Tropical Storm Debby was the fifth named storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season. Debby formed from a vigorous tropical wave that moved off the African coast late on August 20. Debby managed to reach a peak of 50 mph twice throughout its lifetime, though was unable to strengthen to a Category 1-2 hurricane as originally predicted, due to persistent upper-level wind shear, as well as the Saharan Air Layer from Africa. After Debby peaked, it kept traveling through the open Atlantic Ocean, well away from any land until it dissipated on August 28. At one point, it was forecast that Debby might make an impact on the island of Bermuda, though this never occured. Damage caused by Debby is unknown, though it likely isn't even any at all.

Debby on August 24
Formation August 21, 2006
Dissipation August 26, 2006
Highest winds 50 mph
Lowest pressure 999 mbar
Deaths None reported
Damages None
Areas affected Cape Verde

Meteorological History

Late on August 20, a vigorous tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa and headed westward, only for a short time. The next day, a broad area of low-pressure formed within the wave, which already almost had banding features and a circulation when it moved off the African coast on August 20. The low-pressure area that formed within this wave on August 21 began to lose some of its convection on August 21, while located 260 miles southeast of the Cape Verde islands. Despite losing some convection, the wave remained well organized, and the system was upgraded to Tropical Depression Four late in the evening of August 21. The depression lost some convection after forming, and headed in a northwest motion for most of its lifetime.

Despite a lack of convection, the depression had a 575 mile wide wind field, which is a very large wind field. On August 22, the tropical depression passed 140 miles south of the Cape Verde islands without becoming a tropical storm. Early on August 23, however, the depression intensified into Tropical Storm Debby. Debby continued to move to the northwest, reaching a strength of 50 mph on August 23. Shortly after peaking, Debby weakened as a result of some dry air that had entrained itself into the center of circulation. The low-level circulation of Debby detached itself from what was left of the convection.

The system didn't dissipate, but was severely weakened, back to a minimal tropical storm with 40 mph winds. The system continued moving west-northwet. On August 24, Debby reintensified to reach her secondary peak of 50 mph winds, thanks to an increase in convection over the center of circulation, as well as an increase in rainbands. After peaking, Debby weakened back to a 40 mph tropical storm, thanks to wind shear from the south disrupting the storm's convection by blowing it away to the north of the circulation center. Debby began to lose its symmetrical structure (if it can even be considered symmetrical), and began to look more assymetrical and elongated, typical of weakening tropical cyclones.

Debby weakened to a tropical depression on August 26, while heading northwest. Debby eventually turned to the north, then to the north-northeast ahead of an approaching trough. The remnant low-pressure area of Debby, which Debby degenerated to on August 27, dissipated on August 28, marking the demise of the weak storm.


Cape Verde

The government of the Cape Verde islands posted a Tropical Storm Warning for the islands when Tropical Depression Four formed. The tropical storm conditions never came to the island, since Debby passed 115 miles to the south of the islands at its closest approach. The National Hurricane Center noted the possibility of the depression dumping up to 10 inches of rain potentially in the mountainous area of Cape Verde, which could cause dangerous and deadly flash flooding. Had that occured, it would've probably been a repeat of 1982's Tropical Storm Beryl or 1984's Tropical Storm Fran. Thankfully, the Cape Verde islands escaped with little rainfall or wind from the depression.


At one point, long-range forecasts called for an impact on Bermuda, though Debby never made even a 500 mile approach to the island (it was over 900 miles away from Bermuda at its closest approach to the island).

Gulf of Mexico

Debby was never forecast to even get close to the Gulf of Mexico. Despite that, investors that were tracking Tropical Storm Debby caused the price of crude oil rise 60 cents a barrel because of the potential of an impact to the oil installations.


Debby, during its closest approach to Cape Verde, 115 miles away from the southwestern islands, produced a gust of up to 35 mph in Fogo, as well as some light rainfall. Aside from that, no impacts were felt, except maybe some higher than usual surf. Damage was very light, and may not have even occured at all in the Cape Verde islands.

See Also

2006 Atlantic hurricane season

Lack of Retirement

Debby was not retired in 2007 by the World Meteorological Organization, and will be used again in the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.