Debby dissipating, heading out to sea

Any chance that Debby, now a tropical depression, was going to head up the East Coast appears headed out to sea along with the weakening storm.

A day ago, the storm was about to cross over Florida and potentially move northeastward off of the Outer Banks this weekend. The storm's forecast cone had it potentially within 100 or so miles of the coast.


But the National Hurricane Center's forecast as of 5 p.m. Wednesday calls for the system to head out toward Bermuda.

A strong wind shear -- differences in wind speed and direction at varying altitudes -- has inhibited Debby's rotation. Relatively dry air and cooling ocean water temperatures also prevented the storm from regaining strength once it passed over northern Florida.


Satellite images taken by NASA show the storm as increasingly disorganized.

The storm could regain tropical storm status, but isn't expected to affect land.

Ernesto is the next name on the list of hurricanes for 2012. A system about halfway between the African and South American coasts stands about a 10 percent chance of forming into a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours; otherwise, the tropics are clear.

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