Here is the latest NOAA Tropical Storm Debby update as of 8AM EDT, June 25, 2012. The National Hurricane Center, part of the National Weather Service, shows Tropical Storm Debby still moving slowly along the Gulf of Mexico coast near the Florida Panhandle. Warnings remain in effect along the Alabama-Florida border, east of the Suwannee River. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the area south of the Suwannee River to Englewood, Florida. Maximum sustained winds of 50MPH with gusts up to 70MPH have been recorded. Much of Florida is under a tornado watch spurred by Tropical Storm Debby. Storm surge and flood warnings also cover a wide area of Florida due to the slow speed of Debby and her dumping of 10 to 15 inches of rain in some places.
For much of the past 48 hours, speculation has run high on just where Debby is going. The actual center of the storm, the low pressure point, is still in the Gulf of Mexico, slowly moving Northeast. Most of the rain and thunderstorms associated with Debby have already moved across central Florida and are now in the Western Atlantic. Computers models which showed Debby moving westward on Friday and Saturday are now being discarded. Louisiana and Texas now appear to safe from any major impact by Debby, other than the shutting down of off shore oil rigs and disruptions to the fishing industry.
So if NOAA is right about Tropical Storm Debby, the tornado outbreak spurred by Tropical Storm Debby in Florida may be limited soon to the Florida Panhandle and moving North by East through Alabama and Georgia. The latest updates by the National Hurricane Service, a division of the National Weather Service, has Debby with sustained winds of 50 MPHs. Aside from tornado and wind damage, flooding from storm surge and torrential rains are the major threats for now.