While we keep it hot and dry in the TN Valley, there’s a big storm churning just to our south in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Tropical Storm Debby has already caused major problems in Florida.. since Saturday, NWS has issued over 35 tornado warnings in Florida and there have been reports of 5-8″ of rain in some spots.
This storm has been a very difficult one to forecast the track for.. it’s right in between two steering currents to the north, making it almost stationary as of right now. There’s a large area of high pressure over the Central Plains with broad clockwise flow trying to pull the storm towards the west, while winds out of the northwest from the Ohio River Valley to the Mid Atlantic are trying to steer it to the east:
Just to give you an idea of how confused the weather models are, here is a “spaghetti plot” of a bunch of the different models that are used to forecast tropical storm tracks.. each colored line is the forecast track for one model:
*UPDATE* The National Hurricane Center has taken all this into account and come out with this “official” forecast for the storm:
This forecast track would have Debby making landfall as a Tropical Storm near Panama City around mid-day Thursday. After monitoring model trends and comparing them with ground truth/surface observations, I think this is a fairly reasonable idea of where the storm will end up at this point. It will be a slow mover that will dump a ton of rain on parts of Florida and the Gulf Shores.
As for us here in the TN Valley, it’s too early to tell whether we will get any rain out of this system. If we do, it likely wouldn’t be until the weekend. We will continue to closely monitor Tropical Storm Debby and keep you updated on how it will affect our weather.
Hope you’re finding ways to stay cool! Enjoy the beautiful Alabama Summer weather.
- Ari Sarsalari