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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778. Patrap
Large Typhoon.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
Hurricane Felica is Literaly FEEDING off its twin ...


Isn't this a typical Fujiwara effect possibilty?
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


I am on the FSU model site and I am not seeing that at 18 hours with the 18Z HWRF

Then its not the latest run.
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Okinawa is going to experience Typhoon Conditions,esp the southern end of the Island with the U.S. Military readying all bases for the impact.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
Hurricane Felica is Literaly FEEDING off its twin ...


Sounds like something out of Greek mythology.
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Current Conditions,Okinawa

Okinawa, JP (Airport)
Updated: 4 min 21 sec ago
84 F
Light Rain
Humidity: 84%
Dew Point: 79 F
Wind: 29 mph from the East
Wind Gust: 44 mph
Pressure: 29.24 in (Steady)

Heat Index: 96 F
Visibility: 5.0 miles

Typhoon MORAKOT
2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve



Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery
2157 UTC


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Quoting RyanFSU:
Newest 18Z HWRF bring Felicia into Category 5 territory, a rare occurrence for the Eastern Pacific. Inner Nest Animation





I am on the FSU model site and I am not seeing that at 18 hours with the 18Z HWRF
Quoting hunkerdown:
Oh, and at least half the time I am on here its for my amusement/pleasure, not for facts and guidance...you have to admit, it gets very comical on here.


True.. Sometimes I let my sarcastic nature slip in my posts.
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just a realistic thought
Member Since: August 31, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 833
Look out for the system up from felicia to guide it a little stronger than the forecast
Member Since: August 31, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 833
Quoting Dakster:


Welp. What I can see know I can make my own judgements on. However, I like to hear the reasoning on why something could happen and where it would go. This is what makes the blog interesting and addicting.

If your happy with only being fed the knowns, read the NHC site. If you want to learn about weather science and ask questions, stick around.
Oh, and at least half the time I am on here its for my amusement/pleasure, not for facts and guidance...you have to admit, it gets very comical on here.
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Newest 18Z HWRF bring Felicia into Category 5 territory, a rare occurrence for the Eastern Pacific. Inner Nest Animation



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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


Then its at weak depression at most at its strongest, CMC is showing a more formidable system

considering the performance of the GFS this season, I dont buy it


That GFS wind field map is not in high res. Look at the bottom, it has Felicia having TD winds.
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Quoting Dakster:


Welp. What I can see know I can make my own judgements on. However, I like to hear the reasoning on why something could happen and where it would go. This is what makes the blog interesting and addicting.

If your happy with only being fed the knowns, read the NHC site. If you want to learn about weather science and ask questions, stick around.
I am talking about people who ask for answers (that CAN'T be answered), not opinions, there is a big difference.
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Quoting hunkerdown:
Why do people ask questions about what something, that doesn't even exist, will do in 10-14+ days ? There are NO facts like that that can be asnwerd truthfully. It would be all guesses. Think people, your guess is as good as theirs.


Welp. What I can see know I can make my own judgements on. However, I like to hear the reasoning on why something could happen and where it would go. This is what makes the blog interesting and addicting.

If your happy with only being fed the knowns, read the NHC site. If you want to learn about weather science and ask questions, stick around.
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ok maybe 2am two yellow
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9592
Quoting extreme236:
000
ABNT20 KNHC 052332
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT WED AUG 5 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
What do they know, don't they read the WU blog ? They are so misguided.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


I see, then what?
turn the page and you shall find out.
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000
ABNT20 KNHC 052332
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT WED AUG 5 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
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Got a good question here. Is the storm above Felicia going to influence her in a negative or a positve way. Its kind of like the f-16s protecting airforce one.
Member Since: August 31, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 833
Why do people ask questions about what something, that doesn't even exist, will do in 10-14+ days ? There are NO facts like that that can be asnwerd truthfully. It would be all guesses. Think people, your guess is as good as theirs.
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Quoting futuremet:


That is because the pressure is not very low. The important thing is the distance between the isobars--pressure gradient. The closer the isobars, the higher the winds will be. The system is quite compact, and the isobars are fairly close.

18Z GFS Wind


Then its at weak depression at most at its strongest, CMC is showing a more formidable system

considering the performance of the GFS this season, I dont buy it
I don't really know WS, most likely. A trough might potentially build over the CATL.
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Good to see some utilizing the links I've been tossing in.
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AFRICA NEXSAT NEXT GENERATION SATELLITE showing next wave emerging, followed by another that will likely emerge tomorrow.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
futuremet

usually 1 or 2 isobars isnt considered development, so I am not sure the 18Z GFS is actually developing something


That is because the pressure is not very low. The important thing is the distance between the isobars--pressure gradient. The closer the isobars, the higher the winds will be. The system is quite compact, and the isobars are fairly close.

18Z GFS Wind
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I tried a long time ago and didn't get a response. I figured he was very busy and didn't get a chance to read all of his mail. I might try again now that it is not that busy....

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futuremet

usually 1 or 2 isobars isnt considered development, so I am not sure the 18Z GFS is actually developing something
Just send Dr. Masters a wu-mail by using the contact button on the right.

Im sure he will answer you.
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Quoting Patrap:
..Jeff Masters,..on avg reads about 5% of the Blog post here.

His words.


For the past couple of years I have been dieing to ask him if he knew my late, great uncle who used to do all of the photo finishing for the NHC in the 70's and 80's. I still have some of the photos that were taken during recon flights.

Probably taken during the flights he was on!

Unfortunately, I was too young to pay attention about it. I was just a wee lad and didn't know what "weather" and "hurricanes" were. I do remember spending hours in the darkroom with him, and helping develope the black and white photos of storms...
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I'd like to see the NHC mention something in their outlook. I'm not going to hold my breath though.
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Jeff Masters spoke that during a interview that can be found on the www.
He is the Site Owner as well.
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Quoting Patrap:
..Jeff Masters,..on avg reads about 5% of the Blog post here.

His words.


Did he really say that Pat?

I guess he could ban people too, since he is an admin.
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18z
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9592
Keep an eye on 12.5N/37W.
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..Jeff Masters,..on avg reads about 5% of the Blog post here.

His words.
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Quoting IKE:


SAL is becoming less dense/plentiful than previous weeks... so as disturbances continue to flow out of Africa... they'll be able to have greater chances for development.

Excellent!!!

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Looks to me like the area at 40W has pushed the SAL further north

I dont think anything "bit the dust", but I guess with the way this season has gone everyone will expect it to do so.
739. IKE
Quoting hunkerdown:
another one bites the dust...


lol.

Look at the east-Pac w/Felicia.....

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Just curious.... I wish that Dr. M would converse with us like StormW does...

Any new "news" to report or everything status quo?
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Quoting Drakoen:
meh
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


Oh God, is everything OK? I hope so.


Everything is fine lol
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.