Tropical storm Debby has all the earmarks of a trickster. She formed in the Gulf of Mexico last week, the first time since record keeping of storms began in 1851 that there have been four named storms in June.
Initially, the National Hurricane Center predicted that she would strike somewhere along the Louisiana or Texas coast. There was apparently a system to the northwest of the storm that the meteorologists believed would sweep Debby up, propelling her toward those states. But Debby had a few tricks up her sleeve. She decided to linger in the gulf and stopped moving at all. A stationary storm often strengthens and usually drives meteorologists nuts as they try to figure out where the storm will go.
While Debby was stationary, powerful bands of rain have been pummeling the state. At one point on Sunday (June 24), Florida was invisible on the radar, covered with bands of green, yellow and red. Tropical storm force winds extend 230 miles from Debby’s center, so many parts of the state are already under flood watches – and tornado warnings.
As of this morning, June 25, Debby’s predicted path had done a 180. She’s now headed for Florida’s west coast, somewhere near Tampa, and is expected to cross the state and exit into the Atlantic. In her slow, tortuous journey, she’s expected to dump about 20 inches of rain. Parts of the state are already flooded, 35,000 homes and businesses are without power, and two dozen tornadoes have touched down in various counties and done some damage. So, the governor has declared a state of emergency, which means all state agencies can immediately provide help to any county governments that request it.
Our back yard, though, loves the two inches of rain our area got yesterday.
And our daughter took a photo of a guy windsurfing on the lake at her dog park in Orlando.
Accuweather meteorologists are concerned that Debby could re-intensify once she hits the Atlantic, and then strike the east coast of Florida. Now that would be the ultimate trickster ploy. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the fact that our drought is definitely over.