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June 2012

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

   Posted by Levi at 2:05pm on June 25, 2012

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!




  • Gary Z says:

    My advice for people ready to retire??
    Go to ARIZONA!!!

  • dj lonon says:

    Levi, I am in Gainesville Florida and we have been getting drenched since Sunday Morning around 0800. There was a small time frame early afternoon when it slacked off but around 1500 it started again and it is still raining as hard as i have ever seen it. I find it interesting at the end of the day the GFS was right from the start. Having said that it was showing a good Hurricane off of Hattaris SC after it got into the Atlantic. I enjoy your blog and to tell the truth it is the only weather on the net I go to. Just wanted to let you know what was going on under that radar presentation. dj

    • Ioana says:

      Paolo, voy a citar esa frase, muy buena.Juan, este post este1 bueno y el que citaste medo tambie9n! lo usare9 setraumenge en un futuro Abrazo,

  • Gary Z says:

    Can’t believe the amount of “Drama Queens” on Dr. Masters blog.
    Not going to read those comments again.

    • Abdo says:

      Nakeshia Dobbins – Absolutely amazing phoots!!! These phoots represent the spiritual and pure love that these two share for each other! Great job and may God Bless you in your future projects!

      • Nut says:

        Debarati Banerjee Posted on wow thanks for shriang this secret of a true genius! He was so simple a good at comparisons with him can be justifiable..simply a gem of a person!

  • terry siemsen says:

    Good Morning, Levi. Great discussion over the past days on Debby.

    Now, what are you thinking about the next wave moving across the Atlantic? It looks slow moving and slow to develop now and won’t get to the windward islands until the weekend. With the MJO moving on, the drivers seem to be minimal to make this system ‘bloom’ but I am interested in your observations…

    Keep up the good posts!

  • Anonymous says:

    Do you think the tropical wave coming of Africa will ever develop?

    • Herminio says:

      Johna Ramos – Wow . and Wow What a lovely bride! What a bieatuful wedding party The details perfect! Once again you nailed it! It makes me want to get married all over again so I can have you shoot my wedding one more time!May 15, 2011 10:04 am

  • Levi says:

    The Atlantic wave was impressively well-organized for this time of year, but realistically should not be a true threat. You never know if such waves can cause mischief down the road once they get into the western Caribbean, but the models are apathetic and the MJO is not centered over the Atlantic anymore, so support for development is minimal.

    • terry siemsen says:


      Thanks for the follow-up. Hopefully this wave will be a ‘non-actor’.


  • Dave says:

    Only just starting reading your blog.I find it excellent ,Wish you could do more often,even in fair weather so to speak.I know it is expensive to do everyday ,just maybe once a week in quiet tropics.Mr.Peterson

  • weatherh98 says:

    Levi, I think your site may get more traffic if this TWC/WU merger goes badly

  • Gary Z says:

    Nothing out there, but the Drame Queens will spin up something!

  • Chester W says:

    Hey Levi are you just taking a break until the tropics heat up or have you stop doing updates. I know it’s not to active but I thought last year you updated several times a week, just curious.

    • Levi says:

      I apologize for the lack of activity. My summer has been busy so far, so sometimes it is hard to take the time to make videos when the tropics are quiet. I will get one out soon so nobody thinks I died or something.

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