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Debby: A Force of Nature and Extreme Heat in Central US

25 Jun 2012, 1:04 pm

June 25, 2012

Tropical Storm Debby will be the star of the (weather) show this entire week. Front and center. She’s a force to be reckoned with and is a perfect example of how tropical storms and depressions shouldn’t be taken lightly! Growing up in Florida, I know a lot of people think, “Oh! Just a tropical depression (or tropical storm)? We can handle that!”  Not so fun when the same storm sits over the same area for days and days and days though.

Tropical Storm Debby. Source: http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/

Tropical Storm Debby is a little weaker at midday as the storm moves slowly toward the Florida coastline. Maximum sustained winds are 45 mph moving at a painfully slow 3 mph (for a while it was at 0 mph). Little change in strength is expected during the next 48 hours.  You can get the latest from the National Hurricane Center’s Facebook page. 

From the National Weather Service Tampa Bay Facebook page: Over the past 24 hours, wind shear around #Debby in the NE Gulf contributed to the formation of numerous tornadoes across Florida.  A few tornadoes are possible today across the eastern Florida Panhandle, Florida peninsula and southern Georia.

Now for some 24 hour rainfall totals around Florida as of 8pm Sunday night.

A prolonged period of rain has resulted in big flooding. Streets are completely submerged. My sister-in-law in Tampa was chatting with me this morning and was wondering how on earth she was going to get to work as the main road she takes was under water.  This photo shows people getting around in canoes in the Tampa Bay, FL area yesterday.   (AP Photo/Tampa Bay Tribune, Chris Zuppa).  You can read more about the flooding in this Associated Press article. 

Photo Courtesy: AP/Chris Zuppa

From canoeing to surfing in the streets.   Not sure the surfing option is very safe.  This is one of many telling flooding photos from the WTSP.com website.

The Tampa Bay Downs racetrack is also water-logged. Thanks to Meteorologist Jacob Wycoff for sharing this photo along with some wind gusts in the Tamp area.  You can read more here. 

This week marks the beginning of Lightning Safety week (June 24-30).  In the United States, there are about 25 million lightning flashes every year. Guess which state sees the most?

Heat is the other big story.   Denver could be looking at a 4th straight day at or above 100 degrees.  Here’s a look at the previous years when Denver has had more than 5 consecutive days at 100 degrees or higher.

The Colorado heatwave is making fire fighting efforts more difficult.  A Red Flag Warning is in effect through 8 p.m. Monday.  More than 83-thousand acres have now burned. The fire is 45 percent contained.  You can read the latest from InciWeb.

High Park smoke plume in Colorado. Twitter: @Muunkie34

The new Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs is also another blaze to watch. It continues to burn nearly uncontrolled. Check out this video from YouTube user VKHeinecke:

 

Colorado is not the only place looking at 100 degree heat today.  Check out the forecast highs around the country today.

Here’s how today’s high temps compare to the average for this date.

We want to thank Paul Brooks for sharing this awesome time lapse video of a storm rolling through Eastern Iowa last night.  Paul says “I measured a 56 mph wind gust with the storm. I followed this shelf cloud for around 1 hour, noting rotation 1 other time than in the video, but not funnel clouds or lowering again. This storm ended up producing a good amount of hail from .25-.75″ in diameter within the hour that this was filmed.

Photo below.  Click here to watch the video.

Finally, a little something to cool and calm us all. A beautiful photo from Glacier Bay National Park’s Facebook page. 

Lots of big weather stories today. Please stay safe and tune in to WeatherNation for more information!

Susie Martin
Twitter: @smartinWNTV
WNTV Meteorologist

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