Tropical Storm Debby made landfall near Steinhatchee, Florida on Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It is the first tropical storm of 2012 to form in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Debby is expected to weaken to a tropical depression tonight,” the NHC said in its 48-hour outlook.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Florida Gulf coast from Steinhatchee to Englewood, the center said.
The storm idled about a quarter of U.S. offshore oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, based on figures issued by U.S. offshore regulators. About 6 percent of U.S. gas production and just over 20 percent of U.S. oil production come from the Gulf of Mexico.