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Debby, season's 4th tropical storm forms

Posted by David Epstein  June 23, 2012 11:01 PM

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Late Saturday tropical storm Debbie formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, winds are near 45 knots with gusts as high as 50 knots. The storm is expected to remain a tropical storm for the next few days. The impact to the United States will be heavy rain and wind along the immediate Louisiana coastline during the next couple of days. The storm then will move west and may impact Texas later in the week.

Hurricane season began on June 1st and we already have our 4th named storm of the season. There is a bit of meteorological controversy about there being 4 named storms. Chris, number 3, was arguably not a tropical system that should have been named. It formed very far to the north and resembled more of an extra tropical system than a true tropical one. The fact we have had 4 storms already doesn't mean the season overall will be a bad one. There are many factors that determine how many storms form for the rest of the summer and fall and these can change the trend in a matter of weeks. I "tweet" often so Remember, please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom for the latest updates on this storm and other gardening and weather tips. I try to answer all questions as well.

For example, if El Nino starts to return as it may, then hurricanes tend to have a tougher time forming. The reason for this is that El Nino creates stronger winds at the upper levels. These winds then tend to shear (rip) apart the thunderstorms that are needed for a hurricane to form.

I will be watching several different variables throughout the summer to see how active this hurricane season might turn out. One thing to keep in mind, an active or inactive season doesn't necessarily mean there can't be major destruction. 20 years ago, we had a very inactive hurricane season. However, don't tell that to folks in south Florida. You see, 1992 was the year the last category 5 to hit the United States happened. Andrew wiped some small town off the map in that region and forever changed the lives of thousands of households.

Debby
Debby, at this point, doesn't look to become a major storm. The computer models are having a very difficult time forecasting where the storm will end up. The latest track official takes the storm towards southern Texas later this week. I expect this track to change several times before this storm hits the mainland, if it ever does.
Debby.bmp The official track is made up of a combination of all the models. Take a look at the image below that shows many different model solutions. Each of those lines is a possible track of Debby. Notice some models want to bring it west, while others move the storm northeastward. One model even takes the storm over New England. It would be a rain storm then, and this is not likely at all. However, you get the idea on how different the forecasts are for this storm.
at201204_ensmodel2.GIF

Gardening this week

If your perennials seem out of control and rather large already you can do some pruning to help manage their size. Many perennials will stay tighter and neater from some quick pruning. Check out this video and see how you can try this in your own yard.

Remember, please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com


This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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