Even in a weakened state Frances has a relatively large wind field and is capable of pushing a massive amount of surge where she goes inland...
case in point... a couple of years ago Isador hit the MS coast with sustained winds of about 60/65 mph and had very little convection, basically just a large strong LLC with very little convection... but it had a very large wind field, and at one time near the Yucatan it was a major storm before weakening and the traveling across the entire GOM from Mexico to MS.. but it never regained its intensity..... eventually it went inland near the MS/LS line but she put up a tremendous surge... totally unexpected, we were expecting 4-5 max.... emergency evacuations were called for as the surge was coming in the city..
the surge was about 8.5 to 9 feet above sea level in front of my house....which was the highest surge in Biloxi since Camille (22 feet at my house), think about that... Isador's surge was higher than Elena's (1985 - 8 feet) and Georges' (98 -8 feet) surges, of which both the eyes passed over the city of Biloxi..... these surges were measured across the street from my house on the beach.... surges were perhaps higher in other areas.. note Georges did put a tremendous storm surge in Pascagoula, which was in the right quadrant of the storm... probably in the 10-12 range.....
so I expect Frances to put up a tremendous surge as it makes landfall, regardless if itís a Cat 1 or 2 or whatever..
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