Hurricane Felicia hits Category 3; may affect Hawaii next week

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:45 PM GMT on August 05, 2009

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As is often the case in an El Niño year, there's nothing to talk about today in the Atlantic, but the Eastern Pacific is very active. It has been 17 years since we went this long without a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic--the hurricane season of 1992 didn't start until August 16--but in the Eastern Pacific, we've already had six named storms this year. Hurricane Felicia is the latest addition, and Felicia has put on an impressive burst of intensification this morning by powering up to Category 3 status with 115 mph winds. Recent satellite loops show that Felicia has continued to intensify, with the cloud tops surrounding the eye cooling as they push higher into the troposphere.


Figure 1. Current satellite image of Hurricane Felicia.

While Felicia is an impressive hurricane now, its days of glory will be short-lived. Felicia is currently passing over a region of warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs) of 28.5°C, a full 2.5°C above the 26°C threshold needed to sustain a hurricane. These warm waters also extend to great depth, as seen on the Ocean Heat Content image (Figure 2). Felicia's west-northwest track will take the storm into a region of cooler waters with lower Oceanic Heat Content beginning tonight, which should induce a steady weakening trend beginning Thursday night. By Friday morning, SSTs should fall to 26°C, and decline to 25°C by Saturday. While wind shear is expected to remain in the low to moderate range over the next five days, 5 - 15 knots, the cooler SSTs should be able to significantly weaken the hurricane. By Monday, when most of the computer models indicate that Felicia will be nearing the Hawaiian Islands, the storm will be at tropical depression strength with top winds of about 35 mph, according to the latest runs of the HWRF and GFDL models. Exactly how close Felicia will get to the Hawaiian Islands is a bit tricky to call right now, since the hurricane is interacting with nearby Tropical Storm Enrique. Whenever two storms get within 900 miles of each other, they tend to rotate around a common center in a dance called the Fujiwhara Effect. This sort of storm-storm interaction is a complicated affair not well-handled by the computer forecast models.


Figure 2. Total oceanic heat content (also called the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential, TCHP) along the forecast path of Hurricane Felicia. The initial time of the forecast is 06 UTC (1 am EDT) on August 5, 2009. Oceanic heat content of 90 kJ per square cm is often associated with rapid intensification of hurricanes. Felicia is currently over waters with high heat content, but the heat content will steadily decrease over the next two days. Image credit: NOAA/RAMMB.

There are no areas of disturbed weather in the Atlantic worth mentioning today, and no computer models forecast tropical storm development over the next seven days.

I'll have an update on Thursday.

Jeff Masters

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1383. cg2916
New blog!
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
Quoting Skyepony:


Link


Thanks Skye
Backlinking, I see the data is from ground-based RF (VLF band) sensors. It does give an idea of lightning (or lack thereof) in those waves & tropical systems.
Oh, Duh! NEW BLOG
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1381. Skyepony (Mod)
I finally figured out where to get the current Annular index for Felicia.. I posted the INDEX determining page last night but found where they hide the current per storm. On a scale of 0-100 with 100 being totally annular Felicia is still a 1..

## ANNULAR HURRICANE INDEX (AHI) EP082009 FELICIA 08/06/09 12 UTC ##
## PASSED SCREENING STEP, MIGHT BE ANNULAR, CALCULATE AHI FROM DISCRIMINANT ANALYSIS ##
## AHI= 1 (AHI OF 100 IS BEST FIT TO ANN. STRUC., 1 IS MARGINAL, 0 IS NOT ANNULAR) ##
## ANNULAR INDEX RAN NORMALLY
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Man this thing is starting to produce some nice convection. Looks better and better as the day progresses.

NWS RADAR

Even starting to have rotation in it.
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1379. Ossqss
Quoting CycloneOz:


Any reason at all to go the Hawaii makes it worth it, don't ya think?

Hawaii, the Big Island...land of volcanos and Kona Coffee. Lush, tropical vegetation...

...and a storm to boot!

It is so very very very hard for me not to pull the trigger right now and give you folks a live webcam look at Felicia (no matter her condition) early next week.


OZ, You can borrow my boat to keep expenses down :) ooops everyone left --- new blog

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1377. IKE
Quoting OSUWXGUY:


I think part of why the MJO is weak and not really migrating east is that the El Nino locks the convective pattern in the Pacific.

You get higher than normal convection in the central and eastern Pacific and lower in the Western Pacific/Eastern Indian where the MJO pulses originate from...


That makes sense.

Thanks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NEW BLOG!!!!
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 51 Comments: 1731
1363.

Stormtop, is that you?

And last time I checked, blueberries were not by prescription nor are they administered in 30mg doses.
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Where's his new blog?
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 51 Comments: 1731
1369. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting HIEXPRESS:
1352, 1353
Are the thunderstorms?
How do we know? (1334?)


Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
SOME WEAKENING OF THE HURRICANE IS LIKELY TO OCCUR SOON AS THE
CYCLONE MOVES OVER PROGRESSIVELY COOLER WATERS. HOWEVER...FELICIA
IS DEMONSTRATING SOME ANNULAR HURRICANE CHARACTERISTICS...AND WIND
SHEAR IS EXPECTED TO BE RATHER LOW FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS..
.
WHICH COULD ENABLE THE SYSTEM TO MAINTAIN ITS INTENSITY MORE THAN
IT NORMALLY WOULD OVER MARGINAL SSTS. FOR THESE REASONS...THE
OFFICIAL FORECAST IS KEPT ON THE HIGHER SIDE OF THE GUIDANCE DURING
THE FIRST 36 HOURS. ALTHOUGH SSTS RISE SLIGHTLY AS THE HURRICANE
MOVES INTO THE CENTRAL PACIFIC...WESTERLY SHEAR IS EXPECTED TO
BECOME MODERATE TO STRONG...WHICH SHOULD CONTINUE THE WEAKENING
PROCESS. IN FACT...ALMOST ALL OF THE GUIDANCE SUGGESTS THAT FELICIA
WILL BE A TROPICAL DEPRESSION...OR DISSIPATED...BY THE END OF THE
FORECAST.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
Quoting PORTCHARLOTTE72:
95 percent of the predictions are wrong on this site so i will add to that ALERT!!! TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMING OFF FLORIDA KEYS all interests in western florida shold pay close attention to this developing situation and be prepared to take imediate action due to the close proxcimity to the swest florida coast forcaster blueberry 30mg

3.0mg VALIUM! stat

RE:1356 http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/09jan_electrichurricanes.htm
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1363 POOF
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
1365. fmbill
The 12z NAM seems to showing some activity associarted with those gulf showers, too.

Link
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Quoting PORTCHARLOTTE72:
95 percent of the predictions are wrong on this site so i will add to that ALERT!!! TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMING OFF FLORIDA KEYS all interests in western florida shold pay close attention to this developing situation and be prepared to take imediate action due to the close proxcimity to the swest florida coast forcaster blueberry 30mg


??????
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
Quoting fmbill:


I noticed that. Shees...if persistance alone determined a storm, this one would get a name! It sure seems to hang on. Terrible structure...but yet it survives.

Good morning everyone!!!


If it gets under favorable conditions, since it has persisted all this time, it may stand a chance after all.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
1361. cg2916
Didn't expect much, forecast down. New blog should be out any second.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
NOAA released their outlook, calling for an average to below average season

7-11 named storms
3-6 hurricanes
1-2 Major hurricanes

Here is the important part for this blog.

NOAA urges that just because the season has been quiet, that shows absolutely no indications for the rest of the season and to NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN.


I'm still hoping for a zero impact storm season this year.
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Is Felicia trying to become annular?
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
1358. fmbill
Quoting AllStar17:
Our CATL AOI still has persisting thunderstorms.


I noticed that. Shees...if persistance alone determined a storm, this one would get a name! It sure seems to hang on. Terrible structure...but yet it survives.

Good morning everyone!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:


OZ~ It's not going to be worth it..


Any reason at all to go the Hawaii makes it worth it, don't ya think?

Hawaii, the Big Island...land of volcanos and Kona Coffee. Lush, tropical vegetation...

...and a storm to boot!

It is so very very very hard for me not to pull the trigger right now and give you folks a live webcam look at Felicia (no matter her condition) early next week.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3753
1352, 1353
Are the thunderstorms?
How do we know? (1334?)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
NOAA released their outlook, calling for an average to below average season

7-11 named storms
3-6 hurricanes
1-2 Major hurricanes

Here is the important part for this blog.

NOAA urges that just because the season has been quiet, that shows absolutely no indications for the rest of the season and to NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN.


So maybe they know something we don't or they might see something. But there are alot of really smart people on here and they have looked at everything that's going on and it looks like hurricane season looks like a dud. I'm not saying there's not gonna be a cane but it sounds like it's gonna be really hard for one to form. But i am no pro i just read what everyone writes on here.

Sheri
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting OSUWXGUY:
Speaking of El Nino...




Newest ENSO Update by the CPC


Thanks for the post. But if I read this right El Nino won't really start to strengthen until AFTER this season is almost over, Oct/Nov time frame. But I guess it's strong enough now to help inhibit storms.
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Quoting jasoniscoolman10:
i see the t/storm of this wave is moving little down to the south.


The wave is starting to travel under and feel the effects of the ridge of high pressure. See post 1312.
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Our CATL AOI still has persisting thunderstorms.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
1351. Buhdog
That plume of tropical moisture off the swfl coast is blowin up....

very interesting

Link
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1350. Skyepony (Mod)
Burned was right..

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, now predicts a 50 percent probability of a near-normal season, a 40 percent probability of a below-normal season, and a 10 percent probability of an above-normal season. Forecasters say there is a 70 percent chance of seven to 11 named storms, of which three to six could become hurricanes, including one to two major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
I think it would be a good idea if the WU main blog officially cancelled the hurricane season, that way we dont have to have the arguments, debates that always occur daily and everyone could go out and enjoy life.



Sounds like a plan, maybe we can have a summer weather blog :)
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1347. Skyepony (Mod)
AS expected...


Synopsis: El Niño is expected to strengthen and last through the Northern Hemisphere Winter 2009-2010.
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1346. Patrap
At least Felicia Has a Shirt on..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
Felicia flexing some muscle.
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1344. hahaguy
Quoting Skyepony:
See discrepencey between Burned & WS NOAA numbers..

OZ~ It's not going to be worth it..


Ya one has 8 and one has 7 storms.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
even if you take the lower end of that, 7 named storms from the middle of August on is still plenty to track
1342. Skyepony (Mod)
See discrepencey between Burned & WS NOAA numbers..

OZ~ It's not going to be worth it..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Speaking of El Nino...




Newest ENSO Update by the CPC
As soon as the pattern breaks next week the MJO will swing around, then, shortly after you'll have storms to track.

No breakie pattern, No trackie storms.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NOAA released their outlook, calling for an average to below average season

7-11 named storms
3-6 hurricanes
1-2 Major hurricanes

Here is the important part for this blog.

NOAA urges that just because the season has been quiet, that shows absolutely no indications for the rest of the season and to NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN.
1336. Patrap
That cluster of Boomers is diving South in a Hurry,thru Miss our way. Should be here this afternoon.

GOM IR Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
And thus begins the timeframe when Felicia's feeding is cut-off and she begins a slow, agonizing death to TS or TD status.

There's a great roundtrip ticket price from Phoenix to Hilo. VerizonWireless is strong in the Hilo area. And I have my gear configured for air-travel.

This storm better freakin' die if the "no-go" option is played tomorrow!

Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3753
1307, then 1305 - follow the leader
Rain for me, rain for you Patrap, better down than sideways but watch out for the sparks.
Anyone know where to see satellite obs (mid ocean) lightning data (real or near real time)?
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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