Hurricane Frances 2004
One of the worst storms in US History

Frances developed from a tropical wave, becoming a tropical depression on August 25 several hundred miles west-southwest of the southern Cape Verde Islands, a tropical storm later that day, and a hurricane the following day. Frances moved generally west-northwestward for the next several days, passing north of the Leeward Islands on the 31st and just north of the Turks and Caicos Islands on the 2nd . During this time, Frances' peak winds reached 145 m.p.h. (category 4) on two occasions while the hurricane underwent a series of concentric eyewall cycles. Westerly wind shear then caused Frances to weaken to a category 2 hurricane by the time it passed over the northwestern Bahamas on the 4th . Frances made landfall near Stuart, Florida just after midnight on the 5th with 105 m.p.h. (category 2) maximum winds. Frances gradually weakened as it moved slowly across the Florida Peninsula, and became a tropical storm just before emerging into the northeastern Gulf of Mexico early on September 6. Frances made a final landfall in the Florida Big Bend region that afternoon as a tropical storm. Frances weakened over the southeastern United States and became extratropical over West Virginia on the 9th.


Frances' path of destruction

Frances' Radar Image

Frances produced a storm surge of nearly 6 feet at its Florida east coast landfall, and caused widespread heavy rains and associated freshwater flooding over much of the eastern United States, with a maximum reported rainfall of 18.07 inches at Linville Falls, North Carolina. Frances was also associated with an outbreak of over 100 tornadoes throughout the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states. Eight deaths resulted from the forces of the storm - seven in the United States and one in the Bahamas. U.S. damage is estimated to be near $8.9 billion, over 90% of which occurred in Florida.

Frances' Track satellite