Tropical storm "Debby" seems likely to develop over the Southern Gulf of Mexico this weekend...system heavily "tilted" on east side...Air Force Reserve hurricane hunters scheduled to check out the system this afternoon....
The tropical low that's been "festering" for a number of days is now in the Central Gulf of Mexico but seems to be having trouble wrapping the thunderstorms all around the center as the center is exposed to the west of the strongest convection. This may be partly due to an upper level low west of the system over the NW Gulf (see 2nd satellite [water vapor] image below. None-the-less, convection is strong over the eastern half of the circulation with winds near tropical storm force already being measured over the Eastern Gulf. Winds are light near the center. As I mentioned earlier in the week, this may end up being classic early season development on the west end of a trough where development is almost painstakingly slow but once established, the tropical cyclone becomes quite strong. So this bears a great deal of scrutiny the next few days especially as the upper low peels away to the west & loses some of its influence on the tropical low.
As for the track....the majority of the forecast models continue to show slow movement north then west but at varying speeds with the European model the fastest by far & takes the system inland over S. Texas. Other models in this "camp" are generally slower & farther north. The GFS model is back to a more eastern solution that would take the system across Florida early in the week. This solution still seems to be an outlier. The ultimate track will continue to hinge on the strength & depth of an upper level trough in the Eastern U.S. and
an upper level ridge across the Southern U.S. While there will be a general increase in showers & a few t'storms over the First Coast & especially NE Fl. through the weekend, no direct effects from the tropical low are likely before early next week. If the models showing a westward move are accurate then any significant impacts from the storm would stay well west of Jacksonville. If the few models showing a more eastward movement are correct, then at least some impacts would be possible in the early to middle part of next week. Given the upper low in the NW Gulf & only the slow strengthening of the upper ridge, I personally favor a slower move northward then holding stationary a drift west. But the move east is by no means completely off the table.The last advisory on "Chris"
was issued Fri. afternoon.