As of 1pm CDT, the center of Tropical Storm Debby was located about 175 miles East/Southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and moving Northeast at 6 mph.
Debby has been moving toward the Northeast for the last 4-5 hours, and there seems little doubt in my mind that it will continue to be drawn into the influence of the trough of low pressure developing over the Eastern U.S. and continue in this general direction over the next few days. I would, therefore, expect a landfall (of the center) somewhere along the northwestern Florida coast late tomorrow or early Tuesday - but that is really irrelevant, as the state continues to be under siege by Debby right now (more on that in a moment).
The "official" forecast track from the National Hurricane Center continues to shift toward the East, but -at this time- still calls for a landfall in southern Louisiana later this week. I suspect we'll continue to see the NHC shift their forecast Eastward over time, especially now that more and more of the major computer forecast models are now coming to the same conclusion:
As I mentioned above, regardless of the exact timing of the landfall of the center of Debby, Florida will continue to be hammered by high surf, dangerous rip currents, heavy rain and isolated tornadoes through at least most of Monday.
The latest rainfall forecast from the HPC is calling for widespread amounts of 6-12 inches across much of central and northern Florida through at least early Tuesday. Localized amounts in excess of 12 inches will be possible in some areas, especially near and adjacent to the yellow shadings on the image:
Numerous tornado warnings have been issued today, and we'll continue to see spin-ups of tornadoes along the Eastern side of the thunderstorm activity associated with Debby through Monday. While these tornadoes are typically short lived, if they happen to touch down in a populated area, they can still cause damage and injury.
Folks across the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, and especially Florida, southern Alabama and southern Georgia, should continue to monitor the latest information and forecasts concerning Debby. If you are in central or northern Florida, including the panhandle region, and live in a flood prone area, please move to higher ground as quickly as it is safely possible and ride out the storm there. Flooding and flash flooding, as well as the water inundation from the Gulf may indeed be the greatest threats with this system (other than the isolated tornado threat, of course).
I will make another post later this evening, or earlier if conditions warrant. You may also wish to follow me on facebook or twitter (at the links below) for any short updates that I may post there from time to time as anything particularly interesting pops up.
For additional details including the latest satellite and radar imagery and loops of this system, please visit this dedicated page on our sister site, WeatherGuidance.com.
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