Debby possible threat to Gulf Coast region

Published 3:33pm Saturday, June 23, 2012

Weather forecasters and prognosticators are keeping an eye on the Gulf of Mexico this weekend — anticipating the strengthening of a low-pressure system into a tropical depression.

Escambia Emergency Management Agency Director David Adams said officials with weather services and emergency response teams are watching the system carefully.

“Right now there is a 70 percent chance that it will become a tropical storm,” Adams said Friday. “We had two meteorologists from the National Weather Service to come up and meet with some first responders Thursday at the Ag Center behind Southern Pine and we discussed this latest system.”

Jeff Garmon and Cody Lindsey, both from the National Weather Service were in Brewton Thursday and Adams hopes they team will come back later to speak to a broader group.

Teams of forecasters and are monitoring the system to create models for how the storm will act once it reaches the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the National Weather Service’s report on Friday “environmental conditions appeared conductive for a tropical depression to occur. If it does develop it could become a tropical storm during the next 48 hours as it moves slowly northward. Interests along the Gult Coast should monitor the progress throughout the weekend. Heavy rains and localized flooding are possible if the system continues on its course.”

Adams said county officials will also be keeping an eye on the formation and progression of the storm.

“We will continue to watch what happens,” Adams said. “If it continues on its northern path it could possibly become a problem for us next week. It is possible to see a lot of rain and if it rains too much too fast, we have to worry about possible flooding.”

If the storm develops into a tropical depression and on to a tropical storm or hurricane, the National Hurricane Center will call the system Debby. It would be second named storm of the 2012 hurricane season.

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