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Debby Bringing TS Conditions to Florida, Track Remains Uncertain

By: Levi32 , 3:42 PM GMT on June 24, 2012

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Update 4pm EST:

We finally have a model consensus. The 12z suite all flipped to Florida, and at this point in the game, they are more than likely correct. Had Debby’s center been but 50 miles farther southwest this morning, it would have been different. 50 miles is all it took, and that’s why this has been such a tough forecast. Debby’s northeast movement into the Florida panhandle will be lethargic, and although she likely won’t be able to become a hurricane, the copious amounts of rainfall in the sunshine state will more than make this a very dangerous storm.





The plot thickens this morning as Debby drifts slowly northeastward in the NE Gulf of Mexico, bringing tropical storm conditions the Florida panhandle. Debby still has an exposed center due to southwesterly wind shear, though the circulation has become better-defined overnight. Winds are around 60mph, a strong tropical storm, and Florida will be dealing with heavy rains and strong winds for the next couple of days regardless of Debby's track. If Debby moves NE into the Florida coastline during the next 48 hours as depicted by the GFS, wind shear due to the proximity of a shortwave trough to the north will likely keep Debby below hurricane strength. However, if a turn to the west occurs and Debby has 3-4 days over water, upper-level conditions will likely improve due to an upper low backing southwestward in the western gulf, and hurricane intensity would be likely at some point.

Debby's track forecast is even lower confidence this morning since the 0z runs of the UKMET, CMC, and ECMWF all made shifts to the east. The ECMWF and UKMET still turn Debby westward but then lift her northward into Louisiana. The GFS and some other hurricane models take her northeastward into the big bend of Florida. I am not ready to give up on a westward turn based on one model cycle, and it will be enlightening to see today's 12z and tonight's 0z runs, which I will likely be posting on the Facebook feed as they come in today. The NHC track last night showed a Texas landfall, but as of 11am EST has shifted to Louisiana following the ECMWF. My forecast philosophy remains that the plains ridge will build far enough east to stall Debby for the next couple of days in the NE Gulf of Mexico with little movement, and an eventual turn towards the west, just south of the Louisiana coastline, though perhaps closer than expected before. I'm not sure I buy the track northward into Louisiana directly into the ridge, and this track may be simply a product of the models finding a middle ground while fighting over the west or northeast tracks. However, as with all of the track possibilities we have with this storm, it cannot be discounted, and as I have had to say over the last few days, the entire north gulf coast should be prepared for a possible landfalling tropical storm or hurricane within the next few days. Florida will be dealing with tropical storm conditions regardless of what happens. This is perhaps the most difficult track forecast we will have to make this entire year. I will continue updating as the situation evolves. You can keep up with my short update posts here.

We shall see what happens!

Auto-updating Rapid-scan Visible Satellite Loop:




The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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20. seflagamma
10:40 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Thanks Levi,

Yes, we will continue to get rains from this system. been getting rain all week from her before she became Debby!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
19. Levi32
8:21 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Debby's going northeast. The models finally have a consensus. What a boulder on the top of a hill this storm has been. Florida still getting soaked, a scenario we knew would happen regardless.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
18. whitewabit
7:18 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Thanks Levi for your forecast ... Debbie has been a very interesting storm to track ...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
17. mobal
5:41 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Nice update Levi, I personally favor the East scenario, especially with the ULL currently to its west and how far north Debbie is. But it seems every time I favor against the official track forecast I am proven wrong....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
16. AllyBama
5:04 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Thanks for the update Levi! I am paying close attention being that I am here in Mobile. I am so hoping that Debby would just move on into Fl and be done in this area..lol
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
15. steelmagnolia44
4:50 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Excellent posts, Levi. Very clear and easy to understand, which I appreciate because I'm now in the cone!
I will be following your analysis of developments.
Thank you.

Steel
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
14. AtHomeInTX
4:35 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Thanks Levi!
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13. RevInFL
4:07 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Thanks Levi. As usual, you make things clear enough and support your thought thoroughly.
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12. aislinnpaps
4:03 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Thank you, Levi.
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10. bohonkweatherman
4:03 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Awesome Job Levi, Thank You!
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7. sporteguy03
3:54 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Levi you are doing great with your info. This is very tough to call thank you for your diligence to get out the best info to everyone!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. sassisu
3:54 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Thanks Levi!
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5. TropicalAnalystwx13
3:53 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Thanks Levi.

I've never seen a storm so hard to predict.
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4. Hoff511
3:53 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Thanks Levi!
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3. HarryMc
3:52 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Good info again Levi. Thanks
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2. nigel20
3:51 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Thanks Levi!
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1. Bobbyweather
3:46 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Nice self updating satellite loop!
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Tropical Tidbits from the Tundra

About Levi32

Masters student in tropical meteorology at FSU. Raised in Alaskan blizzards, but drawn toward tropical cyclones by their superior PGF.

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