Tropical Storm Debby has formed in the Gulf of Mexico

By: angelafritz , 9:18 PM GMT on June 23, 2012

Share this Blog
36
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 436 - 386

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56Blog Index

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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.


Yes, i was just looking at the same thing.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Check out these tall cloud tops on visible... particularly the ones in South Florida.

Beautiful IMO.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting rxse7en:
Posting this image just to show where I was seeing convection wrapping in the sat image.

It's current low-level center is just entirely too strong and dominant for another to form.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting masonsnana:
She's a naked swirl leaving all her convection behind going into dryer air. I wish I saw what they see. But gotta go with the experts.


When it comes with these systems, you really gotta put your faith in them - I do see their reasoning. The models showed this developing when it did, and have done an excellent job with genesis, especially the ECMWF (what else is new?), 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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow if west side could finish circling in this would be the size of all the gulf coast states and both Carolina states. Just what Texas ordered if Debby doesn't slap the NHC in the face and go elsewhere.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Debby appears as though it is trying to continue consolidating its COC on satellite.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
425. Gorty
Quoting nigel20:
It seems as if Debby is getting ready to ramp up...looking at the RAMSDIS visible loop. You can even see the lower level clouds getting pulled from as far south as the Caribbean and South America into the circulation.


But when is the ULL forecast to stop affecting her?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Posting this image just to show where I was seeing convection wrapping in the sat image.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
How big is Debby? (snicker) She is only half a storm right now due to shear... here is the eastern half only

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hi, I, popped out for a snack and a brew at blog 2129, and got back at post about 400 on blog 2130!
My you have been busy!
Having read the blog story, I just love this line!:-
"there is a "apparent tendency toward more common early- and late-season storms that correlates with a warming Sea Surface,"
This might be what is called "obvious," you heat up the pan and you get 'steam' this condenses and falls as consolidated damp, for want of a better words, more heat, more damp falls.
I thought according to the gurus of the clouds, damp patches and the odd breezes that we were supposed to be having a quiet season this year! Good job some of us thought otherwise, or everybody would be surprised by these premature ruffling's of the seas surface.
Oh, welcome to 'Storm D.'
"Now about 'E'?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It seems as if Debby is getting ready to ramp up...looking at the RAMSDIS visible loop. You can even see the lower level clouds getting pulled from as far south as the Caribbean and South America into the circulation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:


She swinging that moisture West inland as well,,from Mobile Westward.



Yep had a quick .10" in 5 min with loud thunder race thru my area north of Gulfport.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nola70119:


Huge high sittlng over La now.....nothing is coming or strengthening near here.


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:


If the upper level low ever does get out of the way, I'm thinking bad news for someone.

Yeah. I could see this potentially, eventually becoming a Category 2 hurricane.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CosmicEvents:
The NHC isn't always right. Their mission is to do their best in an uncertain science, and they do very well in their forecasts. But, one can't expect 100% accuracy. This situation, from what I'm hearing is just too complex for computers or humans to resolve. It's a low confidence forecast by the NHC. I'm surprised that they made a cone that was strictly going west without input from G-4 flights. It's one of those very rare times that I think they're wrong with the initial cone anyway...no matter what way the system eventually heads.

I agree
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Interesting that the National Hurricane Center shows Debby as a 60 mph tropical storm at 18Z tomorrow. Given its satellite appearance and VDM, it may already be there.


If the upper level low ever does get out of the way, I'm thinking bad news for someone.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
See comment # 404. Shear will lesson as the ULL below TX/LA border digs SW. Debbie should strenghthen & could become a Cat 1 hurricane.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

18z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
TS Debby
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Early Model Wind Forecasts

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Interesting that the National Hurricane Center shows Debby as a 60 mph tropical storm at 18Z tomorrow. Given its satellite appearance and VDM, it may already be there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
18z HWRF

Minimal hurricane into TX


Wow...looks to be going more towards upper TX coast!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The NHC isn't always right. Their mission is to do their best in an uncertain science, and they do very well in their forecasts. But, one can't expect 100% accuracy. This situation, from what I'm hearing is just too complex for computers or humans to resolve. It's a low confidence forecast by the NHC. I'm surprised that they made a cone that was strictly going west without input from G-4 flights. It's one of those very rare times that I think they're wrong with the initial cone anyway...no matter what way the system eventually heads. There's too much of a possibility that the storm may go with the GFS solution. I guess they do have time on their side to warn the citizens just in case.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Buhdog:
I wouldn't say hot towers, but at least warm ones off the swfl coast? Impressive blow up..

Debby is extremely large...luckily there's no convection on the western side, as it would really explode.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
18z HWRF

Minimal hurricane into TX



Quite a shift northward. I'm sure it will be shifting numerous more times.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
nite all, hopefully debby brings some good rain somewhere
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
18z HWRF

Minimal hurricane into TX

Interesting that it switches the deepest convection towards the northwestern* quadrant.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
18z HWRF

Minimal hurricane into TX

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This is from the 4:00 PM NHC Discussion:

"DEBBY IS CURRENTLY A SHEARED CYCLONE WITH NEARLY ALL OF THE DEEP
CONVECTION LOCATED IN A CURVED BAND TO THE EAST OF THE CENTER.
HOWEVER...AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW OVER THE NORTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO
IS FORECAST TO DIG SOUTHWESTWARD...WHICH WILL RESULT IN A DECREASE
OF VERTICAL SHEAR AFFECTING THE SYSTEM...AND A GREATER CHANCE OF
INTENSIFICATION OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS.
BECAUSE THE OFFICIAL TRACK
FORECAST IS SO DIFFERENT FROM THE GFS SOLUTION...THE GFS FIELDS USED
BY THE SHIPS AND LGEM MODELS ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE REPRESENTATIVE OF
THE CONDITIONS ENCOUNTERED BY DEBBY. THE NHC FORECAST THEREFORE
SHOWS MORE STRENGTHENING THAN INDICATED BY THE INTENSITY GUIDANCE.

DEBBY IS THE EARLIEST 4TH STORM IN THE HISTORICAL RECORDS...
SURPASSING HURRICANE DENNIS OF 2005...WHICH BECAME A TROPICAL STORM
ON JULY 5TH."

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I wouldn't say hot towers, but at least warm ones off the swfl coast? Impressive blow up..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
712 PM EDT SAT JUN 23 2012

FLZ063-066-067-070-071-240015-
GLADES FL HENDRY FL INLAND BROWARD COUNTY FL INLAND COLLIER COUNTY FL
INLAND PALM BEACH COUNTY FL
712 PM EDT SAT JUN 23 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY FOR...
NORTHWESTERN BROWARD COUNTY
WESTERN PALM BEACH COUNTY
SOUTHEASTERN GLADES COUNTY
HENDRY COUNTY
NORTHERN COLLIER COUNTY

* UNTIL 815 PM EDT

* AT 710 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
LINE OF STRONG THUNDERSTORMS ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM 9 MILES
EAST OF WEST TOLL GATE ON ALLIGATOR ALLEY TO BIG CYPRESS SEMINOLE
INDIAN RESERVATION TO MILE MARKER 30 ON ALLIGATOR ALLEY...AND
MOVING NORTH AT 35 MPH.

* THE LINE OF STORMS WILL AFFECT...
BIG CYPRESS SEMINOLE INDIAN RESERVATION...
HENDRY CORRECTIONAL I/A/P...
ROTENBERGER WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA...
AVE MARIA...
HOLEY LAND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA...
BIG CORKSCREW ISLAND...
AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES.

THE PRIMARY IMPACTS WILL BE GUSTY WINDS OF 45 TO 55 MPH. 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.

RESIDENTS NEAR THE PATH OF SHOULD REMAIN ON THE ALERT FOR ADDITIONAL
STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO AND OTHER LOCAL MEDIA FOR FURTHER
DETAILS OR UPDATES.

LAT...LON 2673 8157 2687 8109 2682 8105 2682 8095
2677 8094 2671 8081 2669 8074 2677 8075
2678 8073 2675 8071 2681 8070 2686 8064
2683 8047 2614 8051 2621 8094 2608 8156
TIME...MOT...LOC 2312Z 182DEG 29KT 2614 8151 2631 8094
2620 8054

$$

BAXTER
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
Quoting Patrap:
Well the 18z Runs kinda made things clearer..

"Faints"


What're they saying?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Mobile
NEXRAD Radar

Storm Relative Mean Radial Velocity 0.5° Elevation
Range 124 NMI

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
For those of you who are new here and in the path of
this storm , please refer to official statements from
your local officials and the National Weather Service.
That being said, there is also a lot of valuable
information on here, you just have to learn over
time who to listen to. (Okay back off the soap Box)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Don't forget Corpus Christi.

True...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Now when the circulation slips under the convection then I know we have a more serious storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
From watching this loop, you can really tell she's getting it together. Can even see storms near the coast on the northern part of the circulation start advancing westward...that wall of shear might be breaking.

Link


She swinging that moisture West inland as well,,from Mobile Westward.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
From watching this loop, you can really tell she's getting it together. Can even see storms near the coast on the northern part of the circulation start advancing westward...that wall of shear might be breaking.

Link

Yes, i saw that as well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
From watching this loop, you can really tell she's getting it together. Can even see storms near the coast on the northern part of the circulation start advancing westward...that wall of shear might be breaking.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes101:
The curse of Pinellas hits again

most of that rain fell apart, we got some rain, but not much
yep..there is just something mystical about pinellas, storms just dont want to come here
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser121:
Forecast models pointing more towards Matagorda bay/freeport TX/Galveston??

Don't forget Corpus Christi.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)

Transmitted: 23rd day of the month at 23:06Z

Date: June 23, 2012

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: 45

23:08:30Z 29.217N 89.083W 693.0 mb

(~ 20.46 inHg) 3,219 meters
(~ 10,561 feet) - - From 59° at 30 knots
(From the ENE at ~ 34.5 mph) 8.5°C*
(~ 47.3°F*) -* 30 knots
(~ 34.5 mph) 17 knots
(~ 19.5 mph) 1 mm/hr
(~ 0.04 in/hr) 17.0 knots (~ 19.5 mph)
56.7%
Time Coordinates Aircraft
Static Air Pressure Aircraft
Geopotential Height Extrapolated
Surface Pressure D-value Flight Level Wind (30 sec. Avg.) Air Temp. Dew Point Peak (10 sec. Avg.)
Flight Level Wind SFMR
Peak (10s Avg.) Sfc. Wind SFMR
Rain Rate Estimated Surface Wind (30 sec. Avg.)
Using Estimated Reduction Factor Peak Wind at Flight Level to
Est. Surface Reduction Factor

HDOB Observations

Independent Calculations from Tropical Atlantic

At 22:59:00Z (first observation), the observation was 115 miles (185 km) to the SSE (152°) from New Orleans, LA, USA.

At 23:08:30Z (last observation), the observation was 79 miles (127 km) to the SE (132°) from New Orleans, LA, USA.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Okay we all know it's freggin June.But Debby still looks trifling.The center of circulation is still displaced away from the center.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
How big is this going to be if it does go west with the main body of thunderstorms so far from the center now?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Forecast models pointing more towards Matagorda bay/freeport TX/Galveston??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 436 - 386

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Heavy Rain
70 °F
Heavy Rain