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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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.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
looks like wind will be going up too 55 mph at 10


AL, 04, 2012062400, , BEST, 0, 261N, 875W, 45, 998, TS

45 knots is 50 mph, Taz.
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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




i would re move that if you dont want a 24hr ban
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Quoting Altestic2012:
XTRP model has Debby lingering in the same spot for the next 2 weeks!


That isn't a model. That's an extrapolation of the current track. Currently, Debby is stationary and so the extrapolation is for Debby to never move.
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LoL
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Quoting Grothar:


What effect do you think that little thingy above Debby will have on it.



Link to animation.

Link


There are a lot of things above Debby. Anything in particular?
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looks like wind will be going up too 55 mph at 10


AL, 04, 2012062400, , BEST, 0, 261N, 875W, 45, 998, TS
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879. TXCWC
Quoting Levi32:
Not often the JMA goes sub-1000mb on a tropical cyclone:

Quoting Levi32:
Not often the JMA goes sub-1000mb on a tropical cyclone:



That track looks very close to the Euro as well
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Good evening all

Lots of discussion around the possible track going forward. With the pressure down to 999mbs the current steering indicates an open door to the NE with the flow being very weak, hence the status quo we see now on motion.

A drift to the NE tonight is not out of the question IMO.
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I already asked Drak, so I'll ask you next. Levi, do you see any hints of a center relocation occurring currently with Debby?
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Quoting Altestic2012:
XTRP model has Debby lingering in the same spot for the next 2 weeks!
my F5 button would'nt last that long
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Quoting RussianWinter:


Where are you going off for grad school?

What's your research going to be on?


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.

Quoting weatherh98:


so 2 more years?


Of undergrad, yes.
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Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Regardless of where the models ultimately take it, it is a Florida storm at the moment.



This is true. The way the radar is, and the thunder outside, I almost feel like we might as well be having a tropical storm right now...

Frogs are playing accompaniment to the thunder...
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Ok thanks, well i think you would be a good one, actually there is a few on here that seem to be pretty good at this stuff
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Quoting Levi32:


I'm unable to major in meteorology during undergrad, but I intend to get a graduate degree in meteorology.


so 2 more years?
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Quoting Levi32:


I'm unable to major in meteorology during undergrad, but I intend to get a graduate degree in meteorology.


Where are you going off for grad school?

What's your research going to be on?
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Quoting Patrap:


Folks are consumed with the Convective Tops spinning in the NE and East Quad.

The Surface Low is the only center.

But hey,till some learn how the imagery works esp at night.

No harm done, save to their sanity.

: )



as soon as a vortex goes under convection people say "its gone" then the other moves out and say "relocation" and then i say

"NONSENSE"
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Quoting mobhurricane2011:
Levi are you in school to be a meteorologist? You seem to be very sharp when it comes to forcasting storms. I'm sure most everyone here in the blog appreciates your thoughts on the storms before and after they form


I'm unable to major in meteorology during undergrad, but I intend to get a graduate degree in meteorology.
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By clicking the TFP's here one can see the center easily..and the forecast "Pernt's" as well.

And the MSLP, ANd FRONTS, yada,yada, yada...

ZOOM works too.

Debby Long Floater - RGB Color Imagery Loop
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


There is no room for common sense on this blog lol, everyone sees the nhc track at 5pm headed towards Texas and they forget Florida even exists lol


You folks down there need a watch posted for possible TS winds.
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Quoting Patrap:


Amen,, and one can zoom and skew that Image Loop


Looks like the center is half way under the convection.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Some new convection is firing up CLOSER to the center of Debby.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
I really don't understand this whole "new center" thing. Yeah, there may be a couple of vorticities within the broad circulation, but surface observations over the Gulf do not support a new center position. Given the shear, it remains possible that a center reformation could occur, but right now...


Folks are consumed with the Convective Tops spinning in the NE and East Quad.

The Surface Low is the only center.

But hey,till some learn how the imagery works esp at night.

No harm done, save to their sanity.

: )

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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Regardless of where the models ultimately take it, it is a Florida storm at the moment.


There is no room for common sense on this blog lol, everyone sees the nhc track at 5pm headed towards Texas and they forget Florida even exists lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7816
Quoting Drakoen:


I just see multiple vortices orbiting around each other. Whether or not this will lead to a center reformation remains to be seen.


What effect do you think that little thingy above Debby will have on it.



Link to animation.

Link
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Maybe it's not a reformation.. the last few images haven't been as convincing as those about an hour ago...
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You would think, based on what I am seeing on the blog and hearing from friends and family in South Florida, and if she is currently stalled, that maybe a tropical storm "watch" for the West Coast of Florida might be a good idea?
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Does an LLC need convection to stay "alive"? Looking at this LOOP it looks like the all of the convection over the LLC has been blown off.

EDIT: Just rechecked with LATLON lines on and realized I was looking at a swirl, not the designated COC.
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Not often the JMA goes sub-1000mb on a tropical cyclone:

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I really don't understand this whole "new center" thing. Yeah, there may be a couple of vorticities within the broad circulation, but surface observations over the Gulf do not support a new center position. Given the shear, it remains possible that a center reformation could occur, but right now...
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 583 Comments: 20821
Latest 500mb Heights show the ridge building in.

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850. TXCWC
Quoting Levi32:
Early 0z models are a birds nest.



and GFS looking a bit more lonely as well
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Quoting amd:
A very good tool to find the center of developing tropical cyclones even at night is the RAMSDIS imagery from Colorado State.

Link

With this imagery, you get better resolution than that with shortwave imagery, and you can see that the LLC is still being sheared and not under the convection yet, although the convection is getting a little closer to the LLC.


Amen,, and one can zoom and skew that Image Loop
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NCEP 10m Wind Speed Direction 00z run
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Quoting Patrap:
re-post of #629

The GOM has a deep well of 26C isotherm to keep Debby going..


It doesn't have particularly strong winds to cause a lot of upwelling either.
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845. amd
A very good tool to find the center of developing tropical cyclones even at night is the RAMSDIS imagery from Colorado State.

Link

With this imagery, you get better resolution than that with shortwave imagery, and you can see that the LLC is still being sheared and not under the convection yet, although the convection is getting a little closer to the LLC.
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Quoting Levi32:
Early 0z models are a birds nest.



looks like medusas head!!
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Well I don't see sny problem in wishcasting a moderate tropical storm, as long as it doesn't stall and dump life threatening floods and the GFS must be seeing something in the atmosphere that the other global models aren't seeing, so I'll ride that ship until it sinks.


The GFS could be seeing a mirage... it is not out of the question.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 666
Regardless of where the models ultimately take it, it is a Florida storm at the moment.
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Quoting Skyepony:
Drak~ That's the only thing that has brought me a shadow of doubt.. Looking at model verification on Debby the leaders are gfs (AEMN), AVNO, HWRF doing best.. There is some like ECMWF & that NASA model I posted that aren't in there but the trend did catch my attention.


Thanks for sharing that!
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Levi are you in school to be a meteorologist? You seem to be very sharp when it comes to forcasting storms. I'm sure most everyone here in the blog appreciates your thoughts on the storms before and after they form
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Quoting gordydunnot:
My last post of the night and I'll leave it to the ones who know more than I, which is most. But the Key West long range radar in motion is very interesting,don't think I have seen a radar in motion like that with a storm west of here, that is predicted to go further west. You can see why the models are conflicted the heaver convection to me seems to want to drift of to the northeast.


because of the shear
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Line of storms hit here a few minutes ago in Jupiter, FL. Scared the dogs (and me) as the rain hit the house sideways all of a sudden.

Now just steady rain with some thunder and lightning just for fun.

I for one hope this does not ramp up into anything more than a drought buster for Texas. Honestly, major storms are not fun.
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Early 0z models are a birds nest.

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re-post of #629

The GOM has a deep well of 26C isotherm to keep Debby going..

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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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