Tropical Storm Debby has officially formed in the Gulf of Mexico -- Tropical Storm Warnings have been posted for parts of the Louisiana coast line along the eastern part of the state.
As of now, the official track will send Debby as a tropical storm to the Southern or Central Texas Coast. Here is the official track put out by the National Hurricane Center:
An Air Force Reconnaissance Plane -- otherwise known as Hurricane Hunters -- are currently in the process of wrapping up flying through the area of interest in the Gulf of Mexico known as Invest 96L. Early indications are that wind speed data and pressure requirements are enough to suggest that Tropical Storm Debby has now formed. According to multiple Twitter reports, Navy weather websites and National Hurricane Center systems have renamed Invest 96L to Debby already.
We'll continue to monitor the progress -- but it is anticipated that the first advisories from the National Hurricane Center will come out around 4pm CDT.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving the disturbance in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico a 90% chance of becoming either a tropical depression or tropical storm today -- and leaning more towards naming our next tropical storm.
This morning's Tropical Weather Outlook stated that it seem the center of circulation with this low was located roughly 275 miles south / southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi. Buoy data 130 miles east / northeast of this center has detected tropical storm force winds within a few hours of 7am.
Twitter reports a Carnival Cruise ship near the center of this low pressure measured 1002mb pressure and 10 to 11 foot waves. Between that and the buoy data, it is not certain -- although it looks like -- we very well could have Debby in the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane Hunters will be sent into the storm later this afternoon to verify what is being suggested by satellite and buoy data. While this could still be just a depression at this point, it looks like the National Hurricane Center could be leaning towards naming this Tropical Storm Debby once they receive word from the reconnaissance plane after it investigates later this afternoon.
Where will this storm go?
That is still a very tough question. Looking at our computer models this morning (each line below indicates a different model) there is a good split between taking this system west to South Texas / Northern Mexico, northward towards the Alabama / Mississippi Coast and a few that are still leaning towards Florida after being picked up by a trough of low pressure on the eastern side of the country.
In terms of the Upper Texas Coast and a bigger impact for the Brazos Valley -- still not out of the question, although -- we don't anticipate a large impact here. A few computer models over the past few days have brought this storm closer to our part of the state, but with a strong ridge of high pressure setting up over the center of the country, it is likely to push any activity to South Texas / Northern Mexico should this system move west.
Again, still hard to be certain -- but something that should be watched throughout the day and weekend. A great graphic was put out by the National Weather Service in Tallahassee this morning, showing the uncertainty of this system and heeding the warning from the NHC that tropical storm watches or warnings could be placed for the Northern Gulf Coast at some point this weekend.
Details and updates as they become available. Of course, you can always follow the latest on Twitter (@KBTXShel)