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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2636. Drakoen
Quoting charlottefl:
When you get under these storms, they are dropping huge amounts of rain in a very short period of time. If you live in the Panhandle, I would for sure prepare for some flooding.


Yes. I was being conservative with what the GFS was showing. 1-2ft of rain is really what the GFS wants to paint across the Panhandle and Big Bend regions.
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2635. scott39
At 27.5 and crawling N at 2mph. How is Debbies COC NOT going to hit LA. land first. It does not compute.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Are you still sticking with the GFS?
yep
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Quoting panamasteve:
Cantore is in Pensacola Beach.
Tell him to go home we need him about like we need the Weather Channel!!!!!
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Moving NNE



No. It's an optical illusion of the cloud tops expanding.

It isn't moving that fast
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Quoting Grothar:


There is no reason for sarcasm. Very few people are actually saying the center will hit Florida. Most have maintained that it would move much further North and East than the models had. And it did. Most people were simply observing the impulse which would bring the system further NE. And it was obviously there. As you can see, the majority of the weather is affecting Florida and will likely affect much of the Northern Gulf Coast. We can see the high pressure ridge which will most likely move the system west. People who have observed these types of systems know that many times, there is very little weather around the center of circulation until it consolidates. In the meantime, areas can be affected very badly far away from the center, which has obviously happened. Don't be too quick to judge what other people have to say. You wouldn't want anyone being sarcastic with you if you have an opinion. I have always seen everyone being courteous to you. It would be nice if you could reciprocate once in awhile.
Well said Grothar ty again
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Little rotating storms over S.W. Fl.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4809
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Debby is NE of the Model!!!
what on earth is the bamm model thinking
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Quoting Drakoen:


Exactly. She is not moving much right now. Landfall is still 2-3 days away according to the numerical models. It just doesn't seem so because she is just off our shores.


Are you still sticking with the GFS?
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I loose power in my neighborhood as soon as the wind blows so I will check in from time to time as I can but no worries here; only a rain event for us ...The Coastal areas of Florida are really getting battered and now we have to keep an eye on possible tornadoes across the State.

I hope she does not intensify while continuing to skirt the coast for the next 24 hours.
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2625. LargoFl
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When you get under these storms, they are dropping huge amounts of rain in a very short period of time. If you live in the Panhandle, I would for sure prepare for some flooding.
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
2623. LargoFl
Quoting DentalPainDMD:
I hope my family in Pensacola doesn't get too much more rain.

When does the next NHC advisory come out?
11am i think
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2622. 900MB
Looks like a NOLA storm to me. Just sayin.
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Quoting charlottefl:


Man it is absolutely pouring here right now. Yeah everyone needs to be on the look out a lot of veering between the lower and mid levels of the atmosphere. Was out on the porch watching that as we were getting warnings yesterday..


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2620. Grothar
Quoting weatherh98:
Because with this image you can see how Florida is gonna get the coc.

SARCASM FLAG ON



There is no reason for sarcasm. Very few people are actually saying the center will hit Florida. Most have maintained that it would move much further North and East than the models had. And it did. Most people were simply observing the impulse which would bring the system further NE. And it was obviously there. As you can see, the majority of the weather is affecting Florida and will likely affect much of the Northern Gulf Coast. We can see the high pressure ridge which will most likely move the system west. People who have observed these types of systems know that many times, there is very little weather around the center of circulation until it consolidates. In the meantime, areas can be affected very badly far away from the center, which has obviously happened. Don't be too quick to judge what other people have to say. You wouldn't want anyone being sarcastic with you if you have an opinion. I have always seen everyone being courteous to you. It would be nice if you could reciprocate once in awhile.
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Quoting HurrAndrew:
I think due to the windfield expanding, some folk are mis-perceiving it with the actual system moving northward. Just my two cents.

Exactly

THE PURPOSE OF THIS SPECIAL ADVISORY IS TO ISSUE A TROPICAL STORM
WARNING FROM THE MISSISSIPPI ALABAMA BORDER EASTWARD TO THE
OCHOLOCKONEE RIVER. THIS IS BASED ON THE EXPANSION OF TROPICAL
STORM FORCE WINDS IN THE NORTHEAST QUADRANT
. THERE HAVE BEEN NO
CHANGES TO THE FORECAST TRACK
NOR INTENSITY.
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2618. LargoFl
Quoting ackee:
I am surprise that seem like the GFS may be right about Debby after all guess all those in FL must be jumping with joy now I can't be euro may be wrong
the way its getting stronger, i dont think texas wants this storm,alot of people would be suffering next week
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Some of the radar-estimated velocities in the bands offshore are approaching 75 mph.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30293
Quoting panamasteve:
Cantore is in Pensacola Beach.

heh heh Texas you have a chance after all
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Circulation gonna wrap for us?
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Quoting charlottefl:
COC is approaching the FL coastline pretty quickly, running out of real estate to turn...
The center is moving very slowwlllyyyy. Not going to make landfall anywhere for at LEAST 24 hours.
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I hope my family in Pensacola doesn't get too much more rain.

When does the next NHC advisory come out?
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2612. Drakoen
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Other than a VERY slight move towards the north and maybe east, Debby's center position remains unchanged from where it was last night.


Exactly. She is not moving much right now. Landfall is still 2-3 days away according to the numerical models. It just doesn't seem so because she is just off our shores.
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I think due to the windfield expanding, some folk are mis-perceiving it with the actual system moving northward. Just my two cents.
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2610. LargoFl
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Linker on BN9 is forecasting Debby to stall for 48 hours then begin a slow drift NE. Their "in-house computer model" which apparently has done well with this system is suggesting over a foot of rain could fall just north of the Bay along the immediate coast.
yes its a heavy rainmaker alright,we may be getting all this way into tuesday can you believe that
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Quoting charlottefl:
COC is approaching the FL coastline pretty quickly, running out of real estate to turn...


Moving NNE

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2608. scott39
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Well, just be sure to state that it is your opinion so people don't think it is an official product.
To think anyone took that as being official is well....laughable...lighten up dude!
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Linker on BN9 is forecasting Debby to stall for 48 hours then begin a slow drift NE. Their "in-house computer model" which apparently has done well with this system is suggesting over a foot of rain could fall just north of the Bay along the immediate coast.
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Quoting Jedkins01:



Indeed, we aren't that far away from 3 inches here already, the ground is looking rather water logged to say the least, the drain ditch behind me is to the brim.

I'm still a little worried about some tornadoes spinning up with those stronger cells headed toward the Tampa Bay area from the southwest, shear is pretty respectable over this area right now.


The GFS has done well with precip so far.



Man it is absolutely pouring here right now. Yeah everyone needs to be on the look out a lot of veering between the lower and mid levels of the atmosphere. Was out on the porch watching that as we were getting warnings yesterday..
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
Quoting weatherh98:


The hurricane hunters found a north eastotion at one an 60 mph winds do the floridians are having a euro Texas NHC bashing party
yep
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Other than a VERY slight move towards the north and maybe east, Debby's center position remains unchanged from where it was last night.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30293
Quoting Drakoen:


Yes moderate rain. A heavier band of rain is just to our south moving northward.


Yup. Probably down around Crawfordville slowly rotating our way. I agree with you; NHC should have thrown up at least a TS wind watch for the Big Bend too.
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Wunderground needs to change wind speed to 60MPH not 55!
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2601. ackee
I am surprise that seem like the GFS may be right about Debby after all guess all those in FL must be jumping with joy now I can't be euro may be wrong
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Is that the same Joe Bastardi who's still trying to cover his blown forecast for Chris by claiming the NHC fudged its numbers because it wasn't a hurricane, and probably not even a tropical storm? No, thanks. His forecast skills are no better than the average WU member's--and, in fact, may be worse due to his hubris. Which is bad, because people for some reason still actually pay him.

If I want advice on tropical weather, I'll stick with the NHC. JB should stick with bodybuilding...

I can't listen to Bastardi, especially when he got on a national radio show and said Irene was going to wipe out New York city and everyone was going to die. Turned out that didn't happen of course, not even close.
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Quoting blsealevel:
Ok looking at this she is eaither getting wrapped or has started a turn NW Ummm



I said it looked like a jog nw on satellite
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Tropical storm force conditions in Largo, FL. Don't really understand why no warnings have been issued for West Central Fl. Power has gone out once already. Strange storm.
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2597. Drakoen
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Quoting newportrinative:



By tomorrow afternoon they will know what the weather will be for Tuesday. Sucks when a vaca is involved though.


so you think, at the latest, by monday afternoon we should know which direction this storm is headed?
possibly earlier?
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I know I said this before but,


LET'S ALL MEET IN TE MIDDLE.

NOLA
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Quoting scott39:
Hey bud thats my OPINION. Im not a met any more than you are. Havent you been watching the NHC track and models shift to the right??? And expect them to do more so as the day continues. Debbie is already at 27.5N and crawling N. Im just not seeing a Texas landfall here. Sorry :(

Well, just be sure to state that it is your opinion so people don't think it is an official product.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30293
The Cone of Doom NEVER lies :)

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Ok looking at this she is eaither getting wrapped or has started a turn NW Ummm

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Couple of interesting storm reports this morning:
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
755 AM EDT SUN JUN 24 2012

..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..

0400 AM TROPICAL STORM 18 S STANDLEYS STORE 29.41N 84.86W
06/24/2012 GMZ755 FL C-MAN STATION

SUSTAINED TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS AS HIGH AS 44 MPH
SINCE 3 AM CDT. GUSTS AS HIGH AS 48 MPH.
0335 PM TORNADO 3 ESE NAPLES 26.12N 81.75W
06/23/2012 COLLIER FL NWS STORM SURVEY

SURVEY OF DAMAGE IN EAST NAPLES REVEALED MAINLY BROKEN
TREE BRANCHES, UPROOTED SMALL TREES AND A PALM TREE SPLIT
IN HALF. A POOL LANAI WAS HEAVILY DAMAGED, BUT ONLY MINOR
ROOF DAMAGE TO STRUCTURES WAS NOTED. WELL-DEFINED DAMAGE
PATH SUGGESTS LOW-END F0 TORNADO WITH WINDS LIKELY NO
MORE THAN 70 MPH. DISCONTINUOUS PATH LENGTH APPROXIMATELY
1.7 MILES WITH WIDTH LIKELY NO MORE THAN 10-20 YARDS.

0400 PM TORNADO 2 E VANDERBILT BEACH 26.27N 81.79W
06/23/2012 COLLIER FL LAW ENFORCEMENT

*** 1 INJ *** PROBABLE BRIEF TORNADO TOUCHDOWN AT NORTH
COLLIER HOSPITAL ON CORNER OF IMMOKALEE AND
GOODLETTE-FRANK ROADS IN NORTH NAPLES AREA. DAMAGE
REPORTED TO TREES AND LIGHT POLES, BUT NO STRUCTURAL
DAMAGE. A PERSON WAS STRUCK BY A DOWNED TREE LIMB AND WAS
TREATED ON-SITE. TORNADO LIKELY SPAWNED BY SAME STORM
THAT PRODUCED EARLIER TORNADO IN EAST NAPLES.
Not exactly Joplin-like; you can't get much weaker than a "low-end EF-0". Basically a wet dust devil... ;-)

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COC is approaching the FL coastline pretty quickly, running out of real estate to turn...
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
How long will recon be investigating?

New plane goes out at 2PM EDT.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30293
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I'm with you TA... Lots of Florida-casters on this morning... If 12z models stay east then I'll believe it.


Texans can't defend themselves the sun is barely up over there
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2587. LargoFl
IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THE TORNADO GO TO A SMALL INTERIOR ROOM IN
A STRONG AND WELL CONSTRUCTED BUILDING. CARS AND MOBILE HOMES ARE NOT
SAFE. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN A DITCH OR CULVERT AND
COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

TO REPORT SEVERE WEATHER TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PLEASE CALL
813-645-2323.
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2586. scott39
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Stop spreading false information.
Hey bud thats my OPINION. Im not a met any more than you are. Havent you been watching the NHC track and models shift to the right??? And expect them to do more so as the day continues. Debbie is already at 27.5N and crawling N. Im just not seeing a Texas landfall here. Sorry :(
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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.