MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hurricane history is full of storms that are torn about by the tall mountains of Hispaniola. CBS4 Chief Meteorologist Craig Setzer remembers one of those storms very well.
“[Debby] was the first serious storm threat I worked in Miami. The models said category 3 or 4, somewhere between the Upper Keys and Broward,” he said.READ MORE: Florida Lottery Marks Responsible Gaming Education Week
Setzer remembers the storm better for what it didn’t do than what it did. Debby didn’t hit Miami, or anywhere near Miami.
The storm, after becoming a category 1 storm near the Northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, crossed almost directly over Hispaniola and literally came apart.READ MORE: FHP Searching For Men Accused Of Carjacking Good Samaritans
“I remember watching the satellite loop and seeing this swirl racing away from the entire storm,” he recalled.
That swirl, or low level center as meteorologists label it, is the heart of any hurricane. Without a low level center, you can’t maintain a hurricane or tropical storm for very long. Debby dissipated later that day.
In many ways, Debby from over two decades ago is similar to Fred of today.MORE NEWS: US Dept. Of Health: Number Of COVID-19 Hospitalizations In Florida Continue To Decline
However, Fred is smaller and weaker, already struggling against dry air and some wind shear. And while it’s too early to tell if Fred will come apart in Debby fashion, the tall mountains of Hispaniola will definitely have a weakening and disruptive effect of the storm.