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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Quoting Tazmanian:
good thing Felicia is not in the gulf or this blog will be hoping like a bate out of a ball game heh


what??
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Quoting Elena85Vet:


Wouldn't happen to be running a version of I.E. would you?
I upgraded to IE8 about a month ago and had issues here and couldn't run the sat. loops on NHC site. I had to uninstall and go back to IE7. Which fixed the problem.
I only run Firefox here now. No problems.
Nope. Internet Explorer is strictly for windows. I use Safari which is the mac browser. It's working fine now. Thanks though.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
There are some very good ones on here and then there are the others
but all in all you should get some understanding on here.
Sure hope to, Thanks.
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Quoting indianrivguy:


Wilma pulled cold air down behind it and gave us clear skies before the sun went down here in Jensen Beach.[puffs out chest] I predicted it.

I have a first person account from a family memoir about the hurricane of October 1973. It was nearly identical to Wilma, including the path through the Caribbean, and the clear blue skies after it passed. They were caught while in the sawgrass swamp they were travelling through in between Jupiter and Lake Worth. GG Grandpa, GG Grandma and their 10 year old son weathered it under a 12 foot tender on a gator crawl. That hurricane pulled down a cold front bringing frost to New Orleans killing the mosquitos, stopping a yellow fever epidemic that had killed 226.. 1878 more than 4000 died.


I dont see any storm that hit florida in October of 1973
Quoting hunkerdown:
Pretty chilly after Wilme blew through South Florida...drooped in the 50s the afternoon it passed.


Wilma pulled cold air down behind it and gave us clear skies before the sun went down here in Jensen Beach.[puffs out chest] I predicted it.

I have a first person account from a family memoir about the hurricane of October 1973. It was nearly identical to Wilma, including the path through the Caribbean, and the clear blue skies after it passed. They were caught while in the sawgrass swamp they were travelling through in between Jupiter and Lake Worth. GG Grandpa, GG Grandma and their 10 year old son weathered it under a 12 foot tender on a gator crawl. That hurricane pulled down a cold front bringing frost to New Orleans killing the mosquitos, stopping a yellow fever epidemic that had killed 226.. 1878 more than 4000 died.
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Quoting 2manytimes:
Good evening to all. My first comments ever on this blog. Just joined today but have been lurking since early last season. I live in the VI and like to stay abreast of what is east of us. I am not a met or anything close to being one. I respect the opinion of many of you guys-the serious ones.
There are some very good ones on here and then there are the others
but all in all you should get some understanding on here.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Wow. My new Macbook pro with 4gb of ram is having trouble loading the blog for some reason... anyone else having a prob?


Wouldn't happen to be running a version of I.E. would you?
I upgraded to IE8 about a month ago and had issues here and couldn't run the sat. loops on NHC site. I had to uninstall and go back to IE7. Which fixed the problem.
I only run Firefox here now. No problems.
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Models for Felicia
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good thing Felicia is not in the gulf or this blog will be hoping like a bate out of a ball game heh
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Good evening to all. My first comments ever on this blog. Just joined today but have been lurking since early last season. I live in the VI and like to stay abreast of what is east of us. I am not a met or anything close to being one. I respect the opinion of many of you guys-the serious ones.
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Quoting extreme236:


Norbert of 08


ok
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Poor Enrique's getting gobbled up like a piece of delicious cake.
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WS...you asked me earlier when I stepped out for dinner when I thought the season would start over in the Atlantic. My honest answer is I have no idea but I still need to see a shift in the pattern before I believe any of these waves will survive. I have to see things move and not just see them in the models. I do think we will get something this season as things are more active but when, I have no idea.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
when was the last time we had a strong Eastern Pacific cat 4???


Norbert of 08
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Quoting Tazmanian:
when was the last time we had a strong Eastern Pacific cat 4???


Last year, Norbert was a 135mph cat 4, made two landfalls in Mexico.
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UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 06 AUG 2009 Time : 003000 UTC
Lat : 14:45:28 N Lon : 130:06:53 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.4 / 940.5mb/124.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.4 6.7 6.7

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.9mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 16 km

Center Temp : +10.2C Cloud Region Temp : -70.2C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

Ocean Basin : EAST PACIFIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

****************************************************

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 192 Comments: 59571
Latest intensity averages do come out to around 135-140mph on Felicia, which is more than originally expected she would be. That does give her a better chance of making a notable impact on Hawaii, though I still don't think it would be too much.
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when was the last time we had a strong Eastern Pacific cat 4???
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Wow. My new Macbook pro with 4gb of ram is having trouble loading the blog for some reason... anyone else having a prob?
What is it doing ?
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What's the latest on the CATL low? Anything?
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Quoting extreme236:


Difference between then and now is that it is August.
I am still waiting to see a signifucant change to begin to support the models. I am still a little skeptical of the models until I see a visual environmental change.
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Wow. My new Macbook pro with 4gb of ram is having trouble loading the blog for some reason... anyone else having a prob?
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Quoting Tazmanian:



may i have that link too that info


Its in the same link I gave u before. Just click fix.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



they been saying that for the past few weeks and have we seen that yet Nop


Difference between then and now is that it is August.
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Quoting extreme236:
For now, this is the NHC thinking:

EP, 08, 2009080600, , BEST, 0, 147N, 1301W, 120, 937, HU,



may i have that link too that info
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Felicia 00:30 UTC 6 Aug

Dvorak Image

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134769
Chief,StormW..do you have access to any Naval Words on the Typhoon approaching Okinawa tonight?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134769
Quoting AllStar17:


120 knots?


For now yes. TAFB and SAB came in at T6.0 and the higher ADT numbers, in my opinion would yield 120-125kts as of now. TAFB came in with a data t-number of 6.5 however.
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Felicia 00:30 6 Aug

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134769
06/0000 UTC 14.7N 130.1W T6.0/6.0 FELICIA -- East Pacific
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hello stormw
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 192 Comments: 59571
## ANNULAR HURRICANE INDEX (AHI) EP082009 FELICIA 08/05/09 18 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
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 192 Comments: 59571
Quoting AllStar17:


120 knots?


yup that is 138mph
Quoting extreme236:
For now, this is the NHC thinking:

EP, 08, 2009080600, , BEST, 0, 147N, 1301W, 120, 937, HU,


120 knots?
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For now, this is the NHC thinking:

EP, 08, 2009080600, , BEST, 0, 147N, 1301W, 120, 937, HU,
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Okinawa Sat Map with Overlays,Typhoon Approaching
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134769
evening all
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 192 Comments: 59571
Hamish had a pressure of 925mb according to the Australian site, but his winds werent as high as Felicias'
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Next week is going to be the true beginning of things... check out the models- they are really hinting at some increase in activity.
..and we all know the models haven't steered us wrong this season.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Next week is going to be the true beginning of things... check out the models- they are really hinting at some increase in activity.



they been saying that for the past few weeks and have we seen that yet Nop
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Ivan Landfall Radar Loop




K Landfall Radar Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134769

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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