Debby Weakens but Still Soaking Florida - Atlantic to Turn Quiet after She is Gone

By: Levi32 , 2:07 PM GMT on June 25, 2012

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Debby continues to meander slowly in the NE Gulf of Mexico this morning, and is currently drifting ENE. Convection has waned throughout the core, a function both of the continued wind shear that was talked about yesterday and cold upwelling of the ocean due to Debby's stalling for so long in the same area. She has weakened since yesterday and now has only 50mph winds, though rains on the eastern side continue to affect Florida, where flooding has been a problem. Florida will continue to receive more rain until Debby's center crosses the peninsula, which is where Debby is now headed.

The track forecast for Debby within the last 36 hours has gone from every model except for the GFS and the NHC track itself taking the storm into Texas, to a swing eastward over Florida, and yesterday afternoon I was forced to change my track as well. Although this was likely the most difficult track forecast we will have to make this entire year, and the possibility for a Florida landfall was always on the table, it was still a bust, and something to learn from. I show in the video the most logical reason for why the forecast failed, that being the pattern amplification over North America that was not conducive for a ridge orientation that could block Debby underneath. Overall Debby's forecast was a mixed bag, as we have been talking about her development for a full 2 weeks with the potential for an Allison-type rain event for the gulf coast, and this along with the intensity forecast verified, but the track did not come through.

Debby will be taking her sweet time in crossing the Florida peninsula, and once on the other side the state will likely dry out, but Debby may still move very slowly and hang near the Gulf Stream for a while, possibly restrengthening. The latest Euro bombs her to a major hurricane over the Gulf Stream, but the pattern with the trough over the east coast would prevent a 2nd landfall, and will likely steer her northeastward out to sea eventually.

After Debby, the Atlantic will turn quiet again as the MJO starts to leave the basin. The upward motion provided by the MJO is rather necessary before August to get any significant development, and until the MJO comes back around to the Atlantic, much of July may be uneventful. In general, as we get closer to the peak part of the season, activity relative to normal should decrease, typical of El Nino seasons, which favor development early and then tone it down during the peak of the season.

Although this was the fastest start to the hurricane in the record books in terms of storm count, Debby was the first truly tropical development of the year, and this is nothing like the 2005 season. This season should still end up near or slightly below normal in terms of overall activity, with the potential for slightly inflated number totals due to all of the subtropical-based developments that we had in May and June. Indeed, the last time a season started this fast before July was 1968, when 3 storms formed before July, but in the end the season total was only 8 storms. Unsurprisingly, this was also an El Nino year, and this season should follow the same general path, though I expect storm totals will be 10-12 by the end.

We shall see what happens!

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16. whitewabit (Mod)
5:39 PM GMT on July 03, 2012
Levi ... time for a new update or at least a drop in ... We are all waiting !!!
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 368 Comments: 32425
15. CCstormer
2:22 PM GMT on July 03, 2012
It's been long enough. Walk it off Levi. I would like to see another tidbit in the next few days. You carry a large part of this site. Let's go. 
Member Since: July 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 46
14. Levi32
2:24 AM GMT on June 27, 2012
Thank you all for the comments :)

And yes, Go Seahawks!
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
13. Barefootontherocks
10:37 PM GMT on June 26, 2012
Go Seahawks!
;)
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 159 Comments: 19370
12. cruzinstephie
9:34 PM GMT on June 26, 2012
Hi Levi. I've been enjoying your tropical tidbits for the last two years. Thank you again for your videos and posts. They are aways very informative. I usually lurk on Dr. Master's blog, and I have seen a lot of nasty comments and trolling, particularly the last few days.

I just wanted to make sure that you knew a lot of people appreciate all of your time, effort, and knowledge.
Member Since: August 31, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
11. sentinel77
9:37 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
Levi

You display a good mixture of humble intelligence, self discipline, confidence, and pride in doing a good job, while at the same time showing you can be humble, admit mistakes without rationalizing or minimizing, and demonstrate a willingness to learn from your peers. Part of my job is providing training and evaluation in a public service profession, and I look for such qualities when assessing a person's suitability for the job. Although I generally remain silent, I follow the WU blogs and believe that I have a pretty good handle on those who know what they are talking about. You are one of a select few that I place in the upper tier and I am certain that you have a bright future in meteorology or any other field you pursue. Keep up the good work and know it is appreciated.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 18
10. barbamz
8:32 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
Thank you, Levi. Very honorable and full of insight, why forecast has been so difficult on this storm.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 62 Comments: 6706
9. Storm4Ivana
4:12 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
Mr. Levi, as a meteorologist, I have enjoyed listening to your weather briefings the past several days. I want to thank you for taking the time to present a well thought out discussion on Debby. You are an intelligent young man with a bright future ahead of you ! You are the one-stop shop for Tropical weather briefings. Thank you for being a part of the WeatherUnderground site.
Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 26
8. Civicane49
3:52 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
Thanks Levi!
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
7. txjac
2:58 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
As usual, great job.
Dont be so hard on yourself ...

Can you look into your crystal ball and tell me when Houston will get some rain?!?!?! ...kidding of course
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2617
6. HondosGirl
2:56 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
Thanks for the update Levi.
Member Since: August 20, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 111
5. Hoff511
2:53 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
Thanks Levi!
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 265
4. nigel20
2:43 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
Thanks Levi!
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8472
3. TropicalAnalystwx13
2:19 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
Thanks Levi!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32828
2. kwgirl
2:15 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
Thank you Levi. This was a hard one to call and even the salaried professionals couldn't do it. So, looking back at what happened is a good learning experience. Weather like life can be all about the timing.
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
1. GeorgiaStormz
2:12 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
thx
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760

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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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