Saturday, 23 June 2012 23:33

Tropical Storm Debby breaks record and is likely to become hurricane

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(0 votes) reports Tropical Storm Debby has formed and now has its eyes set on the Gulf Coast.  Just where is uncertain. 

One meteroligist, Margaret Orr of WDSU-TV in New Orleans said that Debby is likely going to become a hurricane (see video below).  Yuck!!

Debby developed about 220 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River at 5 p.m. EDT Saturday, according to the Hurricane Center.

Debby broke a record by just forming, but what is more concerning to the Hurricane Center is where the tropical storm will track.

As Meteorologist Brian Edwards stated on Friday, there are two main factors that could influence Debby's movement--a dip in the jet stream diving into the East Coast and a large ridge of high pressure building over and baking the Plains.

Debby will continue to crawl northward this weekend, but should get steered to the west-southwest toward Texas or northern Mexico as the ridge of high pressure expands. Given this solution, landfall would likely be delayed until the middle or latter part of next week.

This track should eventually put Debby in an environment conducive for further strengthening, giving the tropical storm the opportunity to become a hurricane.

Even though Debby is expected to track away from Florida, additional tropical moisture and downpours could still be directed across the state through early next week.

It is not out of the question, however, that Florida becomes the target of Debby. If the dip in the jet stream drops southward quicker than expected, Debby could reverse course and cross northern or central Florida early next week.

The strong winds of the jet stream would prevent Debby from rapidly strengthening if it indeed approaches Florida, but flooding rain would remain a serious concern.

Flooding downpours and isolated tornadoes are already threatening Florida, especially its western coast, and will continue to do so through the weekend with Debby churning offshore.

Surf will also continue to build and the danger of rip currents will significantly heighten along the eastern and central Gulf Coasts into Sunday.

The danger of rough surf will expand to the western Gulf Coast as Debby turns westward.

All residents along the Gulf Coast and even into the Southeast are urged to check back with the Hurricane Center for the latest on Tropical Storm Debby.
contributed By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist for



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