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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Things are going to start heating up in the Atlantic.
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This looks like a postential Dean-like storm. Big-papa ridge seems it will keep it south.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
Quoting BDAwx:


Thats because mets don't fully understand what an annular hurricane is and what makes it different from any other hurricane, besides sometimes visual characteristics.


i wish you would explain it then.
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Quoting IKE:


LMAO!

I agree...I'm so sick of this name. This has been going on for months.

Next one we will be hearing is Bob.
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679. IKE
At 180 hours...18Z GFS......

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting extreme236:
I lost count. How many "Pre-Ana"s have we had so far again? lol


I can't keep track
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
Quoting futuremet:
GFS now in conjunction with the CMC; they both develop the wave that is exiting Africa.


Just watch and wait.
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676. IKE
Quoting extreme236:
I lost count. How many "Pre-Ana"s have we had so far again? lol


That's a good question. Best guesstimate...4 or 5?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
http://oldbluewebdesigns.com/mybeautifulamerica.htm

I don't know how to attach it but this is a magnificent slide show of the US
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I lost count. How many "Pre-Ana"s have we had so far again? lol
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
673. BDAwx
Quoting twhcracker:
i googled "annular hurricane" and it said they have a large symetric eye and no spiraling rainbands, then they showed photos of several, all of them with lots of spiraling bands so that made no sense. but 4 of the 6 on record were in the east pacific and two in the atlantic. then a couple of articles stating andrew was annular and one asking if katrina was annular. it was confusing.


Thats because mets don't fully understand what an annular hurricane is and what makes it different from any other hurricane, besides sometimes visual characteristics.
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672. IKE
Quoting Drakoen:


Hopefully. Please God let this develop and be over with lol


LMAO!

I agree...I'm so sick of this name. This has been going on for months.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
CMC has found some support in the GFS.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
670. IKE
Quoting Drakoen:


Yep. Looks like we may have something to watch...again


LOL...and the same 2 models showing it.

I wish the ECMWF would jump on board.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting IKE:


The Real Deal? Ana?


Hopefully. Please God let this develop and be over with lol
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
Quoting futuremet:
GFS now in conjunction with the CMC; they both develop the wave that is exiting Africa.


Yep. Looks like we may have something to watch...again
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
667. IKE
Quoting futuremet:
GFS now in conjunction with the CMC; they both develop the wave that is exiting Africa.


The Real Deal? Ana?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting WeatherStudent:



?


Oh come on, you know what I mean.
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GFS now in conjunction with the CMC; they both develop the wave that is exiting Africa.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Fair enough and understandable I guess. Then let me ask you this, when are ''you'' finally expecting the tropics to begin to egnite, (sort of speak), huh, my friend? :)


That would be "ignite".
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i googled "annular hurricane" and it said they have a large symetric eye and no spiraling rainbands, then they showed photos of several, all of them with lots of spiraling bands so that made no sense. but 4 of the 6 on record were in the east pacific and two in the atlantic. then a couple of articles stating andrew was annular and one asking if katrina was annular. it was confusing.
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Typhoon MORAKOT

Multiplatform Satellite Surface Wind Analysis
1800 UTC

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129853
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

It is all long range model forecasting. Of course it is going to forecast a major shift to favorable conditions. that is happened many times this year. Until the Highs shift postions or so signs of moving, there is proof shear levels really are reducing I have a hard time buying those waves are going to do anything different than the previous ones.


ws

Drag, click, copy....nice.
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Okinawa, JP (Airport)

Current Conditions

Updated: 5 min 39 sec ago
82 °F
Light Rain Mist
Humidity: 94%
Dew Point: 81 °F
Wind: 20 mph from the ENE
Wind Gust: 44 mph
Pressure: 29.24 in (Steady)

Heat Index: 94 °F

Typhoon MORAKOT

2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve
2057 UTC
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129853
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

It is all long range model forecasting. Of course it is going to forecast a major shift to favorable conditions. that is happened many times this year. Until the Highs shift postions or so signs of moving, there is proof shear levels really are reducing I have a hard time buying those waves are going to do anything different than the previous ones.

Shear actually looks to be dropping in the Caribbean. At least for now.
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Despite a loss of central convection, there is still some very prominent cyclonic turning associated with the wave.
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Water Vapor Loop

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Quoting WeatherStudent:

It is all long range model forecasting. Of course it is going to forecast a major shift to favorable conditions. that is happened many times this year. Until the Highs shift postions or so signs of moving, there is proof shear levels really are reducing I have a hard time buying those waves are going to do anything different than the previous ones.
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Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
651. BDAwx
Quoting Weather456:


Well I monitoring it just incase. it is really not in any position for subtropical development, but its been persisting for a while, and when thunderstorms starts to develop in the East flank that could set off a chain reaction to warm core.


I was about to ask this...

Quoting Drakoen:
Felicia is gaining an Annular Structure (aside from a spiral band to the south of the system):



thats what i thought.
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Anybody know where Orca's been
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They also have the TCR for Tropical Depression 1-E.
And Hurricane Andres.
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Quoting Weather456:


Well I monitoring it just incase. it is really not in any position for subtropical development, but its been persisting for a while, and when thunderstorms starts to develop in the East flank that could set off a chain reaction to warm core.
Gotcha..thanks
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Quoting cyclonekid:
You're looking at the ULL...why? Possible sub-tropical development?


Well I monitoring it just incase. it is really not in any position for subtropical development, but its been persisting for a while, and when thunderstorms starts to develop in the East flank that could set off a chain reaction to warm core.
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I'm seeing 1 major problem with the feature at 35-36W - dry air. You can say shear also but that may decrease. Overall conditions appear marginal at best for development. The area still has some model support but they keep the feature weak.

Unrelated, check out the CMC of the wave behind

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Quoting Weather456:


I havent dismiss our low pressure out in the CATL. I saw they added a 1012 mb low and its forecast to drop to 1011 mb.

Also watching the upper low north of the islands and some the African waves rolling off.

Don't see anything imminent tho.
'

I am more concerned about our two African waves.
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Quoting Weather456:


I havent dismiss our low pressure out in the CATL. I saw they added a 1012 mb low and its forecast to drop to 1011 mb.

Also watching the upper low north of the islands and some the African waves rolling off.

Don't see anything imminent tho.
You're looking at the ULL...why? Possible sub-tropical development?
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Question for all or whoever thinks they know the answer. What has changed in the pattern over the Atlantic to make you think these strong waves over Africa even stand a chance once they leave the coast? How many waves looked real good over land this year already and then go kaput as soon as they hit the current enviroment that the Atlantic is still holding onto?
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Quoting AllStar17:


Good afternoon 456. Thoughts on the tropics?


I havent dismiss our low pressure out in the CATL. I saw they added a 1012 mb low and its forecast to drop to 1011 mb.

Also watching the upper low north of the islands and some the African waves rolling off.

Don't see anything imminent tho.
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Quoting FortLauderdaleNole:


No info from military or government yet. I'm sure the info will start soon as some will be a little panicky until the weakening begins.

There is a good possibility of flooding and tidal issues in the Hilo area. With the mountains in the middle of the island, everything runs down to the coast.


Stay safe......Navy???
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They have the TCR for Tropical Depression 1 done:
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pdf/TCR-AL012009_One.pdf
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Quoting Weather456:
Good afternoon to everyone

Signs of the MJO




Good afternoon weather456
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Have a nice evening folks; plenty of action in the Pacific and back to models and wave watching in the Atlantic for now...Cheers.
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Quoting Weather456:
Good afternoon to everyone

Signs of the MJO



Good Afternoon, 456. What do you think of the wave at 36W? Any chance for development. There is a lot of Dry and Stable Air.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


Good afternoon, 456! Really, where?


To really answer the question you must ask another:

When was the last you saw afternoon thunderstorms so prevalent?
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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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