Gert and Franklin

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:47 PM GMT on July 24, 2005

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Tropical Storm Gert formed last night, marking the earliest hurricane season ever to have seven named storms. The previous record year was 1936, when the seventh storm formed on August 7. Gert has warm water underneath and good outflow above, but not enough room to do much intensification. A look at the latest SST plot for the Gulf of Mexico shows the warm 29 - 30C water in the southern Gulf under Gert, and also the cold water wake of Hurricane Emily.



The winds of slow-moving Category 2 and higher hurricanes often stir up cooler water from deep below the ocean surface, cooling the surface waters in their wake by 1 - 3C or more. However, the winds of Gert are only 40 mph, and not likely to produce a cold water wake of their own. The sudden stoppage of Emily's cold water wake just before the coast of Mexico south of Brownsville is an artifact of the technique used to make the SST map--data from more than one day is combined. The plot says data from 7/19 through 7/21 were used, and Emily hit Mexico on July 20, so undoubtedly the data near the coast where Emily hit came from July 19, before the storm crossed the coast. The reason multiple days are used to generate these composites it that the satellite making the measurement needs cloud-free conditions to be able to measure the sea surface temperature. The area near the coast of Mexico was no doubt cloud covered on July 20 and 21, so data from July 19 was used. The reason no cold water wake is seen from where Emily approached the Yucatan as a Category 4 hurricane is probably because the storm was moving too quickly to stir up much cold water from down deep. Emily's forward speed was 20 mph then, and slowed down to zero when it approached Brownsville.

Turning our attention to Tropical Storm Franklin, we see a classic example of a sheared system. The low-level center of rotation is almost completely exposed, with just one glob of thunderstorms clinging to the storm's south side. Strong upper level winds blowing from the northwest are ripping away any convection that tries to fire up on the north side of Franklin. The shear is expected to continue for at least the next day, and Franklin should continue heading out to sea and probably weaken further.

Out in the rest of the tropics, nothing eye-catching is happening today, so we may be in for a quiet week for a change!

Jeff Masters

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668. oriondarkwood
4:52 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
StSimonsIslandGAGuy has a point, max winds can vary heavily depending on if the hurricane is going a eyewall replacement cycle. I think my scale would still be vaild but instead of a 15MPH per catagory scale, maybe increase it to a 30MPH per catagory scale, that way even with wind changes a Cat 3 hurricane will likely remain ranked as a Cat 3. Otherwise we do away with the scale althought and just list the max/min winds like if a hurricane has 155MPH winds, list it as a 145 - 165 MPH storm.
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
667. txweather
4:39 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
Sorry i meant 6/7 years. I wasn't thinking.
666. txweather
4:38 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
The good news is that as rare as 175+ is(there have 7 since 1960, so 1 every 7/8 years) it is even rarer to see one hit at peak. Unfortunatelly Camille, give it 12 hrs and it might have been down to 155(this is just speculation)
665. txweather
4:29 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
St.Simon, thats one place I have to disagree, press is secondary to wind for a storm's strength, imho. Most meteorologist disagree(and I am a meterologist myself), but thats how I think. Thats why in my ranking wind is first sort and press is second(there are obviously more, but they don't matter here). Of course I think this has been discussed ad nauseum so no need to do that again. But I do agree andrew was no five.

One thing I am wondering is "will emily get the upgrade at the end of the year", it was soooo close in the Carribean.

Emmy, my point was that the devastation is so much greater with 190 vs 155/160 that people might get the "i've been through this bad before syndrome" and not realize that the 190mph storm is 50% more force hitting you. But yes, devestation is devestation.
664. hootiethebooty
4:25 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
uuuuhg...now that would be an unfortunate find.
663. outrocket
4:20 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
we that were here on gulf coast know Cammile was a cat5..with no doupt..they still find caskets occasionaly where CAMILLE dug up cemetaries....
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 104 Comments: 11010
662. hootiethebooty
4:14 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
You are right on that count Emmy...devestation is devestation.
661. txweather
4:14 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
Outrocket, no doubt. An upgrade at the end of the season(like gaston's)I can accept, but not years later. Yes there is a total review going on, but it almost seems this was done to upgrade Andrew. The problem is that south FL thinks they've seen the worst, and they didn't see anywhere near the worst.
660. outrocket
4:13 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
spooky thing is...if catastrophic(its act of god)..and there were alot of suites still pending when ANDREW got reclassified...it let some insurance cos.off the hook..
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 104 Comments: 11010
659. EmmyRose
4:12 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
Bet the people who got slammed by Andrew in Florida just call it a "monster" anyway
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 347 Comments: 76405
657. hootiethebooty
4:08 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
Yeah, Camille was quite devestating...I was 12 when the eye hit in Biloxi MS...I lived in Slidell LA. It scared me soo bad that when you say hurricane...I run as fast as I can to get out of the way! LOL
656. outrocket
4:07 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
Tx I agree ,somehow no matter what they say politics ruled into ANDREW being reclassified..I'm with YOU..it was NO CAMMILE had it been ...florida would have a neat canal through it...
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 104 Comments: 11010
655. EmmyRose
4:05 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
Maybe they'll name hurricanes after us - LOL
StormTop would be quite a storm huh?
Maybe I went too low with my predictions 12 but I"m hoping with this bizarre season we're getting them all out of the way and September will be calm - maybe I'm dreamin -
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 347 Comments: 76405
654. Alec
4:03 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
Nice to talk to you guys. I'll be back later this afternoon. Gotta walk in the sweltering, blistering heat to class. Keep it up yall! when i get back i want this blog to go in the record books! If anyone sees stormtop tell him we want his prediction too. -later
652. txweather
4:02 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
That was 1 reasone I really didn't like Andrew being upgraded. If it was a 5 it was just barely a 5 and didn't belong among Camile and Laborday hurricane or the other big ones.
651. outrocket
3:59 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
every mph counts when force is squared...LOL
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 104 Comments: 11010
650. Alec
3:58 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
but if i got hit in the head by a 2 by 4 in a cat 4 or 5 i dont care, its bad either way!
649. Alec
3:56 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
i AGREE ORION. The damage from a storm as the mph increase higher and higher is exponentially bigger. Even a 145mph hurricane is much worse than a 140mph hurricane.
648. hootiethebooty
3:55 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
Well I keep hearing about 2005 being unusual...so I voted for an unusual number.
646. Alec
3:53 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
thats 1 over the all time record for the Atlantic Basin hootie!
644. oriondarkwood
3:52 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
Alec,

I did a while back I suggested that a 7 or even 10 point scale might be helpful since a 155MPH cat 5 storm is ranked the same as a 190MPH cat 5 storm althought the damage they could do is vastly different (still extereme damage, but one is more like a giant's hand, the other diety level destruction).

Txweather,

Seriously I do a good job and my boss is pretty much the type you can do what you want within company policy as long as the work is done and before the deadlines. So my being away from the wunderground blog is more than thier is nothing major going on to talk about. Actually would be a good time for the Doctor to do his piece on globabl warming that he promised a while back.
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
643. outrocket
3:52 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
No alec did not make one...but will 14 named storms 6 major...
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 104 Comments: 11010
642. hootiethebooty
3:51 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
I am going to go way out on a limb...double my lucky number 2...I say 22 storms.
641. Alec
3:50 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
your the first one Stsimons to predict the # i predicted! yay! lol
640. txweather
3:49 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
What !!!!, change categires. no I didn't, but Steve Gregory mention that another scale was needed and I agree. Probably something based on strength and size. I though about doing some stuff along those lines, but haven't got around to it yet
639. Alec
3:49 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
haha outrocket! i think weatherboyfsu has your prediction already.
637. outrocket
3:48 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
my prediction is more than we have had so far.....LOL
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 104 Comments: 11010
636. Alec
3:47 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
that would be funny if one yr. they did a list of the names of presidents(US).
635. Alec
3:45 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
did anyone hear about someone saying they might change the categories(1-5) of hurricanes?
634. txweather
3:44 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
Maybe they should have theme years for hurricane names. One years its shakespere, the next mascots, etc. I magine getting hit by the floria"gator"

Orion I agree and actually I glad to be able to do other things for a few days
633. HurricaneKing
3:44 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
21 named storms for me.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2485
632. Alec
3:42 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
emmyrose, weatherboy isnt logged on yet(i think, thats if hes not spectating our comments)
631. EmmyRose
3:39 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
weatherboy you forgot EMMY~ROSE on your list
of predications - I say 12
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 347 Comments: 76405
630. oriondarkwood
3:38 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
I am not dead like some of ya'll may like (LOL). Reality been really sucking my time (my boss is acutally expecting me to work while I am at work). But a couple of things

First hi ya'll newcomers sit down, take your shoes off. We don't bite (well unless you ask).

Second for those that haven't guessed I am male, 33 married with children and looking like Al Bundy to be excat (LOL). And I hold no degrees in meteorlogy (althought I did want to become one, but chickened out due to the amount of advanced math courses). I am a software engineer by trade (and hopefully a novelist, poet and RPG games designer one day)

Next as far as total tropical systems I predicted 18 with 11 hurricanes and 8 major ones a while back. However if mother nature keeps the pace she has set in July we could be looking at 28 named systems by seasons end (ie 7 in Jul, Aug, Sept and Oct).

Lastly looks like what the good Dr. said, its going to be quite for a week or two. SST's are good but shear, dust and high pressue systems going to make a tropical system a hard sell for the next little bit
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
629. EmmyRose
3:37 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
So for the "I" name is it "Iago" might as well get a full sweep of Hamlet in here
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 347 Comments: 76405
628. Alec
3:37 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
id like to hear yours too Stormtop if your watching.
627. EmmyRose
3:36 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
I say 12
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 347 Comments: 76405
626. Alec
3:36 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
is writing*
625. Alec
3:35 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
anybody that hasnt given a prediction give a prediction for the # of total tropical systems this season. weatherboyfsu is them down.
624. txweather
3:34 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
Harvey is next, as in the giant invisible rabbit from the play
623. EmmyRose
3:33 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
But I would love to name storms - is there a job opening for that one????????
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 347 Comments: 76405
622. txweather
3:33 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
actually alec you are coreect, she was acharacter from hamlet
621. Alec
3:32 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
well, at the rate were going we may be able to get to 2000 before the next blogg's set up by jeff.
620. EmmyRose
3:32 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
You are correct again Alec
Ophelia done goes crazy like in Hamlet
not a good omen name for a hurricane
Like Medea or Macbeth - argh I would run from them
storms hee hee
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 347 Comments: 76405
619. txweather
3:31 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
Good morning. I say lets try for 1000 comments.
618. EmmyRose
3:30 PM GMT on July 25, 2005
You see Deb we're very special here in Houston
just ask the people from Dallas LOL
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 347 Comments: 76405

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.