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Franklin survives

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 12:02 PM GMT on July 22, 2005

Franklin has proved itself to be a survivor. The significant southwesterly shear from the tropical wave in the Caribbean has relaxed a bit as the two systems have moved farther apart--Franklin has moved to the northwest and the Caribbean wave has moved to the west-northwest. There is still some substantial shear from the Caribbean wave, but it should gradually lessen today. However, Franklin has another problem to worry about--the approach of a mid-latitude trough from the west. This trough has plenty of shearing winds of its own, and unless Franklin scoots quickly to the east ahead of the trough, he will be weakened or torn apart by the shear. NHC and the various forecast models all have different ideas of what will happen. The basic scenarios are:

1) Franklin gets picked up by the trough and scooted way out over the open Atlantic, as the GFDL and GFS models are predicting (40% chance).

2) Franklin will follow the official NHC forecast and move to the northeast away from land, then get overtaken by the trough and survive the shearing action of the trough. This would leave Franklin orphaned to await the next trough to sweep it out sea--or potentially come back and threaten the East Coast (30% chance).

3) Franklin will follow the NHC forecast as above, but get destroyed sometime in the next 3 days by shear (20% chance).

4) Franklin will turn due west and move over Florida as a weak tropical storm (9% chance).

It's situations like this one that greatly increase the average hurricane forecast track error. Emily was much easier to predict!

Meanwhile, the tropical wave over the Caribbean continues to look impressive, but is too close to the Yucatan Peninsula to develop much today. On Saturday, when it emerges over the Gulf of Mexico, it has a better chance of becoming a tropical depression. The latest GFS model run calls for it to turn into Tropical Storm Gert and hit the Mexican coast a few hundred miles south of where Emily came ashore.

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

How will the Gulf stream affect Franklin? When and if will the NHC issue watches for Florida? It did say the track is erractic on the 8am advisory....
Good morning, Jeff
If that area in the NW Caribbean develops it does appear like it would most likely move off the the WNW or NW towards the TEX/MEX boarder like Emily.
To sporteguy03
The SST's in the Gulf are warm except for some cooler water along the north coast of the Yucatan and over the eastern Gulf where you can still see the wake left by Dennis.

href="http://www.maineharbors.com/weather/seatemp4.htm" target="_blank">Link http://www.maineharbors.com/weather/seatemp4.htm
I don't think I see this storm re-curving out to sea, seems more like with this weak of a storm it would slide along to the NW or WNW and the ridge would build back and push it onshore..Maybe I agree with the BAMM this time..
Well going 4 for 4 here,

My prediction on Franklin or Frankie, is Frankie will come close but never make hurricane status and that its going to slowly then quicker curve out to see. I see it being a tropical storm for a few days after leaving the Eastern Seaboard before cooler waters and shear mortally wound it.

Also unless I am mistaken I also see the Bermuda slipping southeast which will open up the eastern seaboard to tropical systems.

What do you think of the weather showing on the GOES Western Atlantic water vapor image just west of 50 longitude, and south of 10 latitude? It seems to have developed a bit just in the space of a morning.
Deb1 I think maybe that one is the one we should all be watching...
Dr. Masters,

Thank you for your very informative blog and for letting us have a part of the discussion. I have been learning so much just by following the comments being made. I'm learning to trustyour comments much more than those by bloggers posting their comments! :)
Cozumel is watching that system VERY closely at the moment. In fact, some people are a little panicky since they JUST cleaned up after Emily (99% of elec restores, all other island services restored).

I'd be VERY interested in Dr. Master's opinion this morning of this system - if it could become a trop storm today before reaching the Yucatan.
11. Alec
Just as forecasted, the system in the nw Caribbean is moving wnw and will travel over the Yucatan as the upper level low gradually moves away from the southern Gulf. Models depict a high building from the west the next couple of days over the n gulf and southeast.(there's still a high there right now but isnt too strong) This blog of weather probably wont develop much until at least reaching the bay of Campeche. Forecasting these things require the knowledge that what may seem to be in place now will probably not be there in the future. Its kinda like forecasting these things as a function of time. Dont count on the upper low in the s Gulf to turn this thing toward the north since the upper low is forecasted to move s/sw over time with a ridge building stronger to its north. Dont worry central/eastern Gulf. Dont think whatever will form of that Caribbean wave will get you cause its seeming less likely as the models show.
Oriondarkwood is annoying the crap out of me.
I never worry,they all hit somewhere or die at sea..never worry the storm worry about the after effects..I am still working to fill root systems from trees lost to frederic in 1979....these big storms dont go away their effects last a lifetime..Long after the press leaves we have to deal with them..and FEMA and insurance companys try all they can to get out of paying...which to me is bigger news than the storm...Yet that goes unreported because it dont sell ADS for press...
Lipppy, what is so annoying about Oriondarkwood? Just curious.
i dont know where you are getting this information of a big high building back over the central gulf..this will not happen the trough has already destroyed the high and the pressures are low in the central gulf indicating there is no high...the low over the yucatan is forecast to stay in place for the next 48 hours..then start to move in a nw direction..i agree with that but you will have rapid development once it gets off the tip of the yucatan tonight or tomorrow..you can forget franklin he is history that trough will take him far out to sea only to bother the fish...
16. Alec
I didnt say there was a high building over the central gulf. I said it's forecasted to build over the NORTHERN gulf. Yeah, the trough has done some weakening of the high over the se but hasn't destroyed it completely. Time will tell.
i think this is going to be a very busy weekend for nhc...a nice little blob has developed at 10.0n 52.0w thats looks very promising...
It sure does. Lots of activity in 2005! I can't believe it's only July..
alex the central gulf is the northern gulf in my book...if a high builds over the northern gulf it sure will extend to the central gulf..lets get real here...where are you from up north..i do value your opinion alex i think its fun when people have different views..i always try to out wit the nhc computers because mostof the time they are out to lunch..i respect the nhc but sometimes they make me kind of mad because they dont issue warnings earlier enough they wait..they also hedge alot which i dont like...but in there shoes you have to worry about life and property so they have to be sure...
Rhindle - Sorry to contribute to the hostility that sometimes flares here. My annoyance stems from the self-congratulation for dubious predictions - OD seems to mention every possible outcome and then claims to have accurately predicted when one of them inevitably pans out. Doesn't matter - he's not the devil, I'm sure, just annoying. Ignore me - I'm an angry little man.
with august and sept being the busiest months im going to say we will get to the T storm this year in october..i think by november things will cool down enough the gulf wont have to worry about tropical activity..this will be one busy season and dr gray should up his position to at least 18 storms for this year..we have a good shot at getting gert and harvey before the end of the month..that would give us 8 in june and july which is toally unheard of.
orion the bermuda high is firmly in pplace and there are no signs it will buils towards the se..you can take that prediction and let it go with franklin east with the geese....
good lord the only thing with more color than a box of crayolas is stormtop.....
the convection over the northern yucatan loooks fairly impressive...it is becoming better organized and more pronounced...
25. Alec
Im from the south and majoring in hurricane forecasting. Its going to be hard but will be able to forecast these things soon in terms of mathematics and dynamics. I know the nhc computers skrew up quite a bit early on with systems but seem to trend to better handle the systems as they evolve. we'll wait and see if this system will go more westward which im believing or turn north like you say. Im not trying to throw punches at your blogs, im just trying to state my opinions, i perfectly respect what u have to say stormtop.
ok rocket you keep the watch i have to run some errands be back later.....keep your eyes glued to the northern yucatan..you will have gert by saturday..
same here alex i like your opinions..keep watching..be back later..
LOL I always watch have been since camille in 69,I dont predict much,but I study all of them...no two storms are alike ,I like to see their differences

First of all you have a right to your feelings and being this is a blog owned by neither of us if the owner or majority feels the same as you I will happily refrain from making any comments that seem self-congratulatory.

Second yes it may seem that way but considering I am a rank novice at this and have forecasted the last 3 tropical systems landfall days before they made landfall within NOAA cone of error of 200 miles I consider that pretty darn good. I do not mean it to sound as boastful, merely stating a fact and setting the tone of a post.

Lastly to make a comparsion. I do not like Salmon, therefore since I do not like Salmon. I do not eat it or pretend to like it. Therefore if you find my comments distasteful or annoying nothing is forcing you to partake in them.

I will be more happy to discuss our disagreement in greater detail via weather underground email if you wish it.

Where can I find the computer models for all current activity: all of them, not just those shown on this site?
31. Gael
Will oriondarkwood and lippy please cut it out and get back to discussing the weather. There ought to be a way to flag posts as "flame" on this thing. By the way, there's no way to tell if something is going to be annoying, offensive, etc., until after you've read it (or seen or heard it).

Question for the experts: Has there ever been a hurricane season with 6 named storms this early?

It's all fun, everyone has an opinion and some are more vocal about it. We are all interested in the storms and it's fun to hear what others think about them. I'm not annoyed at all, in fact I'm entertained by the predictions of oriondarkwood and stormtop and the reactions of others to their predicitons. Fun for me sitting here with nothing to do at work and having an interest in these storms. :)
Man, I wish I had some salmon.
34. deb1
Outrocket, I agree with you that the worst thing about any of these storms is if they do make landfall and ruin peoples lives. It must be heart breaking to insure for these kinds of losses, with a company you hope you can trust, then get faced with a loss like this and discover that the insurance company isn't prepared to pay up, claiming either to not believe the substance of the homeowners' claims, or that, due to some obscure clause somewhere in the too small to read print that yes, there is storn damage from water, theoretically covered, but the fact that the hole in your roof, where the water got in, was caused by a tree falling on your roof is an act of God, so they aren't going to pay up.
35. Alec
click on www.mpittweather.com then click on "active storm Franklin" youll see the models if you scroll down. Another site would be moe.met.fsu.edu/tcgengifs/. These sites update the models about every 6 hrs. Hope that helps. Im leaving this discussion for now but will be back later in the afternoon.
and fema is the BIGGEST joke of all,after Danny and Ivan they claimed....well you only got 3ft of eater inyour house,had it been 4 ft we would have payed...SCAM
Im looking at a probability that was never mentioned, the storm will take a simialar path to jeanne that was not mentioned but it DEFINATELY should.
Just like jeanne this forecast track is reminding me of,It started as a small unorganized storm and the forecast trake had it stall then they switched by taking out to sea then the models all switched to a loop and back towards florida sounds similar?You bet.

To answer your question yes ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Storm_Franklin#Tropical_Storm_Franklin )

Whats curious to me is HOW FEMA got a MONOPOLY on flood insurance.... THE FEDERAL GOVT...THE SAME ONES WHO BROKE AT&T up...
Gael: No, there have never been 6 named storms this early before. The NHC noted it in the 2nd advisory once TD Six had become Franklin.
also the movement now is north north west at 2 sounds to me like this thing wont get picked up by the trough any comments?well I have to go see y'all later now,I rekon i'll be back.
For those that were killing Franklin last night, what happened? The storm looks healthier today than yesterday. The outflow jet to its west has weakened and now it seems Franklin is fine for the time being. The game is now "Catch the Trough." I agree with NHC on the storm being small enough that the trough may not have as big an impact. Maybe increasing shear a bit as it passes, but keeping the storm in the general vicinity it is in now. Where is this organized cluster of storms that STORMTOP is looking at? I see thunderstorms over the Yucatan with nothing much to it.
mf..approx.10N and 52 west
dangerously far south to be of immediate concern. South America is in the way.
exactly the same place as emily started
Alec, thanks. However, I can't find them on either of those sites.
I understand and agree. Just stating the "danger" to the system being at that latitude. Looking at close up visible imagery, there is no circulation of note, so we have a ways to go before something significant comes of this.
If Franklin stalls where it currently is won't the trough miss it? 2MPH is drifting right?
one thing about franklin is....IFFY...lol,may be its defining charachateristic...
Well good morning y'all - cloud watcher here, Emmy~Rose
Last night, there were these clouds that were long and white and looked like parentheses - all in a row. Very interesting -
Outrocket what are some of the computer models I can follow so I can keep up with what y'all are talking about.

54. Alec
sorry that didnt work. I hafta go now to class, but i can be more specific later if youre still interested at looking at the models. Just post that request again later on this afternoon(to remind me) and ill be more specific later.
The wave in the atlantic is WAY too far south to develop. Even Emily developed slightly more north of that postion. That wave will most likely run into the north coast of South America and die.
Wow.... For what it's worth, I think Emily started at around the 42W/10N region (July 11th)... now, when I look at the entire Atlantic, I see several "waves" lining up like the Rocketts! (one wave being formed in the general vacinity of where Emily got her start)

This is going to be a VERY active late July / early August (peak) couple of months coming up! Hold on to your boot straps, folks! It's gonna get bumpy!
The wave that is at 50W/10N is WAY too far west to have time to move north. The wave BEHIND it could very well develop in the next 5 days.
its 2005 punk..lol never say never...
haha, this is true. I am looking at this 50/10 wave and it does look impressive. Even if it does develop though I think it would move into South America and die out. Of course, a South American landfall is also rare. So we might as well have one of those this year as well.
latest image it seems to have slipped nort above 10
Punk, you said: "The wave that is at 50W/10N is WAY too far west to have time to move north."

What do you mean? Would moving north be a good thing or a bad thing, and for who? If it keeps with what Emily did, she moved almost due west, with the exception of a slight northward jog going past the northern coast South America. And I agree with you about the one behind it! It's already showing very healthy convection. Heck, it almost looks like it's gonna split in two, ya think?
It just seems that the ITCZ is very far south for tropical development. Thats just a personal opinion. Emily was a rare event. The new storm/wave, currently, is very small. The storm will have to take a good jog north to not be negatively affected by the South American continent. If it can develop in the next 24 hours or jump to at least 12N then we might have a good chance of a storm here. As for now, I would say its a low chance of a prolonged system.

Personally, it looks like it might already be some sort of depression. There seems to be some slight outflow. We will have to see what the NHC says over the next 12-24 hours.
Emily was a rare event? Definitely... Heck, JULY is the rare event, though! Emily made history, as did Dennis. This year is going to one of "those" kind of hurricane seasons, surpassing quite a FEW records. It's a fasinating thing to observe, as long as none of them hit the Houston/Galveston area! ;-)
The Atlantic wave is not too far south to develop. Ivan developed way down there, too. It is, however, very rare for circulations to develop below 10 degrees latitude.
Looks like the 12z run of the GFS brings the NW Caribbean system a little more north to the Tex/Mex border.
that means more time over water...lip
I am finding the models very difficult to trust right now. No model, really has much coming out of either storm in the Atlantic and very little happening with the wave over the Yucatan. The models need a lot of work on depression development.
68. deb1
Yes, I see what you all mean now about South America being in the way for the 52W 10N 'system' to have time to develop. Punkasshans, won't the wave to which you are referring, a bigger one lining up, from what I can see directly behind this little disturbance, have the same problem if it continues due west? Do you think it will track further north instead?
I am thinking if it can develop before it gets to the same point as this 50/10 system that it could stear itself further north. The ITCZ is just very far south right now. Being that far south really reduces the chance of development.

The storm that is further out just has more time to develop, thus a better chance.
actually i think the RACE is on between western caribbean storm and the one near 10n and 53w..to see who gets the name GERT
And then good old Harvey
harvey....as in the rest of the story..
Emily was at 11N at the same point as this new system.

Ivan was at almost 12N.
I don't think we can rule out any of these systems. Wouldn't it be nice to hear that any one of these is just going to fizzle out. I live in NC and I hate this time of year.
Looks like the NRL is following the NW Caribbean one now. They have it as an Invest.
Forgive me...what is NRL?
Im not sure what it stands for.....but heres the link

I always wondered what Invest meant. I guess investigate? Anyone know for sure?
yes, investigate
Thanks for the link! NRL=Naval Research Laboratory. Cool site!
I think maybe franklin is wrong name...look more like bart simpson on satellite...
I wouldnt be surprised if they put an invest out on one or both of the tropical disturbances in the central Atlantic.
Thanks Hawkeyewx.
Makes me think of the Twilight Zone episode that had the slot machine chasing after Franklin and calling his name.
lol wth.
No that storm looks very immpressive for its windspeed it has deep convetion on all quadrants which is remarkable for a ts,franklin is not bart simpson........
im watching a possible hurricane jeanne sinario which no one seems to talk about and thats why the change to the right early is a worse situation for florida then if it headed straight for it why?Because it will strengthen and then do a loop back towards the coast like Jeanne.
As Franklin appears to be reorganizing/accelerating to the north a bit this afternoon that would make it even more likely it will get picked up by the incoming trough.
89. Alec
The critical factor in where Franklin goes is whether the southward/eastern moving trough to its north causes it to curve out to sea. If it misses the trough it will likely just spin around meandering offshore until another factor causes it to move. So i guess FL and the southeast are rooting on for that trough cause if it "scoops" up Franklin, itll head out to sea without bothering anyone. The computer models are still not in reasonable agreement yet. So will wait and see.
Thanks for NOT being one of those HYPE EVERY STORM THAT DEVELOPS blogs...unlike the other tropical storm one on Wunderground!!

BTW...I vote for OPTION ONE based on latest charts
91. Alec
A thing about the Jeanne scenario: the chances of it hitting the east coast or FL is greater if the trough misses it. Cause last year Jeanne just spun around, missed the trough and a high built north of it forcing it to slam into FL. Hope that doesnt happen.
i will admit this to everyone franklin even if he does go out to sea he is one srtong storm to go through the shear he went through in the last 24 hours..i am truly impressed with franklin..i dont think anyone wants to deal with old ben...i though he would of been torn to shreds last night...
Franklin will never reach Florida...PERIOD
Never say Never!!! :-)
according to satellite pics and water vapor charts it look like franklin missed the boat...does that mean we might see a loop de loop back towards florida..this one is starting to catch my attention more then the other one..franklin could easily attain hurricane status by the end of the day moving very little meandering out with the fish...load up and come right back at florida...this is what gives forecasters fits a storm behaving like this...
I rarely say NEVER about tropical storms but this time I will...NEVER!!!

Now if we can only get Steve to stop the hype lol
humm i also see the low in the bay of campeche is still there and it sure isnt moving south its moving west which doesnt look good for the central gulf if this thing develops once it gets off the yucatan...that would definitely give it a motion duen or nnw like i said last night...the high is east with the geese..this is looking not so good right now..
98. SEFL
One difference with Jeanne is that Jeanne formed much further south and east and later in the year. I wonder if there is enough heat as far north as Franklin is to develop as much as Jeanne did two months later?
for the people who think the disturbance that is currently at 10.0n 52.0 w cant develop...this for information purposes only 2 examples ivan developed at 9.7n and 27.1w emily at 10.3n and 44.7 w ,...this can develop its not to far south...its looking god especially if it starts to climb a little in lat..
100. Alec
The latest data and long range forecast models are starting to better agree that this trough will indeed move offshore and drag Franklin out to sea. After the trough moves offshore i see based on pressures and computer models that high pressure will fill in the weakness over the se and will form an elongated ridge which would keep the north central and eastern gulf safe from that wave thats starting to move into the Yucatan. Conditions will appear more favorable for development once this wave makes it back over the warm waters of the gulf and threaten Texas or the northeastern Mexican coast.
Alec, yes I would very much like to find a site with all the computer models. I like the one on weatherunderground.com but it only shows 5 models and only for depression/storm/hurricane.

This board keeps getting way off track...please email it to me direct, &cozumelvillas&@&sbcglobal.net& (take out the & signs. Thanks !

"cozumelvillas,sorry that didnt work. I hafta go now to class, but i can be more specific later if youre still interested at looking at the models. Just post that request again later on this afternoon(to remind me) and ill be more specific later."
alec i respect your opinion but i would rather see a high pressure system that is nice and symetrical and not elongated..those are far weaker and they can easily be weakened by a trough in any part of the atmosphere..so for i dont see the high you are talking about but tomorrow is another day....anything on franklin you came up with...
103. Alec
So do you think Stormtop that there is a possibility that this disturbance in the nw caribbean will not pose a threat to the northern/eastern gulf? i believe that anything is a possibility in the tropics but i just dont see a threat after each run with the models. Now with Franklin im not gonna nail down a forecast track yet, that one is harder to predict cause its moving so slow. I was just giving the scenarios for what could happen. But i still think that Franklin has a chance to catch the trough.
ok if franklin misses the trough how does the high build in over the north central gulf of mexico...that would put gert on a n or nnw motion and affect the central gulf coast...also what would complicate matters even more is the low in the bay of campeche that the computer models say would move south...well the water vapor charts show it moving slowly and its not south its west ..that why im forecasting the disturbance to move nnw or n after it comes off the yucatan....franklin could be next if it crosses fla and gets in the eastern gulf..we could get the one two punch...it will be interesting...
105. Alec
Well over the years of observing tropical systems as with what happened last year, after a trough moves off the coast the thing that often happened was high pressure takes its place. Since a trough has lower pressure within itself and higher pressure surrounding it, when it moves away the higher pressure around it surges into the trough's place. Simple rule: high pressure goes to lower pressure. Thats why the high will most likely build in next week after the trough swings off the coast. Now with the low in the bay of Campeche there was model guidance that said it would move sw and hasn't happened to much yet. But if the wave gets a name, a surface low will accompany it. The upper low in the bay is higher than a surface low so even if it doesnt move (which is still forecasted), the wave would likely scoot its way under it and get sheared. I do agree that it would make the wave go slightly northwestward but wont change its track too dramatically.
Alright Alec you are the one to start listening to it seems you know more about tropical systems and such than StormTop does so Alec what's your predictions for both systems?
107. Alec
Looking at the models i strongly believe even if Gert forms in the s gulf it will not move due north at all but will be steered around the periphery of a high(which is situated in the northern gulf). Most likely will cross the Yucatan and head for ne mexico. Not seeing it as a central/eastern gulf threat. Now with Franklin either the trough picks it up and curls it out to sea or it will end up meandering off the se coast if it misses it. Latest models suggest it will indeed be picked up by the trough and be dragged out to sea. Franklin is a little bit harder to forecast but i believe(about 65% confidence) it wont hit the se.
i think that the possiblity is a fair bet based on the steering currents, of it doing a *Jeanne loop* so to speak that the 5 pm advisory taking a hard right turn should accur put if the trough does not pick it up it will loop back around towards florida the enter the gulf towards la - western panhandle sounds fine to me.
*then enter* typo
thanks alec very well explained and i think you make a good point....
alec look at the visible satellite oics it sure looks to me like a low pressur forming just to the nnw of cancun........if farnklin stays in the picture gert when its named will move nnw ..im still sticking to that forecast...franklin will have a major influence on gert...it looks very well organized now...it looks like 22.5 n and 87.5 w....where its developing...take a look alec that is my reasoning we will have to wait and see..