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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thanks , kidcay

What's this about the trough pushing offshore over the next 5 - 7? That could be good or bad depending on what else is happening at the time....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22101
582. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
looks like felicia would have to continue going west to match up with Flossie 2007
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Really interesting to watch any powerful storm like Felicia grow and evolve into a symetrical thing of beauty so long as it is not threatening land........Hopefully, in accordance with Dr. M, it will hit cooler waters tommorow and start to ramp down and miss Hawaii altogether (or have minimal impacts).
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Lastly the one I am talking about is located at 8n40w. Oh well I hope everything ends up okay for Hawaii.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


What is your problem? Lay off


Thanks for the advice. "And the truth shall set you free."
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9WMORAKOT.80kts-963mb-231N-1294E
07EENRIQUE.45kts-996mb-181N-1227W
08EFELICIA.110kts-940mb-142N-1293W
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Quoting cg2916:
Does anyone know when the NOAA hurricane forecasts come out?


Tomorrow morning
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Okinawa, Japan wu-radar sat image

Current Conditions


Futenma MCAF,Okinawa JP (Airport)
Updated: 2 min 4 sec ago
82 °F
Showers Rain
Humidity: 88%
Dew Point: 78 °F
Wind: 31 mph from the ENE
Wind Gust: 40 mph
Pressure: 29.49 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 91 °F
Visibility: 5.6 miles
UV: 0 out of 16

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128284
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
18z surface map

so if I am reading the map correctly (and I am still learning) the high pressures and steering will keep any possible development of the AOI to the south of the US?
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573. BDAwx
I think Felicia will take a similar path to Flossie
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Does anyone know when the NOAA hurricane forecasts come out?
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Quoting Magical:


There's one for the books....so who did you copy that one from?


What is your problem? Lay off
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There's one for the books....so who did you copy that one from?

last night's episode of SpongeBob....
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
That is a interesting tandem in the central Atlantic it now appears to me that the southern one is going to win out as opposed to earlier today. It looks attached to the one to the north so eventually I believe it will be pulled north avoiding S. America. It will eventually have to avoid the shear in the Caribbean. Just my 1.5 cents. I have lowered my analysis of my previous 2 cents.
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Shear seems to be lowering in the Caribbean:


500mb vorticity:


700mb vorticity:


850mb vorticity:
img src=http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic2/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8vor.GIF>
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567. IKE
Quoting Magical:


There's one for the books....so who did you copy that one from?


LOL.

I notice not too many on here from Hawaii. They've probably read the blog and run the other way....
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18z surface map
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12024
Afternoon all.

Quoting Magical:
ws

So then you admit to only going off to what others say.....nice.

Sonny you are referring to my caliber???? Want to compare credentials?
U got to start somewhere.
Regardless of ur credentials, somebody somewhere taught u. So relax. I didn't see WS claiming he thought of everything himself. It was an observation.

Let's get back to the weather, which is actually looking interesting compared w/ last week.

Looks like the second decade of the month is when things will start to pick up. That rightmost wave that is currently over Africa looks like it might have some potential in 5 - 7 days.......
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22101
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Watch out Hawaii.


There's one for the books....so who did you copy that one from?
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
So then that would affirmitavely speaking here put the state of Florida under some level of risk for landfalling storms within that timespan, Met? Or it wouldn't?


But you already predicted a Florida panhandle problem in August....
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nevermind Oz

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560. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
National Hurricane Center
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #9
TROPICAL CYCLONE ENRIQUE (EP072009)
21:00 PM UTC August 5 2009
====================================

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Storm Enrique (996 hPa) located at 18.5N 123.1W or 790 NM west-southwest of of the southern tip of Baja California Peninsula has sustained winds of 45 knots with gusts of 55 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving northwest at 10 knots.

Gale-Force Winds
===============
90 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
======================
12 HRS: 19.3N 124.5W - 40 knots (Tropical Storm)
24 HRS: 20.3N 127.1W - 30 knots (Tropical Depression)
....
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I had a dual brain-fart / calculator malfuction.

144 hours = 6 days = August 11.

Sorry...[urp...]
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Quoting 7544:
cmc says i aint playing this time
Link


What's that big green blob out in the CATL at 144 hours?

12 days...that's some kinda forecasting! If we can go 12 days out like that, I should really believe all this GW stuff then, too...

12 days...August 17th...well ya know, that actually has a nice fit to it, so okay. I'll mark my calendar! :)
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555. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
hope I did the scale correct.. so many different scales in the world for cyclones, HAHA
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Oceanic Heat Content
Near Felicia is what we lament
She's heading for disaster
Says our blogger, Doc Masters
Her demise is as sure as cement.



Here we go again....


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edouard"

Memories... One year ago today Edouard came calling. Ah if it had only stopped there. I hate negative NAOs. Hubby and I were just looking at my pics and kept arguing over which hurricane it was. Lol. Geesh! Lable your pics!
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551. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
National Hurricane Center
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #9
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE FELICIA (EP082009)
21:00 PM UTC August 5 2009
====================================

At 18:00 PM UTC, Hurricane Felicia (940 hPa) located at 14.5N 129.7W or 1235 NM west-southwest of of the southern tip of Baja California Peninsula has sustained winds of 110 knots with gusts of 135 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving northwest at 10 knots.

Hurricane-force Winds
====================
30 NM from the center

Gale/Storm-force Winds
===============
105 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
======================
12 HRS: 15.2N 130.9W - 115 knots (SSHS-4 Cyclone)
24 HRS: 16.7N 132.4W - 110 knots (SSHS-3 Cyclone)
48 HRS: 19.0N 136.1W - 95 knots (SSHS-2 Cyclone)
72 HRS: 20.2N 140.9W - 70 knots (SSHS-1 Cyclone)
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548. 7544
cmc says i aint playing this time
Link
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The Annular Hurricane (from Wiki)



An annular hurricane is a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific Oceans that features a large, symmetric eye surrounded by a thick ring of intense convection. This type of storm is not prone to the fluctuations in intensity associated with eyewall replacement cycles, unlike typical intense tropical cyclones. Annular hurricanes also tend to persist, even when encountering environmental conditions which easily dissipate most other hurricanes. Forecasters have difficulty predicting the behavior of annular hurricanes; they are a recently recognized phenomenon, and as such, little is known about their tendencies. Because of this, they can be more dangerous than typical hurricanes.

Annular hurricanes are axisymmetric — symmetric along every radial axis, i.e. very circular in appearance. They lack the spiralform rainbands which are characteristic of typical tropical cyclones. After reaching peak intensity, they weaken much more slowly than non-annular storms of similar intensity. However, most annular hurricanes have annular characteristics for only a portion of their lifetimes.

While hurricanes retain annular characteristics, they also seem to be less affected by diurnal, or daily variations. Most annular hurricanes have peak intensities of greater than 85 knots (100 mph, 155 km/h) and more than 85% of their theoretical maximum potential intensity.

Annular hurricanes maintain their intensities longer than usual after their peaks. Statistics show that forecasters significantly overestimate the lessening of wind velocities in annular hurricanes. In terms of the Dvorak technique, annular hurricanes weaken very slowly after their peak (on average, less than 0.5 T after one day from their peak intensities).

Annular hurricanes are very rare. Few storms meet all of the criteria, although many strong storms resemble annular hurricanes in some criteria. Fewer than 1% of Atlantic tropical cyclones encounter all of the environmental conditions associated with annular hurricanes. In the Eastern Pacific, such conditions are more common, but still very unusual — 3% of Pacific tropical cyclones encounter them.
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ZCZC MIATCPEP3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
HURRICANE FELICIA ADVISORY NUMBER 9
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP082009
ISSUED BY THE HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
200 PM PDT WED AUG 05 2009

...FELICIA CONTINUES TO INTENSIFY...

AT 200 PM PDT...2100 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE FELICIA WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 14.5 NORTH...LONGITUDE 129.7 WEST OR ABOUT
1420 MILES...2280 KM...WEST-SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA
CALIFORNIA.

FELICIA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 12 MPH...19 KM/HR...AND
THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATES THAT WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 125
MPH...205 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS
FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 35 MILES...55 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 120
MILES...195 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 940 MB...27.76 INCHES.

...SUMMARY OF 200 PM PDT INFORMATION...
LOCATION...14.5N 129.7W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...125 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NORTHWEST OR 310 DEGREES AT 12 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...940 MB

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT
800 PM PDT.

$$
FORECASTER PEREIRA

NNNN

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Felicia is looking impressive, and Morakot is looking... massive, to say the least. Can you say "flooding"?
Member Since: August 6, 2007 Posts: 24 Comments: 2731
541. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
can't see an eye in Kiko (Morakot) makes me scared that the 925 hPa drop may come true..
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ws

So then you admit to only going off to what others say.....nice.

Sonny you are referring to my caliber???? Want to compare credentials?
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Quoting Weatherstudent


To you perhaps it might very well sound that way, Ike. But to the rest of us over here, including yours truly, it clearly means, ''watch out, because here comes big trouble''. By the way, I especially do not like the type of potential steering pattern that might be setting up for September as far as storms would go for the Florida Pandhandle. Lastly, thanks for posting that recent updated memo from The HPC, Adrian, that outta wake up the non-believers on this blog. :)


Slightly Negative NAO expected by the ECMWF over the next two weeks.


Little troughing over the Atlantic


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If Felicia is an annular hurricane, she may not be impacted as much by cooler waters
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535. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


Taiwan survived this.. last year sort of the same large category system.
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New shear maps:


Shear looks to be dropping in the Caribbean
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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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