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Franklin getting sheared

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 1:24 AM GMT on July 22, 2005

Newly-born Franklin is struggling. Recent IR satellite images show a substantial loss of deep convection on all sides of the storm, as strong outflow from the tropical wave in the Caribbean shears Franklin from the southwest side. The tops of the thunderstorms trying to organize around Franklin's center are being torn away by the shear. Since Franklin is still in a fragile formative stage, it is entirely possible the storm will be ripped to shreds in the next few hours, becoming one of the shortest-lived tropical storms on record. The latest Hurricane Hunter report put the central pressure unchanged at 1009 mb, and surface winds about the same as 1 1/2 hours ago. They commented that the center was now poorly defined.

Meanwhile, the tropical wave responsible for shearing Franklin continues to expand its impressive upper level outflow. However, deep convection associated with the wave has decreased in the past few hours, and there is no surface circulation. This wave is still a day or more away from developing into a tropical depression. When and if it does, it could become a very large tropical storm.

Jeff Masters

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Well Dr. it is a "record year"
I believe we saw Emily just about lose it several times.
Well hopefully franklin falls apart or stays out in the Atlantic because Florida certainly doesn't need anymore hurricanes. Three direct hits last year(Charley, Frances and Jeanne) and one that heavily impacted the panhandle(Ivan). Already got clobbered by Dennis this year, talk about bad luck. Good news so far anyway, looks like Franklin will be shortlived, well at least what I'm hoping. The disturbance in the Caribbean doesn't look too impressive either, so good news on that front as well.
Talking of the Florida hurricanes last year, www.orlandosentinel.com has a fantastic photo gallery of those hurricanes and their aftermath, among others.
It doesn't bode well though for the warmer August /September months, the activity so far, does it.
Someone made the comment earlier this week on this blog that people who wanted to live on the coast probably have to put up with the severe weather consequences of htat decision, (or words to that effect). Maybe people in the hurricane zone are better off spending their money and enjoying themselves rather than investing too much in assets and things of a material nature.
I'm sure Emily was a horrific experience for those caught in it, but in some ways it let the land off lightly compared to how last year's storms went.
I think this is the season of "Shock and Awe" for the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. As much as i love to follow the science around these tropical storms, this is becoming to much to handle.
I guess we all hope it's not going to be that kind of season. The storms themselves are beautiful and spectacular. To me the horror, assuming everyone survives, is the aftermath. Even when you're insured, it just takes so long, for instance, to dry out a flooded home, let alone rebuild anything.
Is this going to be another Jeanne? If it survives, that is. The five day track has it turning around in the same way, coming to Florida. I expected Jeanne to go away last year, and it turned around and hit here.
My question is: Where will the Caribbean disturbance go? If Franklin performs the loop or cuts across the Florida peninsula as the models predict then doesn't that suggest high pressure to the north? If so, what's to keep the Caribbean disturbance from tracking northwestward, or northward, and into the gulf?
A little trivia(since I'm of the few who worries about such stupid things), if Franlin doesn't reach 1008 and doesn't strengthen, it will be the weakest storm since 1960. A 1008 will tie it with 4 other storms at 1008,40(no idea about the tie breaker though).

Deb1, those that got hit in NE mexico probbably took a hit worse than those in FL did(with the exception of those that got hit by charlie. Luckily there were less people there, thought the building are worse made.
Dr. Masters,

Would you kindly explain what you meant by "ridiculous hurricane season" in your earlier post. I think I understand you but would like to make sure. Thanks from Florida...
Last year was definitely a bad year, not so much because of the number of storms formed, but the death and destruction they caused, unfortunately this year could be worse in both regards. I think there were 19 named storms in "95 but most veered out to sea, but so far this year all 5 named storms have impacted land, not a good sign.

The last two years these storms have been impacting people from Florida to the Caribbean. People worry about a hit on the "big easy" by a major hurricane, but a direct hit on Haiti even by a Cat 1 or 2 would be devastating in terms of number of lives lost. I think Jeanne killed about 2000 people last year and it was only a TS when it struck Hait. Ivan though IMO was last years' vicious conqueror, hopefully Dennis is as bad as it gets this season.

So here's to the shear ripping these two disturbances apart, we need a break from these storms especially Florida.
Posted By: otherz7 at 1:56 AM GMT on July 22, 2005.
I think this is the season of "Shock and Awe" for the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. As much as i love to follow the science around these tropical storms, this is becoming to much to handle

I think you might be right, but I wholeheartedly agree
13. deb1
Txweather, I expect the people in Mexico did have a terrible time from Emily - the news reports out of there were likening it to Hurricane Gilbert in '88. But, taking last year as an example, was Mexico hit at all by any hurricanes? Florida started with Charlie and then had Frances, Ivan and Jeannie, in quick succession.
the wave in the caribbean is definitely becoming better organized..it has terrific outflow and the percip is becoming more concentrated...i think franklin will bite the dust and this in the caribbean will be your dominant system as it moves into the gulf...i expect this one to strengthen rapidly and be a cat 3 hurricane by sunday evening...there will be no shear and there are no fronts are troughs coming from the north..the central and eastern gulf are in the line of fire with gert..this storm is already about 400 miles wide..it will be huge as it develops in the next 2days...
Eastern Gulf as in possibly Tampa area??? Just curious on your thoughts!
Sorry Deb1, I misread your earlier comments.

Also on Frankin being the weakest TS in the atlantic, I forgot it was 45, so thats out. But it can still tie Earl for highest press in a TS.
check this out go to the visible loop and you tell me i see this thing already has a circulation at about 24.5 and 83.5...this will be a tropical depression tonight and become gert tomorrow ......this is going to be a much bigger storm then emily area wise...
no i hate to say this but when im talking eastern gulf i mean destin panama city area...
Any one thought about all the weird climatological (sp?) stuff that has happened since December 2004? Tsunami, A foot of snow in South Texas, a week of earthquakes in California, torriental rains in Nevada, Houston, Texas had it's driest June every followed by all this tropical activity... Makes one wonder if Mother Earth is doing some changing...
hummmmmm good question....i think we have a possibility to have another 3 storms in july and thats almost impossibe but not in 2005...
As far as a path of the disturbance in the NW carribean, my guess would be the western Gulf, simply because of a high that is going to be centered over the Se. This high goes all the way from the surface up. This should push this system toward the west or nw. Any more specific would be total speculation.
22. Alec
I think the models have been quite on target w/ the system in the Caribbean. The reason why it looks like its moving northwestward is because upper level wind shear is chopping part of its top off from the southwest. An upper level trough is diving southward in the Southern Gulf. The high pressure system in the northern Gulf is forecasted to slowly move westward and cause whatever this blog of clouds in the Northwestern Caribbean to track further westward. The latest model runs indicate it has some potential to develop but since it'll travel over the southern Yucatan into the bay of Campeche it wont have enough steam to dramatically develop. Dont see this as a threat to the central or eastern Gulf.
allyou have to do is look at the water vapor charts there is a low over the yucatan penn and this system cant go west or wnw the only direction it will go complments of franklin is nw towww..that is not speculation that is the path i say it will take according to the water vapor charts..this storm is going to be huge much bigger then emily in size and area...this is going to be the whopper so for this year...i expect rapid strengthing no shear to bother it and no troughs or fronts coming down...the central and eastern gulf my money is on this one if everything stays the same like it is right now...i have no reason to think it wont because by late sunday night or early monday it will be affecting someone from lafayette to panama city fla...this is my opinion and i have it logged in....this is going to be the whopper of july......
I beleave you right about Franklin. Once that system in the caribbean gets into the gulf and starts to develop, it will
suck Franklin dry.

It seems as thoug the entire climate has gotten twisted around. I would not be supprised if the wets coast of the Florida peninsula would get hit this early.

Kind of brings a whole new meaning to the word strange.
I will tell you what. We are watching here in NW florida. It has already been a busy season. We still have only begun to recover from Dennis. I had to wait for 20-25 minutes for the gas necessary to get me to work this morning. The gas companies say it will be 2 weeks before our fuel levels are back to pre-Dennis. If there is another major storm in gulf it will be much longer. It is crazy around here to find gas. Put it this way Okaloosa county sheriffs were dispatched to handle traffic flow around gas stations that actually had gas. I will tell you this sucks. On top of it all gas is rising as far as price goes around here. Not enough in most cases to be considered gouging, but enought to put a hurtin' on the budget.

I am taking my dry erase tracking chart to work tomorrow so that we all stay informed. I think that I am the director of storms and information. At least, that is what I am trying to do.

I am definitely keeping a close eye on the convection in the western Carb. I have a bad feeling about both of these storms, althought I do feel that ol' Frank will peter out.

Any comments,

i would like to know what high you are talking about...there is no upper level trough as you call it driving southward in the central gulf..that would show up clear in both the water vapor and visible...show me this trough you are talking about because i just got the latest data...
i agree 100% cliff...tomorrow when you wake up you will have tropical depression 7 on the way to the gulf..it should be in the gulf by ealy sat morning...
28. deb1
NativeTx, it does seem to be getting warmer and wetter. I agree with Alex980 - what is worrying so far this year, aside from the fact that the season started six weeks before it usually does, is that all five named storms made land.
I wouldn't like to see another Jeanne, with the devastation and loss of life it caused in Haiti last year. Much as storms are beautiful to watch, it's worrying to think that as it gets warmer the season will get worse.
Interesting coincidence:

Frances and Franklin both start with Fran!!!

Fran and Frances have been retired already ... will Franklin soon join them?

gainesville, fla
TD 7 if not TS
What may happen, is that all we may get here in "Sunny" Florida, is a whole lof of rain from these systems.
And this we really do not need. Far too many people are having to deal with standing water and flooded homes already.
deb i franklin wont be around tomorrow and might not even make it through the night...the system in the caribbean is sucking the life out of it...dont worry about franklin he is history.......
33. K8e1
stormtop...you are amazing...i enjoy your speculations
on the satellite visible pic you can already see a circulation ...this will be a tropicla depression in the 5am advisory......
im just giving you my opinion from what i see on the satellite pics and water vapor charts..the water vapor is my best tool that tells you everything you need to know if you know how to read them...im just giving you my opinion franklin is helping im going to call it gert develop and expand out ..gert is getting the flow from the high above it and the outflow from franklin....look at the water vapor charts..
I was looking at the wv loop on the NHC, The convection has disipated around what looks to be a cirulation. South of cuba moving generally NW. It looks like this storm is starting to breathe. There is some symetrical ourflow occurring.. at least to a non-trained eye.

Frank is gettin' gobbed up by both the storm to the S but the dry air flowing from the E. Frank is not an issue as far as development at this moment. I am keeping an eye on what will probably be Gert; which I predict by the 10cdt tomorrow TPC report. I imagine that the hurricane hunters are already planning a look at this storm right now. And I mean they are fueling an aircraft.

There was a presentation at work today about the new Mandatory Evacuations that we now have here in Texas. The law just passed in June. It was really interesting stuff. One of the things that surprised me, and any of you folks from states that have mandatory evacs please feel free to educate me - they said if there is a mandatory evacuation and you don't leave - they will be coming around in buses to get you from your home and take you to a shelter. Does that sound right???
they are on the way.......this is the whopper of july ill call it...if you guys remeber betsy you know how big she was..her eye was 90 miles across...gales extended outward almost 4oo miles in all directions...im saying we have a real doosy on our hands...people say emily was bad well emily emcompassed a very small area..you are looking at this one that will be triple the size of emily in area...
in la they do have a mandatory evacuation but there is no one on this earth that can make you leave your home if you want to stay...they will tell you this if you do stay and the water rises they will not come back and get you...also they do ask for your next of kin...no one can make you leave thats a fact any state..
LMAO...I love amateur comedy weatherman blogger night
NativeTX - From what I understand, if people refuse to leave with a mandatory evacuation, they are made to provide next-of-kin information to the authorities and are emphatically told that no one will come to their rescue until conditions are safe enough to permit it. This is not official, but is just what we hear happens here in SW Florida.
First off there is no circulation the NW carribean. All the winds I've seen are SE amd press are 1010 or so. What we are seeing that give the illusion of circulation is the outflow aloft. This is clockwise outward from the sytem(good outflow), but is air going out aloft and not inflow at the surface. If a low is going to develope it would probably do it about halfway between West tip of Cuba and honduras, roughly 120 e of belize. The upper level low is clearly seen on wapor vapor at near 23,94.
I was watching this convection since this morning and I have seen some pretty persistant convection and a shift to the north of this storm . I agree STORMTOP that this could be a ... bad one. Although now it looks pretty unorganized don't let it fool you. This is going to something to dealt with. Where it impacts is anyone's guess.
great stove top now has an alter ego named bored in shalimar
i would like to see the charts you are looking at........you even missed the middle low that was over the yucatan........well i wont say anymore i gave my opinion and ill leave it at that tex....
I didn't think they could force you to leave - I'm on the border of a Cat3/Cat4-5 evac area. But I have 4 children so we would probably evac, but my husband says he's staying to keep the looters away. Also - if any one is familiar with the Houston/Galveston area - supposedly they would start evacuating Galveston about 36 hours out and Interstate 45 and Hwy 646 would be northbound only. I can't believe we aren't hearing this on the local news. The time to tell people is before a crisis, so they can absorb it and plan, not during a crisis when everyone is panicing. I can't imagine the histeria that would ensue with a strong hurricane in this area...
you mean the western tip of cuba and the yucatan dont you?..its already way passed hondouras.
richandcoup, you are my hero. I read these blogs as if it was Comedy Central.

As for writing off Franklin, just think of how many storms were "written off" and came back to bite someone in the butt. Yes, there is definitely some competition going on, but with MegaRidge hooking up with Southeast Ridge, you would look for whatever underneath heading more WNW than NW. The low of the Bay of Campeche is in the upper-levels, so it's not like a roadblock keeping the system in the W. Caribbean at bey. As for an escape to the NE towards LA or FL, it would have to wait until mid-next week for the trough to split the ridge.
lol at that good night people we will see tomorrow...
What are you on here for richncoup? Please don't tell me to learn. That is what these blogs are about. To share and learn. I don't know much about the atmosphere but that is why I come to these sites. I wish to learn more.
I agree, there is no surface circulation with the nw Caribbean system. There is some rotation, but it is just a mid-level circulation left over from the big area of convection earlier in the day.
53. Alec
I agree there is an upper level low northwest of the system in the Caribbean. But the models all agree on a retreat of the upper low in southern Gulf. The distubance in the nw Caribbean will follow the path of least resistance. So as the upper low retrogrades in a southward direction and a high builds westward over the northern Gulf(even though the high isn't super strong) it will likely follow a path between the high and the low. A thing to remember when forecasting these things is that atmospheric phenomenon is constantly changing. Now if this system did turn more northward as a result of slight interference of the low nw of it, that motion would be temporary since the low will be getting outta the way. Now the models do show a trough coming southward toward the southeast but since the caribbean wave is so far south it will likely miss the trough. Still dont see a threat to Florida or the central coast right now.
ok lets put it to rest and we will see if its a tropical depression by 5am then we can discuss it....
I don't see why this should be put to rest. Some of us would like to see other opinions. It's nice to see people talking legit weather analysis rather than straight-up wishcasting. As for a monster storm, lots of traffic preceded whatever comes of this system, so that is going to be tough. Let's see an actual circulation develop before we go panicking millions of people. . .again.
I'm not looking at the chart, I've been looking at the WV loop. There is N to south motion in W gulf, S to N over yucatan, e-w motion in the central gulf. Yap, it might have been 15 years since I read these in class, but that looks like a low to me and that low is in the mid to upper levels. The 250mb from the TPC shows it over the exteme souther gulf, but same difference. I'm not debating, just stating facts.

For native texas, about the Madatory evacuation
"If a city orders a mandatory evacuation FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES city to provide transportation and shelter for all those ordered to leave. SPI will NOT DO THIS in the event of a serious hurricane. They choose instead to issue a strong recommendation to evacuate. Mayor Pinkerton says that comes, generally, before a hurricane that is at least, category 2. He says they cannot force people to leave. But people should know this: ONCE THE CITY URGES EVACUATION, they will eventually CUT OFF THE ELECTRICITY AND WATER. They make a lot of judgment callsbased on information they get from the National Weather Service."FYI
By the way BRD doesn't stand for bored it stands for Big Red Dog. Thanks though for the intepretation. I didn't see that one. No offense taken.
I remember this happening back during the insane season of '96. Three hurricanes formed far out in the Atlantic; Edouard, Fran, and Gustav. The outflow from Fran killed Gustav off a few days later.
So uh....I'm on here late, is this thing in the gulf a td yet?
Nope, Emmy, nothing yet, in the Gulf. TD six in the Bahama Mama region, and could approach the gulf, but nothing defnitive. Yucatan system might bear some watching for the central gulf, though............ Stay tuned.
The Bahama Mama one is going out to the ocean, or so the models predict -
I wouldn't count on the models, just yet. Lots of variables, and the models are skewed everywhere. Lots of things happening, like upper level lows, and that storm in the W. Carib. Hold on, by the seat of your pants, and hang on. LOL
Hey I'll hang on as long as neither comes to Houston
Okay how's this for a laugh - Listening to the radio and this psychic says this year we're going to get a Cat 5 - LOL, doesn't take a psychic to predict that -
It is afterall, 2005
66. Alec
Still no depression in the nw Caribbean. It is currently moving wnw with convection lopsided on the east/southeast portion of the wave. Will spend today and tonight crossing the Yucatan. The upper level low in the Bay of Campeche is moving slowly in a s/sw movement and is the cause for some of the shear. Latest model runs early this morning show a high in the northern Gulf(somewhat weak) and forecasts a high pressure system in the lower plains to move east after the through swings into the southeast. Cant base forecasts soley on water vapor loops. Features can be detected on there but a more comprehensive way to know how these features will evolve is looking at low level and upper air pressure charts to look for trends. Now once the wave in the nw Caribbean gets into the sw Gulf, there could possibly be concern for the western Gulf anywhere from Texas to the Mexican coast. Looks like more of a threat to Mexico since high pressure to its north is forecasted to build early next week. I dont see a threat to Florida to Louisiana at this time.
67. WSI
Well it would appear that the other storm did't develop much STORMTOP, and Franklin is holding his own according to the 5am advisory. If the other system is going to develop, it will be in the Gulf at this point I would think.
i already found the trend...there is no high in the central gulf of mexico it has moved east with the geese...it s in the atlantic now and shows no signs of building westward..the trough thats coming down from the north weakened it significantly...the trough will take care of franklin and the gulf will be wide open for business and this will be the biggest strom area wise we had in a great while...the low over the yucatan is a middle low causing the distubance to move towards the nw then nnw...another fly in the ointment which you failed to see by looking at your pressure charts is a low over mexico moving south towards the gulf which will cause a hostile enviroment for gert to go...the only way gert can go and gain strength is the nw and then gradually turn towards the nnw due to the weakness over mexico...this will be in the gulf late tonight and tomorrow and you will see what i am talking about then...then once its a tropical depression i expect eplosive development due to the less shear and the very warm temps in the upper 80s and low 90s..i expect gert to be a cat 3 or higher by late sunday.....
69. WSI
Well, with all due respect, I think the systems are a little too volatile to be basing predictions on satellite and water vapor charts alone. If the experts (including Steve and Jeff) are trying to get a handle on the storms with all of their knowledge and sophistication, it will be tough to put a confident prediction in at this point for someone else. I would like to pride myself in knowing where these systems are going too, but I know my limits. :)

Stormtop is just expressing his opinion based on his observations. He is very good at expressing his opinion and is quite entertaining. Stormtop is what keeps me coming back for more. Keep it up ST. ;)
71. WSI
Oh I know Rhindle. That is why I said with all due respect. :) I know its an opinion. I guess I would like to have that much confidence in light of even the best being puzzled by what is going on. :) The NHC's track has changed quite a bit in the past 16 hours.
That's what is so entertaining about Stormtop.. the confidence he has in his predictions. If you read some of his past posts you'll see that he is a hoot. I don't make any predictions because I lack the skills to do so, but it is interesting to hear what others predict. It's kinda like 'tabloid weather' here sometimes. ;)