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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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
If there were ever any doubts.

Nice. Thank God for that ULL. Debby would have bombed out today if that wasn't there.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
If there were ever any doubts.




Great post this remains a very very sheared storm and is very disorganized
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Quoting HurrikanEB:


...looks like a good and evil low battling for the Gulf in the water vapor



Debby is starting to show some ventilation on her western and southwestern sides. Definitely strengthening going on. I don't see a naked swirl anymore...where'd it go?
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She has stalled ,...

Debby Long Floater - RGB Color Imagery Loop
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682. j2008
Well I'm out, going to go get some dinner. Dont expect much out of her tonight but, I expect DMAX will be kind to her in the morning.
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Quoting 954FtLCane:

I'm in Oakland Park myself and had a strong storm come through but nothing out if this world. Lights still on. There was a pretty intense line that moved through the entire county from the south about 30 minutes ago.



AT 844 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
LINE OF STRONG THUNDERSTORMS ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM 6 MILES
NORTHWEST OF LION COUNTRY SAFARI TO DELRAY BEACH...AND MOVING NORTH
AT 25 MPH.

* THE LINE OF STORMS WILL AFFECT...
VILLAGE OF GOLF...
BOYNTON BEACH...
GREENACRES CITY...
GOLDEN LAKES...
AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES.

THE PRIMARY IMPACTS WILL BE FREQUENT TO EXCESSIVE LIGHTNING AND GUSTY
WINDS OF 45 TO 55 MPH. LIGHTNING IS THE NUMBER ONE WEATHER RELATED
KILLER IN FLORIDA. TREES AND OPEN SHELTERS OFFER NO PROTECTION. THESE
WINDS CAN DOWN SMALL TREE LIMBS AND BRANCHES...AND BLOW AROUND
UNSECURED SMALL OBJECTS. SEEK SHELTER IN A SAFE BUILDING UNTIL THE
STORM PASSES.

ALSO...THESE STORMS ARE DEVELOPING IN AN ENVIRONMENT FAVORABLE FOR
FUNNEL CLOUDS.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
If there were ever any doubts.



seems to me that the convection is starting to tighten up though, like some sort of circulation is going on there as well
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Quoting Tazmanian:
hey guys i think or COC of Debby is all most under the t-storms
Looks almost 80% exposed SAT
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She's got a fist in her face.
So relax. This could take a while.


I know Texas needs the rain so I'm wishcasting Debby over there, but if that ULL doesn't budge, then the trough is going to come down and take her elsewhere.
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If there were ever any doubts.

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Only few more hours until the wishcasters goes to bed... sigh.
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Multiplatform Satellite Surface Wind Analysis

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New update on my blog....after considering everything I am thinking presently a category 1 hurricane that makes landfall near or just south of the Galveston/Houston area later this week.

Wanted to get this out much earlier...but had difficulties with my annoying computer...
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hey guys i think or COC of Debby is all most under the t-storms
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Quoting HurrikanEB:


...looks like a good and evil low battling for the Gulf in the water vapor

cold core vs warm core.
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Quoting rxse7en:
I think it may just be an illusion. The convection has taken on a comma shape and the big storms blowing up in it's center give it the appearance of a COC. If it starts spinning then all bets are off. :)


I agree. It's an interesting blowup of convection at the very least. Some intense flareups even as far out from the center as near the west coast of FL! Lots of fringe rotation too which is typical for tropical systems. We've already seen several tornadoes on the ground in South FL. Debby is already making her presence felt.
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
And I'm on the other end of the county and I report the same....there's nothing more than moderate rain and maybe a gust to 20. Hardly tropical storm conditions. I've just finished grilling some nice lobster tails on the outside(but covered) bbq. Turned out pretty good, rain and all.


Cosmic stop making me hungry , lobster is my favorite seafood ! :))
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Anyway, back at the new advisory.
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Whew....
48 hours of this
"wobble watching"

YES it is....

NO it isn't....

time to buy stock in popcorn and Fresca. : )
"GREAT TASTE" "LESS FILLING" "GREAT TASTE" "LESS FILLING"
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There will be no left hand turn until the ULL moves out.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Nothing that we don't already know, as expected.

AL, 04, 2012062400, , BEST, 0, 261N, 875W, 45, 1000, TS,


Basically a slow northward drift.
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Quoting newportrinative:


Where are you? I'm in Broward as well (Oakland Park) and we have nothing. Also no warnings on tv about any severe weather.

I'm in Oakland Park myself and had a strong storm come through but nothing out if this world. Lights still on. There was a pretty intense line that moved through the entire county from the south about 30 minutes ago.
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Quoting duranta:
It's absurd that tropical storm warnings are not up for the west coast of Florida. They are experiencing tropical storm weather now.


I live 3 miles from Dunedin Beach and the strongest winds I have seen are 10-15mph. Nothing close to tropical storm strength.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
look like moving east there lol
Member Since: August 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
Ppl .. there is wishcaster everywhere.. So get over it.. and Ignore the ppl that say that they want the storm to come them.. Just saying!

JG
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Quoting mynameispaul:
Dr. Masters said a few important things about Debby's situation. Which leads me to believe she won't strengthen that much.



"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, and while wind shear is predicted to remain moderately strong through Sunday, but will increase to 30+ knots by Tuesday."

Link

I honestly don't know what Angela was thinking when she wrote that... Several show it at or near hurricane intensity, and the NHC brings it very close... That seems a little downcastish to me. Of course I'm not the expert.
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Quoting Chicklit:
I don't see the ULL to the West going anywhere at present which one would think force Debby east, particularly once the trough arrives.
LinkWVLoopGOM


Shrug. I've given up on trying to predict this storm, this one is a doozy.
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Nothing that we don't already know, as expected.

AL, 04, 2012062400, , BEST, 0, 261N, 875W, 45, 1000, TS,
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7:00 PM CDT Sat Jun 23
Location: 26.1°N 87.5°W

Moving: Stationary

Min pressure: 1000 mb
Max sustained: 50 mph
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
300 mb heights (upper-level) in pink, 700 mb heights (mid-level) in green, 850 mb heights (low-level) in green.



No decoupling. No new center.


Yes, but it's elongating towards the northeast compared to earlier today.
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Quoting AllStar17:


Nah. I don't think so.


Well it certainly isn't coupled.
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Pro met "thegreatdr" on the GFS

"The current GFS (old parallel) had problems with Alberto as well. Word on the street is that NHC was not enthused about its implementation, based on the 2011 hurricane season. There is a little more convective feedback, which occasionally contaminates its surface lows."
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Quoting Bluestorm5:


Question: What are eddies? I do recognized that the "true" center of the storm is naked swirl west of the "heavy clouds" and it's not moving at all.

The little vorticies rotating around the center.
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Quoting Mamasteph:
Did anyone hear Brian Norcross tonight at the 8pm TWC update.."The NHC is betting their money that Debby takes the UKMET track west..but you can bet YOUR money they aren't betting ALL their money"..lol..

This could end up being a big win for the UKMET... If the current track and intensity verify it will have done very well, same with the Euro, and to a degree the CMC... Definitely a big fail by the GFS though if this track verifies.
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300 mb heights (upper-level) in pink, 700 mb heights (mid-level) in green, 850 mb heights (low-level) in green.



No decoupling. No new center.
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Quoting Chicklit:
I don't see the ULL to the West going anywhere at present which one would think force Debby east, particularly once the trough arrives.
LinkWVLoopGOM
WV you can see it moving south very slowly.
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Dr. Masters said a few important things about Debby's situation. Which leads me to believe she won't strengthen that much.



"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, and while wind shear is predicted to remain moderately strong through Sunday, but will increase to 30+ knots by Tuesday."

Link
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Quoting Gearsts:
Ouch thats more than 25knots.


...looks like a good and evil low battling for the Gulf in the water vapor

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have a good night Debby
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Way too much bogus information flying around and tons of wishcasting as well.

Good time to lurk.


I agree.If people would stop looking at infared wich really doesn't show anything at night they could take a few seconds to look at the radar and see there is no new LLC forming.Its still a very broad area of convection moving in one basic direction.Radar loops will tell the truth on these storms when visible satellite goes down.
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Quoting dolphingalrules:
here in pembroke pines there was a squall line that went thru its just rain...like a afternoon rain in august
And I'm on the other end of the county and I report the same....there's nothing more than moderate rain and maybe a gust to 20. Hardly tropical storm conditions. I've just finished grilling some nice lobster tails on the outside(but covered) bbq. Turned out pretty good, rain and all.
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Quoting j2008:
There is absolutely NO decoupleing going on, Debby has looked like this all day. In fact she looks better than she did earlier today. Would be impressive if she could wrap at least one band all the way around during the overnight hours.

Good point.
DMax in about 10 hrs....
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


It's not all that uncommon to see a budding storm reform it's COC. Not saying that's what's happening but it just seems that way to me...of course it's likely an optical illusion.
I think it may just be an illusion. The convection has taken on a comma shape and the big storms blowing up in it's center give it the appearance of a COC. If it starts spinning then all bets are off. :)
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Did anyone hear Brian Norcross tonight at the 8pm TWC update.."The NHC is betting their money that Debby takes the UKMET track west..but you can bet YOUR money they aren't betting ALL their money"..lol..
Member Since: May 24, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 150
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Way too much bogus information flying around and tons of wishcasting as well.

Good time to lurk.


Has to be the post of the day. Totally agree.
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628:is that all you keep saying?cause I been watching and keep commenting the same same!
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Quoting GPTGUY:
I had a feeling once the NHC put out there track if it was a westward bias the FL wishcasters would be on here in droves


It should never be about who is right or wrong, it should be about getting out the most accurate information mixed with educated opinions

but you seem to want to continue to focus on this wishcasting crap and not on what is actually important
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Quoting AllStar17:
Let's summarize what is going on right now:
- Shear is lessening, Debby is organizing
- Debby is STATIONARY
- Debby is NOT decoupling
- Debby's center is still right where it was before, and it features several tiny vorticies rotating around a mean center (at least right now)


I think you hit the nail on the head...
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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.