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Tropical conditions stir up Gulf waters, weekend weather

9 a.m. Saturday, June 23

National Hurricane Center forecasters are giving a tropical storm system in the Gulf of Mexico a “90 percent chance” of forming a tropical depression or Tropical Storm Debby.

The question then remains as to which direction the storm will head, toward Florida or Texas? The path is uncertain.

The National Weater Service is reporting the hurricane tracking models can not predict a path because the storm is yet undeveloped.

One spokesperson for NHC called the storm an “unorganized mess.” Dennis Feltgen of the NHC in Miami told TBO.com, “It’s a big, sloppy disorganized system which has a good chance of getting its act together.”

If the system develops sustained winds of 39 mph, it will be named Debby, the fourth named storm of the hurricane season that began June 1 and continues through Nov. 30.

But no matter the name, the Gulf will churn up plenty of rain, winds, and higher than normal tides and surf for Islanders over the June 23-24 weekend. There also will be a greater risk of riptides.

Beachgoers are cautioned to use a floatation device if you go in the water, and to do so only at the public beaches where marine rescue personnel are present.

Otherwise, Islanders should buckle down and take the usual precautions for high water on roads, safeguard against the usual “storm event” circumstances. Secure lawn furniture. Keep pets indoors. Be prepared with water, batteries and other storm supplies.

For storm-readiness tips, go online to www.islander.org and review the Storm Avenger special section — scroll down to the section icon on right side of the main page.

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