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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18z GFS (It refuses to give up)
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New Tornado Warning box back south of the old one, so it's a different cell in the exact same area now.

Crossing I-75.
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Quoting HimacaneBrees:


Well not all of us. We are riding it out. It's to late to leave. It'll take us about 60 hours to rig down. We are east of Venice la.


Is that a primarily oil or gas rig? I figure the ones closer to mid LA/LKC and TX of course will evacuate. I'm not sure how the decision goes to shut in though - I know it's not a good thing for the formation. But not sure what level of a hurricane it would take for an operator to shut in a well.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Debby may go to FL


I would say Debby is kissing our cheek already :) and who knows how far she will go? :)
Member Since: July 18, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 4146
Quoting Tribucanes:
Debby showing her teeth on south Florida first, wow really getting hammered. Tornado watch warranted I wonder? Key west radar shows it the best.
I'm in Cape Coral and its pouring!! And it looks like a lot more out there headed for SWF
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NWS in Austin TX says high pressure over Texas will back away mid to late next week which could allow Debby to move more towards upper TX coast.
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230. txjac
Quoting HimacaneBrees:


Well not all of us. We are riding it out. It's to late to leave. It'll take us about 60 hours to rig down. We are east of Venice la.


Stay safe ...would love to hear about it when it passes by you
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She's getting sheared quite a bit. Good thing...because otherwise she'd be a beast. Her convection on the east side is massive.

My gut...LA, MS, AL, and FL panhandle are going to feel the most impacts as she turns west. Impacts...tons of rain!
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Quoting HimacaneBrees:


Well not all of us. We are riding it out. It's to late to leave. It'll take us about 60 hours to rig down. We are east of Venice la.


Stay Safe!
Member Since: August 22, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3125
Ah ok - looks like the first hurricane hunter is departing.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
You can see all the vortexes joining up really well in that loop. Also seems like the center wants to be under the convection. Does anyone else see the slight eastward component?


I had stated that I saw an east of north movement earlier. whether its a jog or a more defined movement based on the trough is another thing
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Debby showing her teeth on south Florida first, wow really getting hammered. Tornado watch warranted I wonder? Key west radar shows it the best.
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Looks Like it's starting to pull some convection in.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Rain for all of FL!!
You can see all the vortexes joining up really well in that loop. Also seems like the center wants to be under the convection. Does anyone else see the slight eastward component?
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I wouldn't be surprised to get a major hurricane in July this year.
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Quoting duajones78413:


agree with what?


That Debby could become a significant cyclone.
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Wow, I could nearly do Dr. Forbe's job, except I don't have a met degree.

My analysis was nearly identical to his.

That's what happens when you watch one too many weather systems on the internet and television.
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What then is the GFS feeding off of, to have it continually riding over Florida, and that has been a consistent track. Originally its the track that the ECMWF model was running.
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Quoting RTSplayer:
Hammond, LA Wunderground forecast

Tonight
73 °F
Partly Cloudy

Tomorrow
99 °F
Partly Cloudy

Tomorrow Night
79 °F
Clear

Monday
102 | 77 °F
Partly Cloudy
Tropical Storm Debby


Tuesday
99 | 75 °F
Partly Cloudy
Tropical Storm Debby

Wednesday
97 | 75 °F
Partly Cloudy
Tropical Storm Debby

Did you see that?

Monday
102 | 77 °F
Partly Cloudy
Tropical Storm Debby


The heat index is going to be off the scale if that verifies. It'll be like 100% humidity and 102 degrees.


Yeah but if tropical storm debby impacts the northshore of Louisiana like it says there..then it won't be partly cloudy it will be overcast with off and on rain so the temperature wouldn't be 102..it would be more like the upper 70's to low 80's...your not gonna see a 102 temp with 100% humidity!
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position based on horizon Marine mapper :

25°48'36" N 88°17'60" W
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Appears according to NHC cone from NOLA to MX/TX border in play.
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Debby may go to FL
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4511
I bet it there is some serious water moving through the Rigolets...
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Quoting icmoore:


Does anyone think this ^ ?


Convection may have some pull with the LLC now. (or the other way around)
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Re: The NOAA Glufstreams
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
They never fly into storms.
Sorry, I worded this wrong. Will the NOAA Gulfstreams be sampling the atmosphere so that the models can get a better handle on Debby?

I guess my more general question is more - When are the NOAA Gulfstreams used?
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Quoting RitaEvac:
oil Rig workers will be coming out like droves


Well not all of us. We are riding it out. It's to late to leave. It'll take us about 60 hours to rig down. We are east of Venice la.
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Quoting aislinnpaps:
Or people eating dinner? Nice to have it slow down a bit for a little. while.


Florida interests are pretty much gone after the cone came out. Just my guess why it slowed down.

I had a few buddies over to play cornhole, and had to take a break.

I wonder how much, if any, of the eastern side\blob of convection will affect the Panhandle, if at all.

Doesn't seem like it'll be too much... Yay! My girlfriend delivers papers...rain, snow, or worse. Less rain will make her happy.
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Quoting stormpetrol:


I will agree with that.


agree with what?
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#199.

Im with the NHC, save for any Major Changes aloft
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Quoting nigel20:

I couldn't agree more.


I will agree with that.
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Rain for all of FL!!
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4511
Quoting aislinnpaps:
Or people eating dinner? Nice to have it slow down a bit for a little. while.


I agree!
Member Since: July 18, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 4146
202. VR46L
Quoting Cat5hit:



Very Funny... Very Funny...


Its the truth IMO ...She looks like a naked swirl with a lot of convection on top of her ..
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Quoting JLPR2:
4-1-0 before July is really impressive.


Indeed.
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200. JLPR2
4-1-0 before July is really impressive.
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Patrap, based on what you can see. what is your gut feeling on this storm?
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Quoting plywoodstatenative:
Unless my eyes are wrong, it seems to be moving almost east of north.


Does anyone think this ^ ?
Member Since: July 18, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 4146
Plan of the Day


000
NOUS42 KNHC 231530
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1130 AM EDT SAT JUN 23 2012
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 24/1100Z TO 25/1100Z JUN 2012
TCPOD NUMBER.....12-036

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (GULF OF MEXICO)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70 --
A. 25/0000Z, 0600Z
B. AFXXX 0304A CYCLONE
C. 23/2245Z
D. 27.5N 88.2W
E. 24/2300Z TO 25/0600Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71 --
A. 25/1200,1800Z
B. AFXXX 0404A CYCLONE
C. 25/1045Z
D. 27.5N 88.2W
E. 25/1100Z TO 25/1800Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: CONTINUE 6-HRLY FIXES.
3. REMARK: MISSION FOR 24/1200-1800Z FORM POD 12-035
WILL FLY AS ALREADY TASKED.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.
WVW
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Not sure.

The current mission has been in there for six hours now.


Yeah they are headed back towards the center.
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Quoting entrelac:
Question -
Will the NOAA Gulfstreams being flying into Debby or are they reserved for stronger storms?
They never fly into storms.
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Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)

Transmitted: 23rd day of the month at 22:16Z
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: 40

22:18:30Z 26.067N 87.750W 842.9 mb

(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,499 meters
(~ 4,918 feet) - - From 217° at 2 knots
(From the SW at ~ 2.3 mph) 17.8°C*
(~ 64.0°F*) -* 4 knots
(~ 4.6 mph) - - - -
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 22:09:00Z (first observation), the observation was 294 miles (473 km) to the S (185°) from Pensacola, FL, USA.

At 22:18:30Z (last observation), the observation was 304 miles (489 km) to the S (186°) from Pensacola, FL, USA.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
NOUS42 KNHC 231530
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1130 AM EDT SAT JUN 23 2012
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 24/1100Z TO 25/1100Z JUN 2012
TCPOD NUMBER.....12-036

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (GULF OF MEXICO)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70 --
A. 25/0000Z, 0600Z
B. AFXXX 0304A CYCLONE
C. 23/2245Z
D. 27.5N 88.2W
E. 24/2300Z TO 25/0600Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71 --
A. 25/1200,1800Z
B. AFXXX 0404A CYCLONE
C. 25/1045Z
D. 27.5N 88.2W
E. 25/1100Z TO 25/1800Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: CONTINUE 6-HRLY FIXES.
3. REMARK: MISSION FOR 24/1200-1800Z FORM POD 12-035
WILL FLY AS ALREADY TASKED.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.
WVW
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31995
Or people eating dinner? Nice to have it slow down a bit for a little. while.
Member Since: August 22, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3125
Question -
Will the NOAA Gulfstreams being flying into Debby or are they reserved for stronger storms?
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Quoting Patrap:
22:02 Viz

SO close! Must be a site for anyone West on the convection. Just a massive wall of storms.
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Quoting nigel20:

Yeah, it (the blog) has gotten pretty slow over the last few minutes or so...


There must be a large number of people in the old blog.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Recon will be investigating Debby from 7p.m EDT to 2a.m EDT correct?

That's the plan.

New aircraft should be departing within the next 45 minutes.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31995
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Recon will be investigating Debby from 7p.m EDT to 2a.m EDT correct?


Not sure.

The current mission has been in there for six hours now.
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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.