An unusually early spate of tropical storms has been keeping forecasters busy this year, and now Tropical Storm Debby, the fourth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, has set a record — this season marks the first time in more than 150 years that so many storms have showed up so early.
"This is first time we've had four tropical storms develop in the Atlantic basin before July 1," said Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist and spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla.
Tropical Storm Debby roared to life over the Gulf of Mexico and attained tropical storm status late in the afternoon on Saturday, June 23.
The first named storm of the season, Tropical Storm Alberto, appeared on May 19, the earliest debut for a named storm since 2003; Tropical Storm Beryl and Hurricane Chris followed.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday, as slow-moving Tropical Storm Debby brought power outages, heavy flooding, and the prospect of 10 to 20 inches of rain to the Sunshine State.
Debby continued to spin just off the west coast of Florida. A tropical storm warning was in effect for most of Florida's Gulf coast.
While not forecast to reach hurricane strength, Debby is expected to pound Florida with heavy rain for the next few days.