6/24/2012: Tropical Storm Debby is a Debby Downer for forecasters..
Tropical Storm Debby continues to churn in the Gulf and has picked up some intensity this morning with max sustained winds up to 60 mph. Wind shear has continued to keep the worst conditions north and east of the center, and FL has been feeling some of these impacts. The system continues a slow northward drift toward the FL Panhandle making forecasters nervous.
With the above in mind the worst aspect of this storm is low forecast confidence. Debby is a Debby downer in this regard as preparation and decision making time may be severely limited, ahead of tropical storm conditions, especially in the FL panhandle if the northward movement continues. Tropical Storm warnings have been expanded east into FL and major shifts in the NHC forecast track can’t be ruled out. Their current forecast takes the storm west toward TX.
The reason for the low confidence is the storm is in a position where it could slip between two ridges of high pressure and move northeast across FL. It may also slip more westward (in line with this mornings NHC forecasts) if a ridge over the Plains builds far enough to the southeast and does not allow the storm to pass through the weakness. Stay tuned and if you have interests along the Gulf Coast please continue to monitor this system closely!