wish is that this unscrewaa itself up... night guys
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1063. yqt1001
I'm looking forward to the rain map of Debby. It'll probably be like Allison just the entire Gulf Coast will be a solid purple. They'll probably even manage to blame some rain on Debby in Puerto Rico just to add some more land to the map.
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1062. Patrap
..were gonna need a bigger blog
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
1061. klew136
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
11pm advisory should shed some light on the situation...

and what kind of light are you looking from blacklight or iredescent
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1060. emguy
This is an almost perfect historical example of one of those elongated...multiple circulation center...convection chasing storms. I will use this as additional support in my statements about Debby likely being a Florida Big Bend storm. The only difference between Debbie (now) and Hurricane Earl (1998) would be time of year it formed and it's formation point was further west in the gulf...Otherwise...classic example of what we are seeing with Debby so I guess you can call it an analogue. Enjoy reading :)
Member Since: May 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 626
we could really see this thing ramp up tomorrow as more convection gets in.....things getting quite interesting folks.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

No.


our way or no way.
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1057. jpsb
Quoting weatherh98:


Just thought of this... Florida wishcaster=Fishcaster
I like Surfcaster better.
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1056. Patrap
Debby as stalled as stalled can really be Mid Gulf.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
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1054. Patrap
Quoting Drakoen:
1040 LOL! Patrap you make my night sometimes.



Sometimes we get one that matta's..

Debby has been a challange and remains one.

Lotsa Mojo out there waiting to be taken advantage of.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting louisianaboy444:
Things are shaping up to be interesting though. Earlier today it was just South Texas or Florida. Now more of the models are showing the possibility of a Upper TX coast/Louisiana/Mississippi strike...The HWRF, GFDL, CMC and some of the GFS ensemble members are jumping onto that trend


you and me gonna get some RAIN
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must....avoid....posting....off....topic....meme. ...images....
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1051. shfr173
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Either the greatest GFS victory, or a humiliating defeat...

well put
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What's there to pull it north [Florida]?

0z upper air data from the southeast US:

Atlanta:



Charleston:



Jacksonville:



Northerly winds at 500 mb, and the GFS still expects a strike in Florida? Really? Water vapor imagery also doesn't show any significant weakness in the vicinity of 80W.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 552 Comments: 19871
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I would love for the 0Z GFS to switch towards the western solution. That is my wish for tonight.
Well in that case I would love for the 0Z ECMWF to switch towards the eastern solution.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Things are shaping up to be interesting though. Earlier today it was just South Texas or Florida. Now more of the models are showing the possibility of a Upper TX coast/Louisiana/Mississippi strike...The HWRF, GFDL, CMC and some of the GFS ensemble members are jumping onto that trend
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1047. Drakoen
1040 LOL! Patrap you make my night sometimes.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29885
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It moves northeast and slams into the Florida Panhandle. It crosses the state, continues east, begins a southward turn while rapidly intensifying, turns west and hits Miami as a Category 5 hurricane. Moves southwest across the state again, enters the Gulf, and becomes a 200 mph hurricane that hits New Orleans and stalls. It turns southeast and eventually west, becoming a Category 4 hurricane and making landfall just south of Galveston. It moves inland while rapidly dissipating, providing inland Texas with little to no rain.


LOL. Nice touch at the end.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


What if the other models shifted east? Would that work too?

No.
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1044. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
1043. Drakoen
Quoting kmanislander:


Quite a cluster, especially when you see the high over Texas retreat to the West over the past 3 hours


The eastern extent of the ridge has retreated a little to the west. Steering currents still pretty weak though.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29885
Link

Pressure down to 998 MB....I expect the winds to stay at 50 mph at 11:00 pm
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I would love for the 0Z GFS to switch towards the western solution. That is my wish for tonight.


What if the other models shifted east? Would that work too?
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1040. Patrap
Gee, I vunder vhat the Tropical Forecast Points here will say again?


..Hmmmmmmmmm?

Debby Long Floater - RGB Color Imagery Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
1039. shfr173
Quoting Patrap:


I like how the 00Z Runs nailed the solution.
LOL
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Quoting AllStar17:
Debby is certainly not a Little Debbie, that's for sure!


Big Girls need love'n too
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I would love for the 0Z GFS to switch towards the western solution. That is my wish for tonight.
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Quoting AllStar17:
Debby is certainly not a Little Debbie, that's for sure!


Just don't turn into a Debby Downer!

ba dum tiss
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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.