Wind gust data at the KVOA buoy indicates that wind gusts really began to fluctuate during the day today, but wind speeds have really accelerated this afternoon and evening, with gusts over 50 knots having been observed roughly an hour ago.
Pressures at nearby buoy 42376 have been dropping over the last several days, with nearly 29.65 millibars this evening. The dropping pressure indicates that Debby has been strengthening with time. Since Debby is nearly stationary, and pressures continue to drop despite no movement, it is only logical that Debby is genuinely strengthening and that this does not appear to be movement of the storm.
More updates will continue for the rest of tonight and into tomorrow and beyond on the Facebook page and here.
Latest model guidance and surface observations suggest to me that Tropical Storm Debby will move eastward and cut across Florida before heading up the East Coast.
Debby will likely hit at or slightly above what I have projected on here, depending on how far north or south Debby ends up at the time of eastward movement. Debby should make landfall on Florida and incite potentially major flooding, with a few inches already laid out across the dry landscape. The soil may not be able to immediately soak in the water due to the dryness of the ground, so some flash flooding is not off the table. A tornado threat will continue to be present.
After Florida, Debby will most likely track along the East Coast. How close to the coast remains a question. Right now I am thinking that some clouds and stray showers could brush up against the coast, but major effects seem unlikely. Debby should remain a tropical storm throughout the rest of her life, with a brief potential for very weak Category 1 Hurricane status.
The National Hurricane Center has shifted eastward, and now calls for a landfall in Louisiana, dangerously close to New Orleans, Louisiana. Considering that Katrina hit that region several years ago, the threat of a tropical system making another landfall will likely put many residents on edge.
However, the track remains very up in the air. I took a glance at GFS Ensemble members, and they are literally all over the place. The majority of them appear to take a Florida path before going out to sea. Here is a look at dynamical models from the 12z model suite.
The models shown above here show a favored track into the Florida region. It should be noted, however, that there remains a spread in potential track from Florida into Texas. At this point in time, it seems probable that a Florida landfall is likely at this point in time.
More updates will appear on the Facebook page as well as on here.
The National Hurricane Center is showing Debby to move west-northwest across the Gulf of Mexico, and become a hurricane as it does so. Tropical storm warnings have also been issued for portions of the Louisiana Gulf of Mexico Coast, the Alabama coast, and the Florida Panhandle also has a warning on it. These warnings are for the outer rain bands rather than a landfall at this point.
From: NAVY/NRL TC_PAGES Page
Satellite imagery shows how strong the rain bands are across Florida. The center is also visible, and we can see those strong rain bands trying to wrap around the center. Should this wrapping happen, it would indicate that the central pressures are lowering and we are seeing the system getting itself together.
I will be providing updates all day long on Debby on the Facebook Page, with updates also on the blog here.