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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833. Skyepony (Mod)
Felicia on MIMIC
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
So, do you think a hurricane will cool you down ? As far as I remember it was a lot hotter after Ivan than before and no power for a/c or fans.

not a hurricane maybe a invest or td thatis it
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12391
Not looking that great...we'll see what happens.

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35, 15 or 0 all look like they have SERIOUS potential to develop this comming weekend. I'd place my money on two of the three areas at least becomming invests, with one maybe even a TD. Looks like next week, the tropical Atlantic season will finally start. If one of those areas do not develop, then, I'll see you all next season, cause then there will be nothing developing this season. Bold prediction, yes, however got to call it the way I see it.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Did you have any rain in GT today ? Had a good rain in East End and hearing lots of thunder right now. Hope we get some more rain because it is HOT and dry.

WE had a good shower in South Sound this PM, lasted about 10 minutes but kinda hard, according to my wife there was no rain in GT.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Looking good..... but not particularly annular right now.....


It may be upgraded to Category 4 with the next advisory. It will be interesting to see how long the intensification can last before it reaches cooler waters and less favorable shear.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

I do have patience not a whole lot but I do I'm so bored it august 5 and not even our first named storm yet and I'm so hot because of this heat wave
So, do you think a hurricane will cool you down ? As far as I remember it was a lot hotter after Ivan than before and no power for a/c or fans.
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Quoting StormW:


I used to be 25...but don't remember it.
Amen. I just turned 53 on Monday and I told someone that the other day. I sure don't remember my 20's.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Yeah, but how much under 25 and to me you are still young and able to learn something on here but you have to have some patience.

I do have patience not a whole lot but I do I'm so bored it august 5 and not even our first named storm yet and I'm so hot because of this heat wave
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12391
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Sweeeet skyepony,...Hot Towers for sure there.

LOL,Hmmmmmmmmmm,,Ive seen that software somewhere before,wink,wink,,
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Felicias Raw Tnumbers are now up to 6.6

Raw T#
6.6

Looking good..... but not particularly annular right now.....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22563
Quoting Skyepony:
Here's a 3-D fly over of Felicia from TRMM about 24 hrs ago.
I have never seen anything like that before. That is cool.
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earlier today..


EP082009 - Hurricane FELICIA
Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (1 km Mercator, MODIS/AVHRR)
1855 UTC

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting futuremet:


Strong ridge over the east coast. This is why I think this is a potential dean-like storm.

There is still the potential for a trough to pull off the US, though I don't know if it would dip far enough to pull this system in to any weakness caused. And even that would depend on 1) how strong the system gets and 2) how far north it goes as a result.

At least it's something to watch.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22563
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Wow!




dang!!!!!!!
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Wow!


Get some soap for that bath!
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813. Skyepony (Mod)
Here's a 3-D fly over of Felicia from TRMM about 24 hrs ago.
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Wow!

2005AUG4


This is what a lack of cloud cover and low TC activity does to the Gulf.
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EP082009 - Hurricane FELICIA
Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)
2200 UTC



Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery
2300 UTC


2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve
2300 UTC
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting hunkerdown:
Unfortunately people have tried...but everyday its the same.
I hear you .
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

I'm under 25 years old.
Yeah, but how much under 25 and to me you are still young and able to learn something on here but you have to have some patience.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
How about engaging him in a little conversation and maybe educate him some so he does not get so excited over every little flare up.
Unfortunately people have tried...but everyday its the same.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I think he is young and excitable so maybe you can take it easy on him.

I'm under 25 years old.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12391
Felicias Raw Tnumbers are now up to 6.6

Raw T#
6.6

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Quoting hunkerdown:
you mean I should have said to put the magazines/catalogs away ?
How about engaging him in a little conversation and maybe educate him some so he does not get so excited over every little flare up.
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784. mobilegirl81 4:55 PM PDT on August 05, 2009

Think felicia is serious threat?


only if you steal her Midol and Chili Cheese Fritos....
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Wave off of Africa.



Looking good.
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I think he is young and excitable so maybe you can take it easy on him.
you mean I should have said to put the magazines/catalogs away ?
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Quoting hunkerdown:
better get your crayons out then...
I think he is young and excitable so maybe you can take it easy on him.
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Please dont quote wunderkidcayman...I didnt want to see his posts for a reason.
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.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


yellow circle at 2am update prob.99l by 2pm or 8pm two

Yea...I don't think so...
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


yellow circle at 2am update prob.99l by 2pm or 8pm two
Don't be so anxious. It will happen when it happens and it will be to soon for me. Sometimes you get so excited I wonder if you really remember Ivan.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


yellow circle at 2am update prob.99l by 2pm or 8pm two
better get your crayons out then...
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Quoting stormpetrol:

I stated earlier to keep an eye on 12.5N/37W, think it is well worthy watching.


Is the steering models for this due West?
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Quoting HURRICANECAT5:
Low pressure area around 35W flaring up tonight. Any comments?
Quoting stormpetrol:

I stated earlier to keep an eye on 12.5N/37W, think it is well worthy watching.


yellow circle at 2am update prob.99l by 2pm or 8pm two
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12391
Wave off of Africa.

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no enhancement as enrique travels parallel with her.
Member Since: August 31, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 833
Quoting stormpetrol:

I stated earlier to keep an eye on 12.5N/37W, think it is well worthy watching.


Lol While you guys watch that wave...

Ill Watch the Giant Waves train coming off africa...

Check it Picture on 726.

Big strong waves coming off
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your right on that stormpetrol..
Look at the Comparison in precip water.

Images from 2200 UTC


Storm Relative 16km Microwave-Based Total Precipitable Water Imagery
Typhoon MORAKOT





Storm Relative 16km Microwave-Based Total Precipitable Water Imagery
Hurricane FELICIA
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting stormpetrol:
778. Patrap
Large Typhoon.
Did you have any rain in GT today ? Had a good rain in East End and hearing lots of thunder right now. Hope we get some more rain because it is HOT and dry.
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Quoting mobilegirl81:
Think felicia is serious threat?

It will be a depression if that probably by the time its near HI.
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Quoting HURRICANECAT5:
Low pressure area around 35W flaring up tonight. Any comments?

I stated earlier to keep an eye on 12.5N/37W, think it is well worthy watching.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:

Then its not the latest run.


Ok it updated
Low pressure area around 35W flaring up tonight. Any comments?
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Think felicia is serious threat?
Member Since: August 31, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 833
778. Patrap
Large Typhoon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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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