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 Levi32:
The circulation of Debby continues to become better-defined and is clearly strong enough to resist leaping northeast into the sheared convection the way the GFS has been insisting on for so long.



Looks like she is about to spin up might surprise some
as the environment is starting to cooperate and she should be entering the gulf eddie in a day or two with lower wind shear approaching and warmer waters
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
Quoting Dakster:
Is the NHC website down?

It's still working for me.
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when will the models reflect the new data..the 00z runs?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15999
133. TXCWC
I will say this concerning the GFS and EURO: THIS WILL BE AN EPIC FAIL FOR 1 OF THEM - THAT MUCH IS CERTAIN. The NHC and the experts there obviously think it will be a GFS fail. As a certain blogger here says - "we shall see what happens" ;)
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Quoting Walshy:
Local Storm Report


06/23/2012 0415 PM

Naples, Collier County.

Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.


*** 1 inj *** a possible tornado passed over north
Collier hospital in Naples. Damages consisted of downed
tree limbs and broken street lights on a parking garage.
One person was struck by one of the downed tree limbs and
was treated.






06/23/2012 0400 PM

Naples, Collier County.

Tornado, reported by law enforcement.


There was a possible tornado touchdown at the
intersection of penny Lane and Palm drive in Naples. Law
enforcement reported roof damage associated with this
possible tornado.
That's crazy, always driving by that place. It's a pretty large hospital, I'm sure that was chaos.
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Quoting Altestic2012:
Irene, and the other Irene, and the other other Irene were all overrated.


Uhhh... perhaps you wern't even affected. I am in central VA and saw gusts very close to hurricane strength. 1/7 of the state of Va was without power. It cut several inlets in the outer banks and caused lots of inland and barrier island flooding ... It caused some devastating flooding in Vermont. That to me... is not overrated.

You're crazy.

(speaking of irene in 2011)
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Wow..we got Debby..just as I thought silently to myself..(does that count?)
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15999
Is the NHC website down?
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Bastardi track agrees, but he is faster and more intense cat 2-3
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Mobile radar

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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
391 Miles across. Just image the size of Debbie when she fills in the west side. Red smudge is the center.


If and when she starts heading West, she is going to deluge the northern gulf coast.
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Local Storm Report

06/23/2012 0415 PM
Naples, Collier County.
Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.


*** 1 inj *** a possible tornado passed over north
Collier hospital in Naples. Damages consisted of downed
tree limbs and broken street lights on a parking garage.
One person was struck by one of the downed tree limbs and
was treated.


06/23/2012 0400 PM
Naples, Collier County.
Tornado, reported by law enforcement.


There was a possible tornado touchdown at the
intersection of penny Lane and Palm drive in Naples. Law
enforcement reported roof damage associated with this
possible tornado.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
I just re-did my distance on the Eastern half to include the center and extended it according to the clouds on vis and came up with 530 miles. If Debbie fills in the same amount on the east side she may have a 1060 mile width. That's pretty big right?


Nearly the entire Gulf of Mexico, yep...
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for those of us that live near alvin, tx- gas is 3.03 at the citgo and 3.04 at murphy's and buckey's. fill up before the storm fully makes up its mind on where its going. preparations are never a bad thing
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Quoting stormtopz1:
Some more Texas Tracks:

Do you have Florida's?.
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The COC is definitely becoming better defined. There was a lot of wobbling going on earlier with the LLC. Looks like it's starting to pull convection into it.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
391 Miles across. Just image the size of Debbie when she fills in the west side. Red smudge is the center.
I just re-did my distance on the Eastern half to include the center and extended it according to the clouds on vis and came up with 530 miles. If Debbie fills in the same amount on the east side she may have a 1060 mile width. That's pretty big right?
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Did the center relocate to the east. The wind change is now at 86.6W

21:39:00Z 26.900N 86.600W 843.1 mb
(~ 24.90 inHg) 1,509 meters
(~ 4,951 feet) - - From 303° at 6 knots
(From the WNW at ~ 6.9 mph) 19.0°C*
(~ 66.2°F*) -* 8 knots
(~ 9.2 mph) - - - -
21:39:30Z 26.933N 86.617W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,510 meters
(~ 4,954 feet) - - From 311° at 4 knots
(From the NW at ~ 4.6 mph) 18.9°C*
(~ 66.0°F*) -* 8 knots
(~ 9.2 mph) - - - -
21:40:00Z 26.950N 86.617W 842.5 mb
(~ 24.88 inHg) 1,511 meters
(~ 4,957 feet) - - From 360° at 2 knots
(From the N at ~ 2.3 mph) 19.6°C*
(~ 67.3°F*) -* 4 knots
(~ 4.6 mph) - - - -
21:40:30Z 26.967N 86.633W 843.6 mb
(~ 24.91 inHg) 1,501 meters
(~ 4,925 feet) - - From 67° at 4 knots
(From the ENE at ~ 4.6 mph) 20.5°C*
(~ 68.9°F*) -* 6 knots
(~ 6.9 mph) 0 knots*
(~ 0 mph*) 3 mm/hr*
(~ 0.12 in/hr*) 0.0 knots* (~ 0.0 mph*)
0.0%*
21:41:00Z 27.000N 86.650W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,508 meters
(~ 4,948 feet) - - From 68° at 11 knots
(From the ENE at ~ 12.6 mph) 20.8°C*
(~ 69.4°F*) -* 13 knots
(~ 14.9 mph) 0 knots*
(~ 0 mph*) 3 mm/hr*
(~ 0.12 in/hr*) 0.0 knots* (~ 0.0 mph*)
0.0%*
21:41:30Z 27.017N 86.667W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,508 meters
(~ 4,948 feet) - - From 59° at 18 knots
(From the ENE at ~ 20.7 mph) 20.7°C*
(~ 69.3°F*) -* 21 knots
(~ 24.1 mph) 0 knots*
(~ 0 mph*) 3 mm/hr*
(~ 0.12 in/hr*) 0.0 knots* (~ 0.0 mph*)
0.0%*
21:42:00Z 27.050N 86.683W 842.6 mb
(~ 24.88 inHg) 1,510 meters
(~ 4,954 feet) - - From 56° at 24 knots
(From between the NE and ENE at ~ 27.6 mph)
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Some more Texas Tracks:

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Should show some intensification over next several hours.
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Getting back to the previous blog and POLL on intensity. I rarely poll, but I have to go with A:FIZZLE(yea, the rare GOM fizzle)....on account of the disorganized system now and the fact that the NHC has assigned a probability of 8% that it'll dissipate within 72 hours. Going up to 20% and 35% day 4 and 5.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


I'm having trouble accessing NCEP products.


Yes, They killed it because the GFS is "Out To Lunch"!!
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112. VR46L
Debby sure looks very top heavy...



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Quoting opal92nwf:
I am really surprised at the NHC forecast track, not for my personal sake, but for the fact that they discounted several models (including the major model GFS) that had the system going east instead (and they left no margin of error ihe western gulf has had 4 hurricane landfalls the past 5 years (Alex, Ike, Gustav, Humberto).

You forgot Dolly in 08, which came ashore at Brownsville as a Cat 2.

Living in SW Texas I'm ready for a nice wet tropical system, we need the rain, just not the wind.
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some previous TX tracks

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Quoting seflagamma:
WOW, 3 models are still taking it east and 3 are taking it west.
Hope they come a little closer to agreement soon.
Give the models to digest all the new info.. This may take awhile
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Quoting seflagamma:
WOW, 3 models are still taking it east and 3 are taking it west.
Hope they come a little closer to agreement soon.


Yet the NHC Discpunted all three east models......
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
Quoting turtlehurricane:
This forecast looks to be intractable for the next several days, not surprising given the multiple vortex nature of the circulation and the weak steering currents in the Gulf of Mexico. I think it's going to be moving erratically for the next few days at least and mostly drifting, which may give it time to develop. I'm surprised the NHC has latched onto the western models, I myself would've drawn a circle! I made a full analysis on my blog Meteorological Phenomena

The NHC forecasters call this a squished spider when the models get like this btw lol http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%2520 weather/hurricane%2520model%2520plots




turtle, I have not seen you in ages! Glad you are back with us again!
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106. DFWjc
Quoting katadman:
Debbie,

We have put out the welcome mat for you here in Texas.


What makes it worse is we don't have that "TEXAS HIGH" like we did last year to kill anything coming to us....
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Is anybody else having a problem accessing the NHC products?


I'm having trouble accessing NCEP products.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
18z GFS 18 hours... Now begins the stalling



man, this will deepen fast
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The GFS refuses to play with the other kiddos.
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Is anybody else having a problem accessing the NHC products?
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Quoting Tazmanian:




the ULL is forcast too move in too TX wish this will help lower the wind shear



i wish they learn too look at the nhc site be for post a blog update


Why would anyone want shear to lessen. That would only mean a stronger more organized storm right?
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Another meso-low



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WOW, 3 models are still taking it east and 3 are taking it west.
Hope they come a little closer to agreement soon.
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So what are the odds of it curving up to North Central Texas by or before next weekend?
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GFS still appears to go east... guess it is still going to stand it's ground
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391 Miles across. Just image the size of Debbie when she fills in the west side. Red smudge is the center.
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Did the Hurricane Hunters find a New CoC?
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Good afternoon,

WOW, Levi was right, the track the NHC chose of the westward track.

Hope it gives Texas the rain it needs without any of the wind.
Here in SE Fla, we are soggy and will be happy when all this rain pulls away for awhile.

Enjoy your storm watching!
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I will say this much. Had to run to the store about an hour ago. On my way back home it was raining pretty hard. Was looking up ahead and noticed what appeared to be the equivalent of a gust front up ahead. Got slowed down before it hit me, but it wouldn't have been difficult to loose control of a car not realizing that a burst of strong winds was approaching. I'm in for the rest of the day after that. Stay safe everyone.
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No changes in the 18z GFS...
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


maybe but I have seen the GFS be right on a few occasions when it predicted multiple lows


Like when?
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is it me or is she attempting to get her west side going now?
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The GFS says that the next 18 hrs. are going to be awesome for the structure of Debby.
Link
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Irene, and the other Irene, and the other other Irene were all overrated.
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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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