24 June 2012
As I wrote earlier today, the track on Debby remains very difficult but now the Euro model is drifting it slowly into the Florida Panhandle. Heavy rains, and even some tornadoes have been reported over mainland Florida and more is on the way. The story of Debby will be water, not wind. If you had plans for the Gulf Coast this week from Pensacola eastward, it’s time to cancel them.
Debby may make it to minimal hurricane strength if the wind shear can ease a bit, but the warm waters of the Gulf are going to produce some very heavy rains. The upper level high pressure ridge north of Debby produced intense heat today across the upper south, with Huntsville in Alabama reaching 101 degrees. More heat is likely from Kansas to Kentucky this week, with highs above 100 and little rain. The Northeast and Mid Atlantic will see an unusually strong late June cool front with pleasant conditions.