The first hurricane of the season, Franklin, is getting ever closer to Mexico. It looks to be that way.
Franklin is a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph 120 km/h 65 knots wind. It has gusts of 94 mph 150.4 km/h 82 knots. Further intensification is possible as shown in the forecast model. Two models keep Franklin as a hurricane despite being over the mountains of Mexico. I am not convinced that will happen as the mountains tend to weaken hurricanes.
I would not be surprised if Franklin becomes a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph 168 km/h 90 knots wind right before landfall as looks to be intensifying further. Franklin is an average sized hurricane. Tropical storm force winds extend up to 140 miles 224 km/h 122 nautical miles. Hurricane force winds extend up to 35 miles 56 km/h 30 nautical miles. from the eye.
Most areas in Mexico will see at most tropical storm force winds with hurricane force winds. Hurricane force winds should be most likely confined to the coast. Here is a probability map of hurricane force winds.
If Franklin makes landfall as a 85 mph 136 km/h 74 knots hurricane, the strongest wind possible is 72 mph 115 km/h 63 knots with gusts as high as 108 mph 173 km/h 94 knots. I determine this by multiplying the strongest winds by 0.85. Land reduces wind by 15 percent. However, due to friction, gusts are higher as I multiply sustained winds by 1.5.
My main concern is heavy rain from Franklin. Franklin is moving as 12 mph, which means it can dump about 8 inches (20.32 centimeters) of rain. Many areas are likely to see 4 to 10 inches (10.16 to 25.4 centimeters) of rain. Mountains areas could see as much as 20 inches (50.8 centimeters) of rain. This amount is certainly going to lead to flooding that can be deadly.
Tropical Storm Franklin has exited the Yucatan Peninsula as a tropical storm. It is over the Gulf of Mexico as I type. It looks to be intensifying. The intensity and where it goes forecast models are always interesting and challenging. There are different outputs from different forecast models.
Most keep Franklin as a tropical storm. Three of them have Franklin becoming a Category 1 hurricane. The National Hurricane Center has Franklin as a hurricane in 24 hours. It would be the first hurricane of the season. I think Franklin will be a hurricane as it is over the Gulf of Mexico. I do not think Franklin will be a major hurricane. At most a strong Category 1 hurricane. The next question is where Franklin will make its next landfall.
Most of the forecast models have Franklin going into Mexico by tomorrow afternoon. One model has it going northwest towards Texas. That looks very unlikely at this point. The general consensus is Franklin is going to make landfall somewhere on Mexico’s Gulf Coast. Franklin is likely to make landfall somewhere on Mexico as a Category 1 hurricane. By tomorrow night, Franklin will be over the mountains of Mexico. Heavy rain will be the main problem as mountainous areas tend to draw more moisture from clouds.
Many areas could see 4 to 8 inches (10.16 to 20.32 centimeters) of rain. Some areas could see as much as 20 inches (50.8 centimeters) of rain, especially in mountainous areas. Looking at Franklin, I think it will be more of a rain and flood event.
Tropical Storm Franklin is about to make landfall on Yucatan Peninsula as I type. Franklin has 60 mph 96 km/h 52 knot winds. Gusts are high as 75 mph 120 km/h 64 knots. The highest wind at landfall should be 51 mph 81.6 km/h 44 knots with gusts as high as 77 mph 123 km/h 67 knots. Many areas will likely see tropical storm force winds and heavy rain. Many areas will see 4 to 7 inches (10.16 to 17.78 centimeters) of rain with isolated totals of 12 inches (30.48 centimeters). Tropical storm force winds extend up to 140 miles 224 km 122 nautical miles.
Where doe Franklin go after it passes Yucatan Peninsula and how strong will it be? Most of the forecast model has Franklin going over Bay of Campeche and into Mexico again. One forecast model has it heading towards the Central Texas Coast. However, I do not think Franklin will have much of an impact on Texas as it is likely to move westward. The heat map is generated from ATCF data file. The cone is from National Hurricane Center.
Looking at the heat map, there is a general consensus that Franklin is likely going to make landfall on Mexico again. Intensity is of most concern. Here is an intensity forecast from National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Most forecast models have Franklin as a tropical storm as it goes over Yucatan Peninsula. Once it enters the Gulf of Mexico, some forecast models have Franklin becoming our first hurricane of the season with 75 mph 120 km/h 65 knots winds. I think Franklin will be our first hurricane of the season. I would not be surprised if Franklin intensified into a Category 2 hurricane.