MIAMI, Florida -- U.S. Air Force hurricane hunter reconnaissance aircraft and buoy data indicate that the area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico has become Tropical Storm Debby. NOAA's National Hurricane Center storm tracker in Miami, Florida has issued a Tropical Storm Advisory at 5 p.m. EDT on June 23, 2012 which projects that Tropical Storm Debby could make landfall on the Louisiana as early as Monday and the Texas coast by Wednesday.
A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued from the mouth of the Pearl River westward to Morgan City, Lousiana. The Tropical Storm Warning does not include the city of New Orleans, Lousiana or Lake Pontchartrain.
The center of Tropical Storm Debby was located near latitude 26.2 North, longitude 87.6 west.
Debbie is moving toward the north near 6 miles per hour. A slow northward motion is expected tonight, followed by a westward turn on Sunday.
On the NOAA forecast track, the center of Tropical Storm Debby will be moving over the northern Gulf of Mexico during the next few day.
Maximums sustained winds are near 50 miles per hour, with higher gusts. These winds are occurring well east of the center of circulation. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles to the east of the center.
Minimum central pressure estimated from reconnaissance date is 1001 MB.. 29.56 inches.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area by Sunday night, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
The combination of a storm surge and the tide will cause normall dry ares near the coast to be flooded by rising waters. The water could reach the following depths above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide: Mississippi and Southeastern Louisiana - 1 to 3 feet. The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore flow.
Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.
Tropical Storm Debby is expected to produce rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches along the gulf coast from southern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, with possible isolated rainfall maximum amounts of 10 inches.
The U.S. Geological Survey says that this year, the Gulf Coast is vulnerable to extreme erosion.