Tropical Storm Debby has formed in the Gulf of Mexico

By: angelafritz , 9:18 PM GMT on June 23, 2012

Share this Blog
36
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 936 - 886

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56Blog Index

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.
You make have a future for writing movie scripts for sci-fi.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting texascoastres:
Stormchaser121-- play nice! but i tend to agree somewhat. -- matagorda to galveston would not surprise me.. earlier was thinking corpus to matagorda now hmmmmm

Could be more north ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
875. Levi32 1:50 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
I'm looking at FSU, but there are other possibilities too. I'm not sure what my opportunities will be like since I will not have had a single MET course upon entry.



No worries as far as the lack of MET courses., that is fine as far as MET courses are concerned. Once enrolled you can concentrate most of your course load and curriculum towards that. As far as FSU, that is a great choice among many. It also puts you close to the NHC which I would recommend you as an intern in a heartbeat. I know school is tough enough but you could intern there during breaks and the summer as well...
Keep all your options open
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If it wasn't for the ULL off the Tx coast, Debby would be a hurricane by now. As long as that ULL is there, Debby will stay a TS.


Click for loop.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm currently writing a blog/forecast on Debby, and trying really hard not to lose my sanity.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21305
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129853
Quoting Grothar:


What effect do you think that little thingy above Debby will have on it.
What little thingy?
You mean Louisiana's Terrabone or Plaquemenes?
.
Forget it......Louisiana official Nungusser just admitted on TWC that Plaquemennes was the little thingy, as he put it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Hard to believe it's missing a half. It's twice the size of a normal tropical cyclone as it is.
Was thinking the same thing. If it had the same amount of convection on the west side it would already be impacting Texas.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Hard to believe it's missing a half. It's twice the size of a normal tropical cyclone as it is.


imagine how small ecen katrina or rita would look compared to this.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Very large system



Yes. Its interesting to note that the convective pattern is much more consistent with the GFS depiction than the higher resolution ECMWF.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
For anyone looking for more links, I've designed a site that compiles all the great links I've found over the years of tracking the tropics.

I hope it helps:

Link


Plenty of important links there. Bookmarked.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weathermanwannabe:


I just texted my Bud in Lauderdale; I think he is at Kim's Alley Bar off Sunrise....Says only a drizze down there at the moment?


I don't know where the bars are, but we have been getting pounded by heavy bands of rain. It can be pouring in the west part of the county and dry as a bone in the east. Right now it is drizzling here, too.

This just went through a while ago.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Stormchaser121-- play nice! but i tend to agree somewhat. -- matagorda to galveston would not surprise me.. earlier was thinking corpus to matagorda now hmmmmm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
For anyone looking for more links, I've designed a site that compiles all the great links I've found over the years of tracking the tropics.

I hope it helps:

Link

I use your site all the time, you're awesome for making it. The Precipitable Water Loop under "Satellite imagery" doesn't work, however.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
Just for fun, my buddy and I might be going to the coast on Monday, when Debby should make its closest approach (barring a Louisiana landfall, which I find unlikely). I will emb any videos we shoot here.


i live in lousiana by lake pontchartrain. always fun go to the lake during a storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
920. JLPR2
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It moves northeast and slams into the Florida Panhandle. 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, enter 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.


Should have added realistic worst case scenarios...
That was more like a Syfy weather movie. XD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Shear will cause the higher cloud tops to move off the LLC. Even I know that. Wishcasting (for or against) doesn't change that. A new CoC might form under what looks like the CDO to some, but the odds are against it. We'll have to wait for this storm to make her move, and take her sweet time "deciding" when and where. I'm hanging it up for tonight...Debby's not going to knock on MY door soon. Night, y'all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
For anyone looking for more links, I've designed a site that compiles all the great links I've found over the years of tracking the tropics.

I hope it helps:

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JLPR2:
Hmm... From what I can tell there two possible worst case scenarios.

1. The ULL retreats inland allowing Debby to intensify into a minimal hurricane as it moves westward (following the NHC track.)
2. It moves farther north than forecast, scrapping the entire Gulf coast as a sloppy TS dumping heavy rain everywhere.

Anyone has a worse one?

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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
916. emguy
These type systems typically chase their support. She did that last night and will likely do it again tonight...which is why I still believe a landfall will still occur north of Tampa and east of Apalachicola. Either way...point is moot at this point...areas south of Tampa are already feeling impacts in Florida.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like the High pressure of TX is weakening and shrinking. Im favoring a Freeport TX to Galveston TX landfall for this one.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Very large system


Hard to believe it's missing a half. It's twice the size of a normal tropical cyclone as it is.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
00z NAM 18 hrs. Two lows, that's new.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
912. JLPR2
Hmm... From what I can tell there two possible worst case scenarios.

1. The ULL retreats inland allowing Debby to intensify into a minimal hurricane as it moves westward (following the NHC track.)
2. It moves farther north than forecast, scrapping the entire Gulf coast as a sloppy TS dumping heavy rain everywhere.

Anyone has a worse one?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Very large system

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just for fun, my buddy and I might be going to the coast on Monday, when Debby should make its closest approach (barring a Louisiana landfall, which I find unlikely). I will emb any videos we shoot here.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21305
Quoting Grothar:
We've been geting pounded and more to come.



I just texted my Bud in Lauderdale; I think he is at Kim's Alley Bar off Sunrise....Says only a drizze down there at the moment?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
If you want to see the low-level clouds use the Low Cloud Product from LSU:

Link

It even changes over to a different color scheme at night. A great product and I highly recommend it.


After viewing this, I'm going to place the LLC here:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
RGB Long Floater Loop


yada, yada, yada.. stationary.


Best Track Position and Intensity as of:
Sunday, June 24, 2012 0:00 Z




Location at the time:
301 statue miles (484 km) to the S (183) from Pensacola, FL, USA.




Wind (1 min. avg.):
45 knots (~52 mph | 23 m/s | 83 km/h)




Pressure:
1000 mb (29.53 inHg | 1000 hPa)




Coordinates:

26.1N 87.5W




Source:
National Hurricane Center's (NHC) Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting (ATCF) System and not from any available advisory data
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129853
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
If you want to see the low-level clouds use the Low Cloud Product from LSU:

Link

It even changes over to a different color scheme at night. A great product and I highly recommend it.


That's what I use, the high clouds invert to black at night, but you see the low level circulation when it is not stacked.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jascott1967:


Not after 3 gallons. Guilty!


Dont blame you, its well worth the extra calories...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
We've been geting pounded and more to come.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


Nice imagery. The last couple of frames show an interesting circulation a little farther north than the official circulation.


kind of odd because you cant see the official one
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I give up with this storm. Never seen one so complicated to forecast before.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Ooh, you can very clearly see the center in that image. It just moved slightly north and east. More north though.


See post 878
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129853
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Regardless of where the models ultimately take it, it is a Florida storm at the moment.
Good point. That is the current reality.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
sorry for violating community standards... Wishy washy to say the least
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
If you want to see the low-level clouds use the Low Cloud Product from LSU:

Link

It even changes over to a different color scheme at night. A great product and I highly recommend it.


Nice imagery. The last couple of frames show an interesting circulation a little farther north than the official circulation.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
If you want to see the low-level clouds use the Low Cloud Product from LSU:

Link

It even changes over to a different color scheme at night. A great product and I highly recommend it.

Ooh, you can very clearly see the center in that image. It just moved slightly north and east. More north though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherh98:


oh and the 2 more of grduate? sorry i dont pay tht much attention to how college works yet


For masters yes. A phd would take longer than that.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting WDEmobmet:
Wow, unbelievable.... This stuff is so good!



I think a relocation is possible, heaver convection could pull the llc towards it promoting even more convection as seen on satellite


Not after 3 gallons. Guilty!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Station 42363 - Mars - Mississippi Canyon 807

Station operated by Shell International E&P
Fixed Drilling Platform
28.160 N 89.220 W (28°9'36" N 89°13'12" W)

Air temp height: 37 m above site elevation
Anemometer height: 122 m above site elevation
Barometer elevation: 37 m above mean sea level
Water depth: 894 m


Conditions at 42363 as of
(8:30 pm CDT on 06/23/2012)
0130 GMT on 06/24/2012:
Unit of Measure: Time Zone:
Click on the graph icon in the table below to see a time series plot of the last five days of that observation.

Wind Direction (WDIR): NE ( 50 deg true )

Wind Speed (WSPD): 25.3 kts

Wind Gust (GST): 25.3 kts

Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.81 in

Air Temperature (ATMP): 79.0 °F

Dew Point (DEWP): 70.0 °F

Heat Index (HEAT): 81.7 °F

Combined plot of Wind Speed, Gust, and Air Pressure
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129853
872. TreasureCoastGirl80 9:48 PM EDT on June 23, 2012

The frog are croaking like crazy in my backyard and I am bone dry North of Tallahassee; maybe they know something I don't....... :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

45 knots is 50 mph, Taz.



oh opps but the mb is down too 998mb
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I think I have heard the explanation of the XTRP model enough to fill a life time lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If you want to see the low-level clouds use the Low Cloud Product from LSU:

Link

It even changes over to a different color scheme at night. A great product and I highly recommend it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


I'm looking at FSU, but there are other possibilities too. I'm not sure what my opportunities will be like since I will not have had a single MET course upon entry.



Of undergrad, yes.


oh and the 2 more of grduate? sorry i dont pay tht much attention to how college works yet
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting baulas:
this does not ramp up into anything more than a drought buster for Texas. Honestly, major storms are not fun.

I freely admit to being a choosy beggar wishcaster. Now I'm just wishing for the right angle of approach to the coastline, and a whopping tail of moisture to sling up into Centex.

Texas' last opportunity for lake and aquifer H20 was Don of last year, who drove all the way across the ATL to help, and look how we treated him. :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It seems to me that you can almost see the mid or low level circulation south of Panama City with Tampas long range radar. I would post but I'm on a phone.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 936 - 886

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
36 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron