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June 2012

Gulf System Likely to Eventually Become Debby, Track Still not a Given

   Posted by Levi at 2:31pm on June 21, 2012

The Gulf of Mexico is coming to life as low pressure is now developing in the central part of the gulf. The developing circulation is still elongated with one lobe of low pressure west of Key West and the other down near the NW coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, acting as a trough extension to the monsoon low over central America. The area is still experiencing moderate wind shear, but the shear has relaxed to below 10 knots near the Yucatan Channel as an upper ridge starts to build northward in the wake of the retreating upper low over Florida mentioned yesterday. The environment will be slowly improving with time, and should allow the eventual organization of this disturbance into tropical storm Debby in a few days.

The track of this system remains the biggest question, as the models are split about in half on whether it will move into the NW gulf or escape northeast over Florida. My forecast remains that the system will get caught by the Texas ridge and move in the NW gulf, making landfall in southern Texas or northern Mexico. However, the northeast escape route cannot be dismissed either, so the entire gulf coast, especially Texas and Florida, should be on alert for the possibility of a landfalling tropical cyclone early next week. Florida is already set up to get tons of rain from this system regardless. In the video I show the current model projections and why I am sticking with the westward track. This is a particularly difficult forecasting situation, and any forecast won’t have a high degree of confidence until the models finally form a consensus on the track.

One thing the models do agree on now is that this system should develop into a tropical cyclone of some kind. The CMC and ECMWF are taking the storm to hurricane strength, which may be overdone, but it raises the concern over how long this disturbance will be sitting in the gulf. The models keep pushing the time frame back due to how long the system stalls waiting for the east coast trough, and we’re still talking about 5-7 days or more before this is out of our hair. With that much time, it is possible that the storm will have enough time to come together and become stronger than originally thought, but we will know more about the potential strength after the track is better-known, for that will affect the intensity as well.

Overall, the gulf coast should be watching for at least a heavy rain event that will affect Florida regardless of what the track is, and should move into the NW gulf by early next week, affecting at least the south Texas and north Mexican coastlines. Again, though, the northeast gulf should be watching the situation closely as well, for the northeasterly track option cannot be discounted yet in such a tough forecasting setup.

We shall see what happens!




  • Storm Walsh says:

    Nice job Levi!

    • Carlin says:

      OK well you aladrey asked this and i aladrey answered but i will answer again, well from this question and the other one i can kind of tell that you are the teacher involved, but i will not make assumptions. Listen sweetie people nowadays are judgemental and stupid and freak out over anything like i mentioned before he is only 8 years older than her and people doont care if 30 and 38 yros date only because shes a minor and hes a teacher, first of all shes only 1 year away from actually being of age. So dont listen to these people, now what i do find a bit wrong is that she would say shed like to take it farther, that is being selfish on her part because she aladrey got what she wanted from him and now she wants more, what more could you want? sex? thats very selfish because if he goes out with her or has any sexual coontact he could get fired and put to jail, if she really wants him, if she REALLy likes him and thinks its worth it, then wait till shes 18 and she can do w.e she wants with him. Good luck and remember age is just a number ;*

    • Jyoti says:

      Anonymous August 3, 2010 You did the right thing. I wpuild have done the same and even more than that. I would ahve slaeppd his face with my id.He deserves it for not only being stupid but irresponsible.Don’t ever feel guilty for such persons.And I will not aologize. He should know better.

  • Jim Harris says:

    Fantastic analysis Levi!!

  • Mike says:

    Great analysis!

  • Jason says:

    Just about everyone is saying this storm will hit Florida but you are saying NW Gulf that is a big difference. When will we have a better idea what it may do or where it may go if it even develops.

    • Levi says:

      At this point we’re basically waiting for the models to give us a consensus to support one of the two track possibilities. It may take another couple days for them to come into agreement. I do think they will come around to my idea, and in fact most of the 12z models this morning now do agree with me.

  • Levi says:

    This is the 12z Euro:

    • Jason says:

      So there are more models showing a mid Texas landfall. Isn’t the Euro the most reliable.

  • Anonymous says:

    If the storm makes landfall in central Texas should 1 or 2 inches of rain reach houston?

    • Levi says:

      A detail like that can’t really be known yet. There is a decent possibility of Houston receiving some rain in the event of a Texas landfall, but it is not guaranteed.

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  • Cliff Hammond says:

    Levi, if there a chance that the big high pressure ridge over Texas will press the low to the southwest, making it enter northern Mexico? I realize that it will probably have to remain between the high pressure ridge above Texas and the warm, moist inflow into the GOM from El Nino.

    And if so, is there a chance that El Nino’s northwesterly inflow will feed into the Low from south of it and cause the storm to intensify?

    • Levi says:

      A northern Mexico landfall is possible, yes. The ridge is strong, so a landfall will likely be southern Texas or northern Mexico. Monsoonal moisture has fully permeated the Gulf of Mexico now, and will definitely aid development of 96L.

      • Cliff Hammond says:

        We missed you on the Barometer Bob show this evening. I really appreciate your input there. Bob and several others are going with the eastward model. Wish you had been there to defend your… thesis.

        • Levi says:

          I can’t be on the show this year because of work, unfortunately. Bob and the others may end up being right, but we will see. It’s a very difficult forecasting situation right now.

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  • derayka says:

    excellent analysis, I’m a believer. keep up the great work

    • Dedik says:

      So is the hash #blogjune ?I have three different bogs and am still dinedicg whether to stick to one for the month or do a mixture. Likewise with City of Boroondara Library Service, we have four blogs and will be rotating between us. Need to sort that out @tapsister.

      • Mourad says:

        North Europe has a Plan B for the EURO, don’t spoil it!Most counties arnuod the north sea never joined the Euro.Why not found the old sucsecfull Hanse tradae block again. Togethe with Netherlands, UK , Norway GER & Scandinavia etc we rere far more stable and successful then the Renaissance guys. Yes, we loose 30% on the EURO exit, but we know what we got:Real Friends & future of Northern Europe.Probably Profit withe a strong new currency. Take your loss. Europe was never one.No one united EUrope last thousand years and that is it’s strength. Greece is for holidays and you should pay there with holiday fake drachma. Greek people will have a bright future as one big holiday resort with holiday currency. How they manage, the market will judge. Please be what you are and want to be.It is reasonable th ask for a moment where to say STOP. At this moment no one tells. That is alone reason enough to leave the Euro. North Europe has a Plan B, don’t spoil it! If you do not have a serious plan, you cannot negotiate. The north has a plan B and it is even better off. This is the end of the EU. North Knows!

  • Anonymous says:

    What would you say the percent chances of a Texas landfall is vs. a more easterly land fall in perhaps FL. It appears most models have it taking that east turn.

    • Johnyy says:

      Aa0second protest has been set aldarey for next Saturday, June 4 at noon, once again at the Jefferson Memorial. (Facebook invite) Neither Edward Dickey nor the U.S. Park Police could be reached for a comment on the incident.

    • Alex says:

      She is beautiful! I’ve been chnickeg every day to see if you’ve posted anything and this is so worth the wait. Jacob and Callie’s wedding is next weekend and we will be missing your special touch. Little Ms. June should have some beautiful pics during her life.

      • Kimo says:

        It sounds wodfurnel, Stuart. I hope you have a great summer … we are heading fast to the shortest day where I am, and then, as you know … “As the days lengthen, the cold strengthens”.

  • Gary Z says:

    Once I heard it would be a “normal” even below normal season, I
    Knew we were in trouble.
    “experts” are never right about anything!

    • Levi says:

      It still likely will be. Our first 3 storms weren’t of true tropical origin, and do not reflect the level of activity that will be seen during the peak of the season. Don’t expect August and September to be as active as May and June.

  • Subba says:

    Mark i love your work! My mom owns the forewls shop that did the forewls for this wedding. When i heard you were doing this wedding i couldn’t wait to help with the forewls. I’m also a aspiring photographer and took a few pictures during the setup of the forewls and couldn’t wait to see what you did with you aewsome skills! Love it all!Thanks!

  • Carlosgil says:

    samuel cordrey the whole point of litreby is that people are allowed to do things that you find offensive (e.g. dancing at a memorial) and you can do things that other people find offensive (e.g. practice your religion / abortion / smoking).When the state mandates what you may and may not do via legislation that is called tyranny.Did the supreme court not rule that those religious zealots who protest at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq/Afghanistan are ALLOWED to protest at those funerals?Yes you may not like it, it may not be morally’ or ethically’ right’ either, but the question is do you want to live in a country where the STATE can mandate whether your behaviour is acceptable’?If you do then ask yourself 150 years ago when you were black and the STATE deemed YOU.. just by being black’ were unacceptable’ or 70 years ago.. when the state deemed Jews/ Gypsies and Gays’ as being unacceptable’ and subject to being removed from the planet.

  • Abubakari says:

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