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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New shear maps:


Shear looks to be dropping in the Caribbean
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Impressive
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
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. :)


What!! you got a mouse in your pocket kid????
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Burned

Thanks. I was referring to the fact that he claims HE is predicting. If this would have come from others here I would have read with an open mind.

Anyway....thanks again.
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GFS rebuilds the TUTT near mid August in the Caribbean. If that plays out...that would significantly dampen TC development.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Camp Hansen,USMC,Okinawa
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
Quoting Magical:
ws

You are predicting a weather pattern for the month of September?????? This is a joke right?

Won't put you on ignore...you are so ridiculous it is amusing.


He is not predicting them himself, he is going off what others have said about the long range models. There are models that predict weather patterns several months out. It was probably best to know this before you got on his case.
ws

You are predicting a weather pattern for the month of September?????? This is a joke right?

Won't put you on ignore...you are so ridiculous it is amusing.
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524. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


Large, very large cyclone
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I have a question, inspired by Morakot...Does anyone know how well equipped Taiwan is against typhoons, especially the more powerful variety? It seems they suffer a lot of impact, and I was just curious as to the effects that large storms have. Is it more routine, or still sort of a mini-cataclysm when a large storm hits?
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Have a nice evening everybody!

Let's see what tonight brings to our broad low in the Atlantic...

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Quoting Drakoen:
It does look like some annular storms that I have analyzed before.


What do you think still power to up?
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A comparison of two Systems.

Typhoon MORAKOT
Storm Relative 16km Microwave-Based Total Precipitable Water Imagery 1602 UTC




Hurricane FELICIA
Storm Relative 16km Microwave-Based Total Precipitable Water Imagery 1602 UTC

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
Yellow Circle seems possible around 35W.

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It does look like some annular storms that I have analyzed before.
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uhmm still can up Felicia last SAT picture IR is more next 3-6 hours are important to reach CAT5
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
actually 130E and 130W are not on opposite sides of the Globe

they arent too far apart


I need a map
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Okinawa is almost the same Lat as NOLA.

I spent a year there at Camp Hansen,kin,Okinawa Sept 82-83

Father fought there in WW-2 as USMC 105 Gunner as well.
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actually 130E and 130W are not on opposite sides of the Globe

they arent too far apart
The CI# on Felicia is close to 6.5
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509. Skyepony (Mod)
Drak~ It does have some the features of annular but really become that~ I think Enrique is going to have to get away or die, kinda lopsided still too (not to mention the spirals you pointed out).
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WP092009 - Typhoon MORAKOT

Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (1 km Mercator, MODIS/AVHRR)
1320 UTC

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
FELICIA.110kts-940mb-142N-1293W

maybe NHC still CAT3
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Quoting Patrap:
WP092009 - Typhoon MORAKOT
Multiplatform Satellite Surface Wind Analysis
1800 UTC



Typhoon is at 130E and Felicia is at 130W, totally opposite side of globe
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WP092009 - Typhoon MORAKOT
Multiplatform Satellite Surface Wind Analysis
1800 UTC

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Is that 3.1 minutes per second and is that in knots?
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Last picture seems Felicia moving WNW
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502. IKE
Rough weather around....

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Impressive Typhoon with Large circulation

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Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery - Typhoon MORAKOT

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## 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
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WP092009 - Typhoon MORAKOT



Al U.S. Naval,Air Force and Marine Stations on Okinawa bracing for Typhoon Condition 1 within 24 hours.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
When the BAMM were run at 18z they think it might be annular.
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494. Skyepony (Mod)
I don't think we will see Felicia go Annular. I can't think of any that have with a sibling storm close by.
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Hawaii doesnt need to really watch this till she gets to 150W
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has the surface low in the catl gonre beneath the mass of convection?
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Quoting StormChaser81:
GOES

Convection is really waning on the west side of the storm, maybe cooler waters are starting to take a toll of it or wind shear.


08E
HURRICANE FELICIA 18:00UTC 05August2009
UW-CIMSS Experimental Vertical Shear and TC Intensity Trend Estimates

Current Conditions (from TPC) :
Latitude : 14:30:06 N
Longitude : 129:15:19 W
Intensity (MSLP) : 952.6 hPa

Max Pot Int (MPI,from Emanuel) : 926.2 hPa
MPI differential (MSLP-MPI) : 26.4 hPa

CIMSS Vertical Shear Magnitude : 3.1 m/s
Direction : 105.0 deg

Outlook for TC Intensification Based on Current
Env. Shear Values and MPI Differential
Forecast Interval : 6hr 12hr 18hr 24hr
F F F N

Legend : VF-Very Favorable F-Favorable N-Neutral
U-Unfavorable VU-Very Unfavorable

-- Mean Intensity Trend (negative indicates TC deepening) --
6hr 12hr 18hr 24hr
VF <-3.0mb/ 6hr <-6.0mb/12hr <-9.0mb/18hr <-12.0mb/24hr
F -3.0 - -1.0 -6.0 - -2.0 -9.0 - -3.0 -12.0 - -4.0
N -1.0 - +1.0 -2.0 - +2.0 -3.0 - +3.0 -4.0 - +4.0
U +1.0 - +3.0 +2.0 - +6.0 +3.0 - +9.0 +4.0 -+12.0
VU >+3.0 >+6.0 >+9.0 >+12.0
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
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Current Conditions


Okinawa, JP (Airport)
Updated: 6 min 59 sec ago
84 F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 89%
Dew Point: 81 F
Wind: 28 mph from the ENE
Wind Gust: 41 mph
Pressure: 29.20 in (Falling)

Heat Index: 98 F
Visibility: 6.2 miles

Okinawa wu-page with Sat Image of the Approaching Storm




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
488. Skyepony (Mod)
Patrap~ You may be right. She's always been a little lopsided, not like night is coming soon either.
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482: looks like she's mooning us showing her you know what...
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this a strong cat4 right now near cat.new convection will fire to replaceold,it has great outflow channels for that.
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GOES

Here this link should work...
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting Vortex95:
Pin wheel eye Drak thats one of a few characteristics of an anular Hurricane, you think or anyone else think it has a shot at ataining this status?


Annular hurricanes have more of a disk shape. They are void of spiral bands.
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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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