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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re-post of #629

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

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Oh, I forgot good night all.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Shortwave always has the same resolution.

Temperature resolution. The swirl of clouds were all low clouds, no convection.
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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 off to the northeast.
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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.


thats why everyoneis wishcasting haha
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Quoting duajones78413:
If Debby become stronger, would it mean a more northerly track?
Usually that's the rule of thumb, but if a Ridge is over it, then West she blows.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting WxGeekVA:
Please show me an exposed center on the shortwave, because there is none that I can see right now. And it's been visible all day up to this point...


Click for loop


one trip to levis site will show
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829. DFWjc
Quoting ncstorm:
EVERYONE on this blog is a wishcaster..you wouldnt be here if you werent..let people state their opinion, if you dont like it then dont comment..its gets old after 6 years to hear the same term over and over

Hi, Im ncstorm and I am a wishcaster!..LOL!! Lighten up blog!


I wishcast 500 million in my bank account, by jove i think you've got something here NCSTORM!!! :P
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This still looks heavily sheared to me with all its strong tc winds well removed from its mulitple centers. Still not sold on it heading westward towards tx.
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827. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Levi32:


At least now I have the comfort of knowing that if I bust, the NHC busted too lol.


Yeah..me too. I've been saying Brownsville area since the early hours of the 19th..
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This storm is really trying to flex it's muscles at the moment sandwiched between Florida to the East and the ULL to the West like she is trying to bust through something. Unfortunately, the peninsula of Florida is on her dirty side and stuck there along with her.
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Quoting bappit:

Poor resolution I think.


Shortwave always has the same resolution.
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Quoting Levi32:


At least now I have the comfort of knowing that if I bust, the NHC busted too lol.


Misery loves company? LOL

Even if... you have done a great job since 8, June.
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Quoting duajones78413:
If Debby become stronger, would it mean a more northerly track?

Not really.
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Quoting weatherh98:


i think it hs more to do with the lestening effect of the tradewinds and bermuda high but you must want florida
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.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
820. Skyepony (Mod)
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.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Please show me an exposed center on the shortwave, because there is none that I can see right now. And it's been visible all day up to this point...


Click for loop

Poor resolution I think.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
IMO , Don't let Debby appearance catch you off guard, she is still a potentially dangerous storm for the Gulf States!


Shes a joke. Im letting her fool me.
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center is slightly north and east of the 5pm position IMO...at 26.7N 87.4W
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If Debby become stronger, would it mean a more northerly track?
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Quoting Tazmanian:




hmmm is that a eye wall fourming?? in the mid there all so noted the banning starting too set up on the S and N side of the storm

Debby will just come back under the handle Ernesto :)
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Debby spinning away directly over the Loop Current Eddy means cold water upwelling will not yet be a problem at all.

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ATCF updated the 00z Best Track. Pressure down to 999 mbs.

AL, 04, 2012062400, , BEST, 0, 261N, 875W, 45, 999, TS
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never mind bob chat live video is update
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IMO , Don't let Debby appearance catch you off guard, she is still a potentially dangerous storm for the Gulf States!
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Quoting ncstorm:
so no purple where the storm symbol is??


One's already formed where the storm symbol is. That's the probability of formation future. Charles Dickens is in there somewhere.
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if the center forms more east will that throw all the models out of wack?
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Quoting Levi32:


At least now I have the comfort of knowing that if I bust, the NHC busted too lol.


and the euro, and nogaps, and over halfof the meteorologist known to man
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


IMO the LLC is being transferred under the convection, as soon as it went under new storms went up along the edge of the older convection.

... developing a really nasty fierce face, with a horn on the forehead there. In the northern section.
y;all better watch out!

:):))
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Good night everyone... My thoughts for tonight: Debby won't change much, probably organizing a little... NHC won't change much at 11PM, we'll wait for recon tomorrow to see what intensity is doing... Still think a west track towards Galveston is likely. Enjoy your night!
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Quoting wpb:
can the center reform to the east in the higher cloud tops?????


of course it could
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Quoting bappit:
I bet Levi's thinking: please let the NHC be right, please let the NHC be right.


At least now I have the comfort of knowing that if I bust, the NHC busted too lol.
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Please show me an exposed center on the shortwave, because there is none that I can see right now. And it's been visible all day up to this point...


Click for loop
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Quoting weatherh98:


well... more like 8 PM riday but whats aa work week these days


Up until pretty much now the gfs has an "eventual turn to the east".

The turn to the east is forecast to occur at 8pm Mon.

It's either then or never.
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I see the rain is almost here in Port St. Lucie.
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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.

Thanks.
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Quoting wpb:
can the center reform to the east in the higher cloud tops?????


absolutely
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Is there any models even predicting even a La landfall? All i have seen is Florida around the big bend area and Texas, im in the central gulf coast in the mobile area and no model is nowhere near us which is a good thing, hopefully it stays weak and goes to Texas where the rain is really needed
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Do you see that occurring at the current time like some bloggers are suggesting?


I just see multiple vortices orbiting around each other. Whether or not this will lead to a center reformation remains to be seen.
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IMO the LLC is being transferred under the convection, as soon as it went under new storms went up along the edge of the older convection.
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I bet Levi's thinking: please let the NHC be right, please let the NHC be right.
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794. wpb
can the center reform to the east in the higher cloud tops?????
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Quoting Grothar:


That was a nice little storm wasn't it?


Yup, wouldn't mind another round but makes for an interesting Saturday night.
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Quoting redwagon:
Been helping my sister move all day and had no WU access - ! - so had to watch TWC and was mildly irritated at their analogy of the western- vs. eastern-biased models as two competing controllers in a video game! But whatever it takes to get the public watching Debby develop, I guess.


yes i know wht you mean. went to a friend to has meteorological interests and discussed with him. very good talk
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Quoting yqt1001:


It may be the start of a CDO, which would mean around 60mph. Though without a center confirmation it's unclear as to if the center is actually there.



i think the next recone fight will be a good one
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Wow. I leave the radar for a few hours and an explosion takes place! Booming here in Indiantown. This should be quite the interesting TS!
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Quoting RussianWinter:
One thing I think is for sure... We will know at 8pm monday which model was correct... Am I right?

It ain't over til it's over.
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787. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Hurricanes101:


so in other words, the bigger impacts will be felt in the areas that will not see the landfall? that is kind of ironic considering all of the wishcasting talk there has been.


I'm not ruling out a brief landfall on the toe of LA, though probability not happening.

I've said Brownsville area since the early hours of the 19th & I live in FL. Atleast I got rain from it.


Cloudsat of the blob in the EPAC..
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Quoting Tazmanian:




hmmm is that a eye wall fourming?? in the mid there all so noted the banning starting too set up on the S and N side of the storm


It may be the start of a CDO, which would mean around 60mph. Though without a center confirmation it's unclear as to if the center is actually there.
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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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