I think we'll be looking at Tropical Storm Debby before too long. We've been watching a low in the Gulf of Mexico all this week. The GFS was hinting at its development last week. It's likely we will see additional strengthening and organization within the next 48 hours. The National Hurricane Center is watching this system closely. In fact, the Air Force is scheduled to send out a WC-130 tomorrow afternoon to investigate. After that - I suspect we'll see the system labeled at least a Tropical Depression.
The low is about 360 miles south of Mobile, but strong high pressure across the Southeast will keep the low in the Gulf meandering for a few days. The track will likely take the system across Florida. I suspect several inches of rain by late weekend for Florida, windy conditions, and some thunderstorms. It's less likely the low will make a westward track. Our VIPIR computer model has been suggesting a turn toward Florida for the last several days. Computer models are agreeing with this turn toward the east or possibly the northeast.
The turn is going to be prompted by a trough digging in from the north. This "cool front" will stear the low toward Florida's west coast. The question is whether the system will have a chance to strengthen into a Tropical Storm or Hurricane. The longer the low sits in the Gulf the better the chances for strengthing.
Water Temperatures are remain in the lower 80s in the Gulf - perfect for tropical formation. It appears the upper-level winds are more favorable for strengthing. At this point, I do not see this system having an impact on Alabama's Gulf Coast. We will keep you updated.
Fox 6 Chief Meteorologist