Debby Bringing TS Conditions to Florida, Track Remains Uncertain

   Posted by Levi at 3:41pm on June 24, 2012

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!

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14 comments

   

Comments

  • Cliff Hammond says:

    Additionally, a tornado watch was just issued for the Tampa/St.Pete area.

  • Ed says:

    Levi, your awesome man! I read the weather blogs on the WeatherUnderground Site and your comments are the most thourough,consistent,well thought out of anybody’s on that site.You got a career at the NHC in the future.I live near Houston,and I never thought that this storm was coming this way, but the track’s not set in stone yet either.Thanks for what you do and keep forcasting.

  • Shaun says:

    Levi,

    Another great brief, you know I have to submit a couple inputs but it’s only to share my ideas and opinions, not trying to be aggressive about it. “These folks” are already receiving the impacts of Debby, so no need to emphasize that, in fact, she’s almost halfway through her lifetime. If you want a good model that has been consistent run after run, since 14 June, take a look at the GFS. It’s the only one that has remained steadfast and has not budged. Asymmetric and unorganized system is what is causing this thing to favor east, in other words all of the energy is on the Atlantic Basin and the low will naturally follow. Also, speaking of consistency and as I’ve been indicating the last few days on your posts, the west gulf upper shearing low will not retreat fast enough nor will the high in OK have a chance to block. It’s too late and at this point should be more clear to the NHC and experts in the field on its track.

    • Mertccan says:

      lankan soul come on my dear inadin friends try to understand the reality u guys r not talented like srilankans ..india always wins a match with one man performance , with umpires help or with crowd support not as a cricketing team .no team spirit with you guys ..only anger and jealous.that’s y u guys always have fights inside the team.. (0)

  • Anonymous says:

    Is it more likely debby will come into the the upper Texas coastline or the southern?

    • Levi says:

      I have appended an update to the post. The models finally have a consensus, and it’s Florida. Debby isn’t going west. She was a boulder on a hill, and ended up rolling east.

    • Latasha says:

      I’m glad others have noeictd this trend!! I was riding my bike the other day and it seemed there was a chipmunk every 2 or 3 feet!! I’ve never seen so many!!! and a coworker mentioned seeing many the other day .Interesting!

  • BeachFoxx says:

    Great job!

  • Anonymous says:

    Is the track set in stone, that it’s going to Florida? Or could this possibly change? Because the tracks are changing a lot.

    • Yunlanda says:

      strange that you are the only person so far gentitg this bug? perhaps you have two catablog folders in your plugins folder or you have declared a function somewhere in your theme or in one of your other plugins that has the same name. could you try activating the plugin with the twentyten theme enabled and no other plugins activated and see if it works. thanks.

  • Shaun says:

    Levi,

    Great job and great forecasters stick to their guns!

  • Anonymous says:

    Is there any chance that it still goes west?

    • Mohamed says:

      Posted on nice anyone attedning the Baltimore con this weekend, these are the ideal item to print out and leave randomly on tables, chairs, bits of empty floor, etc

  • Gary Z says:

    Can I finally stop hearing…” we need the rain.”
    Every Winter I hear this in Florida, then it rains all Summer….

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