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Frances - 1998
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TROPICAL STORM FRANCES

frances1998.jpg
Tropical Storm Frances in the Gulf of Mexico

A broad area of low pressure began to organize on September 4 in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The low moved to the northwest and a tropical wave moved into the area on September 7, which contributed to the organization. The system became Tropical Depression Six on September 8 when located about 140 miles east of Brownsville, Texas. The depression followed a strange path, first drifting southward through the day on September 9 when it organized and became Tropical Storm Frances. Frances then turned sharply to the north and moved in this direction as it strengthened on September 10, and curved to the northwest. It reached a peak intensity with winds of 65 mph and a pressure of 990 mbar late on that day, and retained this intensity as it made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas early on September 11. After moving inland, steering currents became absent and the center became nearly stationary, and actually completed a clockwise loop on the 11th, while retaining tropical storm strength. Frances gained more speed on the 12th, and weakened to a depression as it moved to the north, but still remained a depression until it finally dissipated late on September 13 near the Oklahoma border. The remnant low was tracked into Iowa in the following 24 hours. Only one fatality occurred due to Frances, when a man was killed in Louisiana when his trailer home was destroyed by a tornado spawned by the large storm. There was substantial flooding reported due to Frances, and a total of seven counties and parishes in both Louisiana and Texas were declared federal disaster areas. A total of 500 million dollars in damage was reported, over half occurred in Galveston, Texas. The storm is remembered as a small scale of Tropical Storm Allison that would strike the area at a similar intensity in 2001, but with far more flooding and damage.

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