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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Also to note. This system is moving at a whopping 2mph. At that speed anything is possible.
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2485. Grothar
The 06z GFS 48 hours out

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The National Hurricane Center has been wrong before.. This storm is not going to Texas as forecast. Debby may make landfall from New Orleans to Florida (somewhere in that location). Such a hard storm to forecast but it's becoming clear that this will not turn west and head to Texas.. May still become a Hurricane though and hit the northern Gulf Coast. Possibly tomorrow or Tuesday cause right now, it's nearly stationary.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7437

Quoting uptxcoast:
I am going to stick with the NHC cone because they have been pretty accurate the past few years despite this blog! Besides I can't afford to dismiss it.

Best best would to have this thing move on shore quickly (EAST) and scoot it out of here. That is my wishcasting.


One thing I have learned following this blog for 7 years is there will always be disagreements right up until landfall.

My Prediction? I go with the experts. NHC track. My opinion moves with the cone.


:)
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Thanks for your input KMan.
Glad you can play golf today!
My tennis game has just been canned.
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Quoting PackManWx:
Doesn't surge risk increase as the forward velocity of the storm increases?



No actually it's the reverse. If a storm isn't moving fast it has time to build a surge. Although any storm can produce a surge it is generally less if it's moving at a faster forward speed. Size of the area of maximum winds is also a big factor with surge too.
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Quoting TampaCat5:
It's going to hit Florida, than pull south a little and head west along the Gulf coast all the way to Texas. Everyone is right!! :)


That's actually a real possibility, depending on the ridge.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
It looks like she might just hit every Gulf Coast state before she's through. Here in Panama City we're getting some light bands in but nothing severe, it seems to be staying just offshore, for now.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Thanks :D


Good morning to you and everyone who is on

Pity I cannot stay to post as my golf game is coming up very soon but things are looking very interesting with Debby now. The Texas ridge is weaker than before and the trough over the SE is digging down just above Debby leaving the weakness open and continuingto tug on the system in a generally N to NNE motion.

I was watching the evolution of this set up from last night as the uncertainty of the West turn was evident from then. West could still happen but the longer this plays out the way it has the greater the odds of Debby getting just too far N to to anything other than exit to the NE or NNE or possibly go ashore much sooner than forecasted.

Will be very interested to see how this looks when I get back this afternoon.

Have a great day watching and waiting :-)

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Quoting jpsb:
I wish StormChaserXX was on. He had a very good handle on the ridge that was suppose to build and send Debby west. Personally I am rooting for the GFL to be correct, he said something like. "Its (GFL) greatest victory or a humiliating defeat" lol. I'd like to think our models are as good or better then the European models.


It wasn't going anywhere as long as that ULL was in the way but now there is an opening. The NHC is usually correct and there will egg all over the place if Debby doesn't make the left turn.
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Even if it did head to florida... much of the precipitation would be out of there by tuesday night since the precip is mainly on the EAST side of the storm...

correct?
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Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
2474. Grothar
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I am going to stick with the NHC cone because they have been pretty accurate the past few years despite this blog! Besides I can't afford to dismiss it.

Best bet would to have this thing move on shore quickly (EAST) and scoot it out of here. That is my wishcasting.

One thing I have learned following this blog for 7 years is there will always be disagreements right up until landfall.

My Prediction? I go with the experts. NHC track. My opinion moves with the cone.
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Quoting LargoFl:
if the center North of Tampa yet?

Not yet, almost due West.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


It could go anywhere, because this storm has fooled you, me and the Apparently the National Hurricane Center and ECWMF


Ecmwf goes to Louisiana if I saw the last run correctly

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COC:



STEERING:

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NWS and NHC and local weather people still say a turn to west and Cat 1 in 3 to 4 days at the Texas coast.
yet their still saying possible land fall in Florida too, this is worst then watching grass grow
Folks in Florida stay safe you guys are getting it bad
today and tommorrow.

Day One 24 hr Precip Amt.


Day Three 24 hr Precip Amt.
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NWS Tallahassee fired off the weather radio--with no audio to indicate what it was! Local cable company did not interrupt programming with the warning. TWC doesn't even have the crawl indicating the TS Warning....
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It's going to hit Florida, than pull south a little and head west along the Gulf coast all the way to Texas. Everyone is right!! :)
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Quoting Grothar:


Hey, a lot of us were, even Kmansilander. But that is the blog. It may still move west after awhile, but if it's any consolation, I plussed your comments. :)

I was looking for Kmans forcast, must of missed it cause the blog was moving so fast. That tinny bugger is usually always right.
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2465. scott39
Ok, Can ssomebody put some spray cheese whiz on a cracker for me now. I said 3 days ago this was going to be a LA/MS/AL and FL. panhandle event!
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Quoting weatherh98:


You are do quick to say


It could go anywhere, because this storm has fooled you, me and the Apparently the National Hurricane Center and ECWMF
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
2463. LargoFl
Quoting BenBIogger:


Due west of Tampa, around 240 miles.
thanks
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Doesn't surge risk increase as the forward velocity of the storm increases?

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2461. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Quoting LargoFl:
if the center North of Tampa yet?


Due west of Tampa, around 240 miles.
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Quoting avthunder:
You called that one! Getting very dark and the thunder is starting up again. Time to get the dogs under the blankets again. :)



Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
Quoting Grothar:


a 1948 Pontiac?

lol maybe the car is named debby
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Alright, Can anyone pinpoint the Center?





You have to look on VIS Sat It's half under the convection/half exposed..
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2456. jpsb
Quoting Chicklit:
Looks like Avila thinks Debby is ready to start her westward trek.
I wish StormChaserXX was on. He had a very good handle on the ridge that was suppose to build and send Debby west. Personally I am rooting for the GFL to be correct, he said something like. "Its (GFL) greatest victory or a humiliating defeat" lol. I'd like to think our models are as good or better then the European models.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:


You are do quick to say
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check out the bamm model if that's happens. Everyone would be flooded
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Henry Margusity...

Finding 70-80 mph winds on radar wind velocity this morning off the Florida Panhandle.
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2452. LargoFl
if the center North of Tampa yet?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Quoting TampaFLUSA:

The hurricane hunter found the center NE.


So, the same thing it's been doing lol
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Debby slowed down by 1 mph from 3 to 2, and winds are up by 10 mph. still heading on a north track, even though when you look at radar is seems it's drifting east or just puffing up. This is going to get interesting. If you haven't got your beer yet, go and get it.

Still overcast and windy in the upper keys, the clouds are hauling butt from the SE.
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Quoting Grothar:
If the GFS proves to be correct, can crow be served at room temperature, or does it have to be warmed?
call.it.a."levi.and.cheese.sandwiches"
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 5008
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Quoting weatherh98:
Westward jogging

I think y'all deserve t storm warnings because thats what y'all are getting


It's not moving west the slightest bit, in fact after the now new HH center fix, it has taken a slightly east curve now, it's just its not enough of an eastward movement to say northeast, it's still taking technically a northward movement, just a bit to the right of 90 degrees.

It appears to be moving slightly west because convection is wrapping around as it gets deeper.


I'll admit Debby is getting a lot stronger than I expected, I'm willing to admit I'm dead wrong on intensity, if we end up getting hurricane Debby than we get a wind and surge issue developing, because it is a very broad and slow moving storm, one would expect a fairly respectable wind and surge threat for a category 1.
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Quoting Grothar:


Well, there is another big one over us right now. Bigger than the one about an hour ago. It is pouring and very heavy lighting and thunder. It should be there is a few minutes.
You called that one! Getting very dark and the thunder is starting up again. Time to get the dogs under the blankets again. :)
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:
Can anyone find Seriousman1 for me? He cursed at me and said it was 100% going to Texas, not LA or Alabama, or Florida.

I need to give him a peice of my mind.

Seriousman is another JFV handle. Don't waste your time.
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2444. Grothar
Quoting Bobbyweather:

If you connect the west Floridan border and the western convection, you'll be able to see a old-style car. (At least I see it)


a 1948 Pontiac?
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Quoting weatherh98:
Westward jogging

I think y'all deserve t storm warnings because thats what y'all are getting

The hurricane hunter found the center NE.
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Quoting Ameister12:

Just report and ignore him. No need for fighting on the blog.


Alright, Can anyone pinpoint the Center?



Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
2441. 900MB
Quoting ncstorm:
from Henry Margusity

Henry Margusity Fan Club
I still think Debby will make the connection with the trough and go over Florida. If it misses the connection, game on for LA to TX.


You mean he's ruling out a return to the Yucatan? Bold!
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2440. LargoFl
SPECIAL MARINE WARNING
AMZ630-650-651-670-671-241245-
/O.NEW.KMFL.MA.W.0190.120624T1140Z-120624T1245Z/

BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SPECIAL MARINE WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
740 AM EDT SUN JUN 24 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* SPECIAL MARINE WARNING FOR...
COASTAL WATERS FROM DEERFIELD BEACH TO OCEAN REEF FL
JUPITER INLET TO DEERFIELD BEACH FL OUT 20 NM
WATERS FROM DEERFIELD BEACH TO OCEAN REEF FL FROM
JUPITER INLET TO DEERFIELD BEACH FL FROM 20 TO 60 NM
BISCAYNE BAY

* UNTIL 845 AM EDT

* AT 737 AM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR CONTINUES
TO INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS...CAPABLE OF PRODUCING WATERSPOUTS
ACROSS THE ATLANTIC WATERS OFF NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE AND OFF
BROWARD COUNTIES...MOVING NORTH AT 15 KNOTS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

AS THUNDERSTORMS MOVE OVER THE WATER...MARINERS CAN EXPECT STRONG
GUSTY WINDS...HIGH SEAS...DANGEROUS LIGHTNING...AND HEAVY RAIN. MOVE
TO SAFE HARBOR OR STAY CLOSE TO SHORE UNTIL THE STORM PASSES. IF
CAUGHT ON THE OPEN WATER...MAKE SURE ALL SAFETY GEAR IS AVAILABLE AND
LIFE JACKETS ARE BEING WORN BY YOU AND YOUR CREW.

WATERSPOUTS CAN EASILY OVERTURN BOATS AND CREATE LOCALLY HAZARDOUS
SEAS. YOUR BEST COURSE OF EVASIVE ACTION IF THREATENED BY A
WATERSPOUT IS TO MOVE AT A 90 DEGREE ANGLE FROM ITS APPARENT
MOVEMENT. SEEK SAFE HARBOR IMMEDIATELY.

&&

LAT...LON 2586 7972 2589 8015 2592 8014 2592 8013
2594 8014 2600 8012 2601 8013 2616 8011
2623 8011 2627 8008 2635 8008 2635 8007
2655 8006 2654 7965
TIME...MOT...LOC 1139Z 176DEG 15KT 2612 7992

$$

GARCIA
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Quoting beeleeva:
I dont understand,,,,with all the talk about Florida here,,NHC 5 day cone shows Debbie as a Hurricane off of Texas.....

It's a battle of the models.
GFS/GFDL used to be a favorite but not on this one. The ECWMF or any combination of those letters is forecasting west and that's what the NHC consensus is too. And as the ULL moves out of the picture Debby is supposed to move west. She's starting to wrap further around so maybe this is going to start to finally happen. Evidently, Avila thinks so and he's the top forecaster at the NHC.
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Outflow really starting to improve on the NW quadrant, which should allow for continued strengthening as shear continues to lessen due to the ULL moving and weakening to the SW
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When is the next TWO. I dont understand thier schedule.
Member Since: August 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 480
2436. 900MB
Okay, just woke up, but can someone confirm the activity of the past 12 or so hours. This is what I am getting, correct me if I am missing something:

- The track has gone from 4 days headed west to a Florida to East Coast track?

- intensity up a bit and wind field expanded?

- there is finally convection near the coc.

Did I miss anything else?
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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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