96L to Become Debby and Bring Rain to East-Central Gulf Coast Regardless of Track

By: Levi32 , 4:56 PM GMT on June 22, 2012

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Invest 96L, what promises to be one of the greatest forecasting challenges this season, continues to slowly organize north of the Yucatan Peninsula this morning. The only significant batch of convection associated with it is removed east of the center over the Yucatan Channel. A new lobe of low pressure will likely develop within the broader circulation close to this area of convection and move northward during the next 24-36 hours, eventually dragging the rest of the broad circulation with it. Consolidation of the system will be slow, but it should steadily organize with time as it moves slowly northward to a position southeast of New Orleans during the next 2 days.

By Sunday, 96L will likely stall and not move much for a little while as it decides which way to go. The models are still split on whether 96L will move northeast across Florida into a trough over the eastern seaboard, or whether it will be captured by the Texas ridge and brought westward. I am still of the mind that the westward track is what will eventually occur, with a track taking what should be Debby into southern Texas or northern Mexico. Yesterday more of the global models came back into agreement with this idea, and last night's 0z runs of the ECMWF, UKMET, and CMC all support that track. However, the ensemble means reveal a very low-confidence forecast, with the ensemble members spread from coast to coast across the Gulf of Mexico with 96L's future track. Thus, there is still no real consensus, and the models are still deciding what to do with the system. As I mentioned yesterday, the trough that will be over the western U.S. coast makes me wary of the idea that the eastern trough can exert a strong influence over the central Gulf of Mexico in the face of the big Texas ridge between the two troughs. It is also difficult for such a trough to drag such a large monsoonal low northeast out of the deep tropics. While more models currently support my forecast, the northeast track into Florida cannot be discounted, and regardless of track, heavy rains will be spreading through Florida and likely the central gulf coast as well during the next 3-4 days.

96L will take its time strengthening due to its size, and a track into Florida likely wouldn't give it enough time to become more than a moderate tropical storm. However, if 96L stalls in the central gulf and then takes my track westward, it may have enough time to take advantage of lower wind shear and become stronger, possibly becoming a hurricane in the western gulf, but not much can be known about the peak intensity of this storm until it has developed and we have more confidence in its track and timing. For now, the entire gulf coast should keep a close eye on this system.

We shall see what happens!

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19. txjourney
3:45 PM GMT on June 23, 2012
it would be great for it to stall off the panhandle, then drift West into South Tx. It would bring much needed rainfall into both drought stricken areas. Thanks for the great update Levi
Member Since: September 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 9
18. ajcamsmom2
3:26 PM GMT on June 23, 2012
Thanks Levi...always good to hear your insights on these systems
Member Since: March 15, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 2492
17. OracleDeAtlantis
2:01 PM GMT on June 23, 2012
Nice work Levi, you've made it much clearer, what Debby's options are.
Member Since: August 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 525
16. AllyBama
1:51 PM GMT on June 23, 2012
Thanks Levi
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 132 Comments: 20635
15. Ossqss
1:50 AM GMT on June 23, 2012

Thanks Levi!

The flattening and digging will tell the tale.




Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
14. KoritheMan
1:30 AM GMT on June 23, 2012
Nice blog, dude.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 597 Comments: 21112
13. RevInFL
1:27 AM GMT on June 23, 2012
Thanks for the great analysis Levi. I have always checked-out your blog because you are concise and easy to understand.
Member Since: September 6, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 165
12. mshann
12:06 AM GMT on June 23, 2012
Thanks Levi. Have to admit when it comes to a hurricane I am looking to your blog for my updated information. Awesome analysis. What I have not really heard is if there is a decent chance of this storm moving into southeast Louisiana. Looks like it comes close and then takes a 90 degree turn. Makes me a little nervous. Katrina was not suppose to hit New Orleans. Thanks for all you do.
Member Since: September 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
11. sentinel77
7:18 PM GMT on June 22, 2012
As always I appreciate your insights. I live on the upper TX coast and as a first responder I need facts and solid analysis so I can make an informed decision on when to start preparing the home, getting my family out (if called for) and so forth before an actual evac is called for. Wishcasting, rumors, and hunches based on pain in someone's toes does not cut it. I almost never post as I am no weather expert, but I have been through enough storms to not wish for anything big to strike anywhere, much less my neck of the woods. Given that, a rain maker would be nice for a good part of this state and I am about to check the generator, fill up gas tanks, and make sure our emergency supplies are ready.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 18
9. AtHomeInTX
6:05 PM GMT on June 22, 2012
Thanks Levi.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 253
8. kwgirl
6:03 PM GMT on June 22, 2012
Thanks Levi. I like your professionalism. As each situation presents itself, you acknowledge the change, hence changing the forecast. I like your reasonings. It helps when someone explains why they came up with something. Now to sit back, wait and watch. This is indeed very interesting.
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
7. PedleyCA
5:49 PM GMT on June 22, 2012
Good post. Find what you have to say easier to understand than most.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6003
6. FLWeatherFreak91
5:49 PM GMT on June 22, 2012
Levi, you are truly a very skilled forecaster. Keep up the good work.

Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3631
5. txjac
5:44 PM GMT on June 22, 2012
Thanks for the very informative update Levi
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2569
4. aislinnpaps
5:38 PM GMT on June 22, 2012
Thank you, Levi.
Member Since: August 22, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3160
3. Levi32
5:28 PM GMT on June 22, 2012
Quoting Hoff511:
Thanks Levi!  Interesting week coming up.  I know you favor the Texas track, but what percentage would you put on it vs a NE through FL track?  90-10 , 80-20, ?  I see some of the ensemble members have it going due east across FL just North of Lake O.  Is that a legitimate possibility?


The Florida track is a legitimate possibility, and as I said it cannot be discounted at this point. This is a particularly tough forecasting situation, so neither track can be dismissed yet. In my opinion track probabilities are rather useless to the reader. There is always a chance a forecast will not verify at all.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
2. Hoff511
5:21 PM GMT on June 22, 2012
Thanks Levi!  Interesting week coming up.  I know you favor the Texas track, but what percentage would you put on it vs a NE through FL track?  90-10 , 80-20, ?  I see some of the ensemble members have it going due east across FL just North of Lake O.  Is that a legitimate possibility?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 265
1. LakeWorthFinn
5:03 PM GMT on June 22, 2012
I win First LOL!
Thanks again Levi :)
Member Since: October 6, 2005 Posts: 67 Comments: 7392

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Levi Cowan has been tracking tropical systems since 2002, and is currently working on his bachelor's degree in physics at UAF.

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