Tropical Storm Debby continues to churn in the central Gulf of Mexico and it has its eyes set on the Gulf Coast.
Debby developed about 220 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River at 5 p.m. EDT Saturday, according to the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center.
Debby broke a record by just forming, but what is more concerning to the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center is where the tropical storm will track.
As AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Edwards stated on Friday, there are two main factors that could influence Debby's movement--a dip in the jet stream diving into the East Coast and a large ridge of high pressure building over and baking the Plains.
Debby will continue to crawl northward today, but should get steered to the west-northwest toward southern Louisiana or extreme eastern Texas as the ridge of high pressure expands. Given this solution, landfall would likely be delayed until the middle or latter part of this week.
Debby should slowly strengthen as it moves into an area of less wind shear, as well as the warmer waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Even though Debby is expected to track away from Florida, additional tropical moisture and downpours could still be directed across the state through early this week.
It is not out of the question, however, that Florida becomes the target of Debby. If the dip in the jet stream drops southward quicker than expected, Debby could reverse course and cross northern or central Florida early this week.
The strong winds of the jet stream would prevent Debby from rapidly strengthening if it indeed approaches Florida, but flooding rain would remain a serious concern.
Flooding downpours and isolated tornadoes are already threatening Florida, especially its western coast, and will continue to do so through the weekend with Debby churning offshore.
Surf will also continue to build and the danger of rip currents will significantly heighten along the eastern and central Gulf Coasts today.
The danger of rough surf will expand to the western Gulf Coast as Debby turns westward.
All residents along the Gulf Coast and even into the Southeast are urged to check back with the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center for the latest on Tropical Storm Debby.
A complex of thunderstorms is forecast to hit areas from Dallas to Abilene, Texas late Monday night into Tuesday.
Weather favoring the spread of wildfires will increase over California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona Tuesday into Wednesday.
Join us this Thursday for another edition of AccuWeather LIVE, where we will answer your questions and discuss hurricane season and the start of summer.
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