Here A Storm…There A Storm…June 25th, 2012 at 9:07 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
I’d finish the blog title with everywhere a storm storm (Old Mcdonald reference), but they actually need some rain out West. We are definitely expecting storms here later today, and there is tropical Storm Debby in the Gulf of Mexico. So without further ado…
A strong cold front is poised to move through our region late in the day. Out ahead of it we’ll see very warm/humid conditions. High temperatures will be in the low 90s with dewpoints near 70. This will give us plenty of instability (likelihood for storms) this afternoon. Also, a strong upper level trough (big dip in the jetstream) will sink southward into the Mid-Atlantic. This will provide some upper level support for strong storm formation. So our whole viewing area is under a slight risk for severe weather. The main threat will be high winds and possible large hail, but an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out in the region.
The models really focus on the late afternoon/early evening, but isolated storms may form before then. Our computer model has a line of storms forming between 3 and 8pm.
After the front passes, then we will pull in some really comfortable air for the next couple of days. Highs tomorrow will be in the upper 70s with lots of sunshine and breezy north winds. Then we’ll see dry conditions on Wednesday with highs in the low/mid 80s. The heat will build in later this week with highs in the mid-upper 90s by Friday. As we get further into the weekend it’s possible that we may see some effects from tropical storm Debby…cue the “sigh…here we go again!” Don’t worry though the chance is very slim.
Debby was the earliest 4th named Atlantic storm on record. Which is very ironic since this year’s hurricane season is supposed to be near or slightly below average. Debby is still a tropical storm, but it did weaken in the overnight. The maximum sustained winds dropped to 50mph from 60, and the pressure came up from 991 mb (millibars) to 993. Remember, the lower the pressure the stronger the storm. It wasn’t very impressive on satellite this morning, and there were no strong storms around the center:
If you’ve followed the forecast over the weekend, then you know it’s been all over the place. The National Hurricane Center even mentioned the forecast difficulty in some of their recent discussions. One thing that they didn’t mention, but I have heard about recently is that there is warm water in the Gulf of Mexico, but it is shallow. The system is expected to sit or drift northward over the next 3 days, so it’s possible that it will pull up some cooler water underneath it and weaken it some more. The official forecast has it moving slowly northward and then becoming a depression over land.
It has already brought flooding rains to parts of Florida, and will continue to pump in the rain at least in the short term. The models have been very split up to this point. Over the weekend the GFS model kept running Debby east while the European rain it almost due west. Now both models generally send it eastward into Florida and then into the Atlantic. After that they send it to the east-northeast and keep it out to sea, but do bring it a little closer to the southern coast of North Carolina. However, some models still have the storm moving west or north:
Hold on! I just got in some updated models (hot off the press) compared to the above graphic. Now the trend is definitely shifting to over Florida, and I guarantee that the official forecast will follow this trend later today. Here are the updated models. Each line represents a different forecast track from a different computer model:
So the questions now to ask are: 1. Will Debby weaken and dissipate over the next 3 days? 2. Will it track over Florida as the trend is showing? 3. What will it do if it moves over the Atlantic waters again? If it survives. We should be able to answer these questions in the next 24-36 hours. Stay tuned! In the meantime be mindful of the local storms later today, and be safe out there.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler