Colleagues, Debby finally decided to follow the admonition of Horace Greeley of "Go West, young" woman. It was a tough decision. FORECAST: Tropical Storm Debby is located about about 200 miles south of Mobile, AL moving NNW at a slow 3 mph with maximum winds of 50 mph. It will slowly arc to the west skirting the coast and gaining some intensity, flirting with a Category 1 hurricane status in a few days. I expect landfall in the Louisiana to Huston area in about a week as is moves along the the North and Northwestern Gulf coast. Rain is confined to Debby's East and North with some rain in Florida western peninsula but mainly in the coastal panhandle for the next few days. NO strong winds in Florida and no hurricane force winds on shore at least through Louisiana. The rain is good.
DISCUSSION: The controlling pressures and winds are very week and have been, leading to great uncertainty in direction of motion. I thought several days ago that a weak front might steer Debby to the NE, but it was just too weak. Debby now is being steered by weak high pressure systems. Conditions are presently good for only modest intensification.
I might as well go out on limb (with a saw). I have for months now developing the feeling that Florida is likely to get hit by one or two hurricanes. The last few seasons, the steering currents have been heavily influenced by the position of the Jet Stream which has moved to the North and no longer exerting the influence in the low latitudes that it did in past years. It is, of course, more complicated than that, but among other factors that we must keep in mind, well.... we will see.
NEXT FORECAST: Monday morning the 25th
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Peter S. Ray
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