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 seriousman1:


give it a rest...TEXAS


I don't live in North Florida or anywhere close to where this is going, I just think that the GFS shouldnt be entirely discounted.

For you to say Texas, is an idiotic statement, what about the FL Panhandle, Alabama, Missispi, Lousiana or Upper Texas?

Where DO you live? Hmmm? Are you the JFV of Texas?

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This should update soon

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Quoting pottery:

Keep us posted, please.


Power just got knocked out but I'm able to blog via cell-phone and conditions got even worse. Whether or not Debby comes to Florida we are certainly feel the effects. Got to go right now I have to light up some candles man I hate power outages.
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482. Gorty
Link

Look at how the western Gulf just gets filled in.
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Hmmm, I don't know if I am buying that Westward track. But, the NHC are the pros. So, let's see what comes about. It is so close to Florida already......
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Quoting aislinnpaps:


Thanks, Pat. Now I understand what is being alluded to. Not that I like it.


It all very precarious as to track as 3 mean influences are in play plus the Beta effect from the Storms Vorticity as well. So 4 really
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Quoting washingaway:
can you say GFS...sure you can.



headsup


NE/E Movement.
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Gulf Of Mexico - Rainbow Loop

Tropical Forecast Points are active
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Quoting Patrap:


That should allow the Mean center to migrate N to Nw next 48, then West as the ridge builds in from the NE.

But stay tuned, things are apt to change and most likely will downstream.


Thanks, Pat. Now I understand what is being alluded to. Not that I like it.
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476. StP13
"A buoy 243 miles east of Naples, FL measured sustained winds of 31 mph,"

Are you really referenceing a buoy 120 mi east of Miami, which is the equivilent of 243 mi east of Naples?

The geography in this sentence just doesn't make sense. Between Angela and Jeff I know you know better. Proof read. Please. As someone in St Petersburg, FL, I'm using you as a source to track this.
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Quoting reedzone:
I never said the "new circulation" was a reforming low.. I just said my mind wants me to think that but it's basically the mid level low, which looks very good.


18Z models are split: 40% take into South Texas, 20% take it into LA,Alabama,Missisipi and 40% take it East.
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can you say GFS...sure you can.



headsup
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Quoting stormpetrol:
According to HHs latest fix the COC is NNE of the last one.
That's what I'm seeing as well. Hope I'm seeing things and am wrong
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...DEBBY NEARLY STATIONARY OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO... ...OUTER RAINBANDS LASHING PORTIONS OF WEST-CENTRAL AND SOUTH FLORIDA...
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 SubtropicalHi:


Noticed this too. It seems the dryline has moved further east.


That should allow the Mean center to migrate N to Nw next 48, then West as the ridge builds in from the NE.

But stay tuned, things are apt to change and most likely will downstream.
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Quoting rxse7en:
Posting this image just to show where I was seeing convection wrapping in the sat image.


WOOOW..BRO, I WAS SEEING THE SAME THING
AND IF THE NEW COC FORMS IN THIS PART OF THE STORM, I THINK MAYBE,DEVELOPS IN THE WEST SIDE
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BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DEBBY INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 1A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042012
700 PM CDT SAT JUN 23 2012

...DEBBY NEARLY STATIONARY OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO...
...OUTER RAINBANDS LASHING PORTIONS OF WEST-CENTRAL AND SOUTH
FLORIDA...



SUMMARY OF 700 PM CDT...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...26.1N 87.5W
ABOUT 220 MI...355 KM SSE OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...STATIONARY
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1000 MB...29.53 INCHES
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Quoting SubtropicalHi:


Noticed this too. It seems the dryline has moved further east.


And this will cause??
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When do the new models get published?

tia
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Quoting Hurricanes305:
Hello wunder blog, Here in Broward county, S. Florida a monster squall line is moving over my house. Current wind are close to TS force wind. Also notice my rooftop is getting pelted by dime size hail. I think we could see some isolated tornadoes. Really hoping power stays on. For everyone in Florida hope you are safe because it starting to get real serious with TS Debby.


Please stay safe!
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Quoting Patrap:
The ULL is Elongating near the Tx/La Border and stretching out some..


Gulf Of Mexico - Rainbow Loop


Noticed this too. It seems the dryline has moved further east.
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Quoting Hurricanes305:
Hello wunder blog, Here in Broward county, S. Florida a monster squall line is moving over my house. Current wind are close to TS force wind. Also notice my rooftop is getting pelted by dime size hail. I think we could see some isolated tornadoes. Really hoping power stays on. For everyone in Florida hope you are safe because it starting to get real serious with TS Debby.

Keep us posted, please.
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LinkCan't even see the circulation at the center in the water vapor sat image.
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Richard Knabb, new director of NHC....
Welcome to your new job,
the first weeks have certainly not been boring... : )


Same can be said for Bill Read's last few weeks.
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All though Debby is our main topic at the moment, don't worry about other weather topics, fires, earthquakes, etc. being off topic.
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Richard Knabb, new director of NHC....
Welcome to your new job,
the first weeks have certainly not been boring... : )
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According to HHs latest fix the COC is NNE of the last one.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
These GOM storms have just been huge lately. Debbie controls the entire Gulf, the SW Atlantic, the W Caribbean, part of the Eastern Pacific and the entire Southeast.



Goodness, who hasn't noticed that? Alex (2010), Lee, Cindy (05), Katrina, Rita, Ike.... I can go on.

Not sure if I've ever seen a storm quite this big before perhaps other than Alex.
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Quoting HrDelta:
Sorry to go off topic, but areas of Colorado Springs to the West of I-25 are now under a voluntary evacuation. This isn't good.

All the tankers are dealing with other fires in the state. We don't have one here.
That's from the Waldo Canyon Fire. It's a small thing now, but that's a really rough area. 250 homes are under immediate threat.

Speaking of Colorado, many locations in the east and southeast parts of that state saw triple-digit temperatures again today. Great firefighting weather... :-\
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Could this actually move more towards the upper TX coast? Around Freeport?
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I never said the "new circulation" was a reforming low.. I just said my mind wants me to think that but it's basically the mid level low, which looks very good.
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Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 23rd day of the month at 22:53Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 302)
Mission Purpose: Investigate first suspect area (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 1
Observation Number: 14
A. Time of Center Fix: 23rd day of the month at 22:18:40Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 26°04'N 87°45'W (26.0667N 87.75W)
B. Center Fix Location: 304 miles (489 km) to the S (186°) from Pensacola, FL, USA.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,428m (4,685ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 48kts (~ 55.2mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 109 nautical miles (125 statute miles) to the NE (50°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 118° at 53kts (From the ESE at ~ 61.0mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 129 nautical miles (148 statute miles) to the NE (50°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1001mb (29.56 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 18°C (64°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,524m (5,000ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 19°C (66°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,525m (5,003ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 16°C (61°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Levels (sfc and flt lvl centers are within 5nm of each other): Surface and 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 10 nautical miles
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 61kts (~ 70.2mph) in the north quadrant at 20:20:30Z
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: 850mb

Could see the winds bumped up to 60mph.
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The ULL is Elongating near the Tx/La Border and stretching out some..


Gulf Of Mexico - Rainbow Loop
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Hello wunder blog, Here in Broward county, S. Florida a monster squall line is moving over my house. Current wind are close to TS force wind. Also notice my rooftop is getting pelted by dime size hail. I think we could see some isolated tornadoes. Really hoping power stays on. For everyone in Florida hope you are safe because it starting to get real serious with TS Debby.
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Quoting Tribucanes:
COC has moved NE?
Its trying to tighten up and get under the convection so it looks like its moving NE. Should stop in the next couple hours.
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Quoting rxse7en:
Posting this image just to show where I was seeing convection wrapping in the sat image.


I am seeing the same thing...
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Quoting aislinnpaps:
I don't see where anything shows Debby heading towards the TX/LA border? (Which she isn't as she's a smart lady and knows where she's not wanted.)


18Z GFDL switched that way, a weak system


HOUR: .0 LONG: -87.78 LAT: 25.94 MIN PRESS (hPa): 1002.05 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 31.99
HOUR: 6.0 LONG: -88.41 LAT: 26.32 MIN PRESS (hPa): 1000.37 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 31.46
HOUR: 12.0 LONG: -89.03 LAT: 26.71 MIN PRESS (hPa): 1000.67 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 29.23
HOUR: 18.0 LONG: -89.03 LAT: 27.12 MIN PRESS (hPa): 1001.57 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 29.95
HOUR: 24.0 LONG: -88.44 LAT: 27.79 MIN PRESS (hPa): 1000.13 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 38.20
HOUR: 30.0 LONG: -88.59 LAT: 27.96 MIN PRESS (hPa): 998.64 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 40.61
HOUR: 36.0 LONG: -88.90 LAT: 28.11 MIN PRESS (hPa): 997.67 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 41.51
HOUR: 42.0 LONG: -89.08 LAT: 28.15 MIN PRESS (hPa): 997.51 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 36.76
HOUR: 48.0 LONG: -89.28 LAT: 28.37 MIN PRESS (hPa): 997.78 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 33.25
HOUR: 54.0 LONG: -89.90 LAT: 28.19 MIN PRESS (hPa): 997.49 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 32.50
HOUR: 60.0 LONG: -90.47 LAT: 28.28 MIN PRESS (hPa): 997.96 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 31.71
HOUR: 66.0 LONG: -91.10 LAT: 28.49 MIN PRESS (hPa): 998.54 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 35.53
HOUR: 72.0 LONG: -91.63 LAT: 28.91 MIN PRESS (hPa): 998.89 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 28.16
HOUR: 78.0 LONG: -92.61 LAT: 29.17 MIN PRESS (hPa): 997.49 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 33.17
HOUR: 84.0 LONG: -93.54 LAT: 29.14 MIN PRESS (hPa): 997.64 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 24.29
HOUR: 90.0 LONG: -93.88 LAT: 29.49 MIN PRESS (hPa): 999.31 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 26.22
HOUR: 96.0 LONG: -94.25 LAT: 29.88 MIN PRESS (hPa): 1000.59 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 25.10
HOUR:102.0 LONG: -94.94 LAT: 29.93 MIN PRESS (hPa): 1000.84 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 21.46
HOUR:108.0 LONG: -95.29 LAT: 30.11 MIN PRESS (hPa): 1001.90 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 24.53
HOUR:114.0 LONG: -95.17 LAT: 30.44 MIN PRESS (hPa): 1001.79 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 27.48
HOUR:120.0 LONG: -95.12 LAT: 30.55 MIN PRESS (hPa): 998.16 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 27.78
HOUR:126.0 LONG: -95.19 LAT: 30.87 MIN PRESS (hPa): 997.44 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 25.22
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It's current low-level center is just entirely too strong and dominant for another to form.
I'm picking up what you're dropping. Thanks.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
These GOM storms have just been huge lately. Debbie controls the entire Gulf, the SW Atlantic, the W Caribbean, part of the Eastern Pacific and the entire Southeast.

her tail is giving me some good thunders and rain.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Convection is starting to slowly build further westward.... signs are that shear is beginning to slacken a bit.
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Yall are WAY too interested in the "New CoC" concept.

The NHC center fix has been a well developed circulation for 3 days now.
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Quoting rxse7en:
Posting this image just to show where I was seeing convection wrapping in the sat image.

I think that the NHC's COC is the most dominant/only COC.
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Quoting rxse7en:
Posting this image just to show where I was seeing convection wrapping in the sat image.


That would be way farther east than most of the "west" models ever have her going.... wonder how the center re-location (if it holds true) would affect the models that take her west?
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COC has moved NE?
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23:23 UTC
Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery

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Quoting CybrTeddy:


When it comes with these systems, you really gotta put your faith in them - I do see their reasoning. The modeled showed this developing when it did, and have done an excellent job with genesis, especially the ECMWF (what else is knew?), as the ULL moves out of the way you will see it begin to ventilate the system, it will also plunge less dry air into the circulation. Honestly, it's not a lot.. it's hardly visible on water vapor but it's there, and it's not really so much as it's just doing a toll on the organization right now, but that will change when the shear lessens.

There's ample room for this thing to intensify quickly once convection begins to wrap around the circulation.
Fair enough. And again we wait and see.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Then explain the TS warnings for the eastern half of the LA coast? Not coming near there huh?

It's such a large system so its impacts will be far-reaching.


Due to her size, she will impact SE LA as she passes or stalls out when she finishes going north. But if she begins her SW direction as most expect, she will then head away from the rest of LA. Of course, I'm just writing what I understand from what I see and read.
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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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