Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tropical Storm Debby heads for Florida coast

(Reuters) - Tropical Storm Debby meandered slowly to the Florida coast on Sunday, bringing strong winds and waves that forced the closure of about a quarter of offshore oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico and spawning tornadoes that killed one person.

Debby, the first named storm of 2012 to enter the Gulf of Mexico, was centered about 115 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida and was nearly stationary, the National Hurricane Center said in its 7 p.m. CDT (0000 GMT) update.

Debby, no longer expected to gain hurricane strength, packed winds of 60 mph, the Miami-based center said.

Citing a "significant change in the forecast track," the NHC said Debby is expected to hit the Florida Panhandle near Panama City on Thursday as a tropical storm. "This forecast remains uncertain due to weak steering currents," the NHC said. Read More