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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Why the heck is everyone downcasting the tropical Atlantic? Lets face it people: the tropics will start to get active really soon and when it does i have a feeling it might not be so pretty and you guys wont be downcasting then.
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Quoting IKE:


Reading that link from OSUWXGUY, from CSU.....Most ensemble members keep the MJO in an unfavorable phase for Atlantic storms throughout the fifteen-day period.


What happened to the favorable MJO?

***And that outlook goes through August 20th***


I think part of why the MJO is weak and not really migrating east is that the El Nino locks the convective pattern in the Pacific.

You get higher than normal convection in the central and eastern Pacific and lower in the Western Pacific/Eastern Indian where the MJO pulses originate from...
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Member Since: July 21, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 552
I think it would be a good idea if the WU main blog officially cancelled the hurricane season, that way we dont have to have the arguments, debates that always occur daily and everyone could go out and enjoy life.

Another factor is MSLP is not dropping as is expected this time of the year. numbers forecast is about normal. it is my gut feeling the pressure will be released with a monster system. don't let your gaurd down with a false sense of security
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Ishigakijima, Japan

8:00 PM 28.0 °C 26.0 °C 89% 975 HPA 4.5 Km Wind North 72.2 km/h / 20.1 m/s gust 100.0 km/h / 27.8 m/s
Member Since: July 21, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 552
Yeah that blob in the GOM down by Key West looks rather interesting. Hopefully we can get some much needed rain up here.
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
Quoting hydrus:
Try a Google search on Wilma and then check around,you might find it on Yahoo too.


Thank you. Sort of busy this morning and needed it for something. It was the first thing on Google Images lol. Thanks!
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African Wave Train

Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
1322. Patrap
No tutt in the GOM,..and there is where we most likely will see something spin up in Mid August.

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AS long as the TUTT is around, good bye to any tropical activity. it has to get out.
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1320. Patrap
Get back Loretta,..LOL
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1319. Patrap
CPC MJO,NOAA
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1318. IKE
Quoting Patrap:
Seems the MJO lost it's Mojo Ike..


Apparently so. I've got my own mojo....get back joe-joe....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1317. hydrus
Quoting robbieNDBC:
Does anyone happen to have the image of Wilma under like 60 knots of shear?
Try a Google search on Wilma and then check around,you might find it on Yahoo too.
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1316. IKE
Quoting leftovers:
just because csu says so does not mean its going to happen i think once the tw hits warmer water watch out


I believe it because the ECMWF shows nothing through August 16th.

I've bookmarked and been looking at the MJO information daily. I never did see a strong MJO in the Atlantic with what I looked at.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1315. Patrap
Seems the MJO lost it's Mojo Ike..
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Seem to be all jammed up. Not much going to happen until this upper level pattern releases. Maybe over the weekend into next week.

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1311. IKE
Quoting stoormfury:
What a season so far.SAL and cool temps in the EATL has really put a cap on 2009 season. in the carib and g/mex it has been strong vertical shear. everyone is now awaiting the magic MJO for a ramp up in activity 9 days to august 15th for the emergence of ANA


Reading that link from OSUWXGUY, from CSU.....Most ensemble members keep the MJO in an unfavorable phase for Atlantic storms throughout the fifteen-day period.


What happened to the favorable MJO?

***And that outlook goes through August 20th***
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
I take Ike's (1 in 20) as legit, but just humouring me...

I seem to remember a system that dipped when coming West, thus dropping from ENE of the islands, into the islands, passing as a storm?

This was quite a while back.

Is this right or is my memory playing tricks?
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What a season so far.SAL and cool temps in the EATL has really put a cap on 2009 season. in the carib and g/mex it has been strong vertical shear. everyone is now awaiting the magic MJO for a ramp up in activity 9 days to august 15th for the emergence of ANA
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1307. Patrap
C. Atlantic IR loop

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Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, which includes Weather456, daily update.


AOI

AOI
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1305. Patrap

GOM IR Loop
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Our long lived AOI in the Atlantic has had its low/mid level cyclonic flow sheared out over the past 12 hours or so by strong northeasterlies. Despite more convection than yesterday, it's definitely worse for wear.

Oh and I'm sure you all talked about this, but Colorado State issued a 2 week forecast and the details can be found here:

CSU August 6 - August 20 Forecast

They call for below normal activity during the period. They list reasons like no current or forecasted storms, MJO in a suppressed phase over the Atlantic, and an overall forecast for the season to be below normal.

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Quoting fireflymom:

Presslord wants the part, he has the wardrobe and a lovely smile.


; )
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Quoting fireflymom:

Presslord wants the part, he has the wardrobe and a lovely smile.


I am hoping that you mean for the 'Leading Man' role, the guy 'Waiting for Ana'.

LOL
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1301. Patrap
Felicia can only sustain as the SSt's allow,and that window is about to close this afternoon as she encounters cooler waters to the west.
She sure is a Impressive Storm this morning though.
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1300. 1088391
Good morning everyone.
I just had a thought, Its starting to look like TS Enrique is almost orbiting Hurricane Felicia. Is it possible that if this really is happening that Enrique can move in front of Felicia and work as a much need shield to the hostile environment?
This is just a thought.
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Felcia needs the clear eye again.
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 51 Comments: 1731
1297. Patrap
EP082009 - Hurricane FELICIA

Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)

12:30 UTC
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1296. IKE
Quoting largeeyes:


Can someone explain the scale on that map? If it really is showing %, then that blip in GOM has a 1 in 300 chance the other spots are 1-1.5%.


You're correct.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1295. Patrap
Prepare for the next hurricane with these gadgets
Posted 8/3/2009 1:56 PM


BILOXI, Miss. — Technology, developed in the four years since Hurricane Katrina, didn't necessarily come out of the hurricane but will help with evacuation, power outages and recovery if there is another big storm.
Stores on the coast are getting prepared, stocking everything from bottled water to the latest gadgets that will help residents get their home and office computers backed up and their families safely evacuated.






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Member Since: July 21, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 552
Does anyone happen to have the image of Wilma under like 60 knots of shear?
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Quoting bajelayman2:
Ike thanks for the reply.

Maybe someone will be inspired to make a movie ' Wiating for Ana'.

Of course, it will be a girl in the movie....

Presslord wants the part, he has the wardrobe and a lovely smile.
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Quoting cyclonekid:
Can somebody explain to me why there is an area in the GOM? Is it because of the old frontal boundary? If so, I thought HP was preventing any development.


Can someone explain the scale on that map? If it really is showing %, then that blip in GOM has a 1 in 300 chance the other spots are 1-1.5%.
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Ike thanks for the reply.

Maybe someone will be inspired to make a movie ' Wiating for Ana'.

Of course, it will be a girl in the movie....
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1289. IKE
Quoting bajelayman2:
Aw, what the heck, I'm not usually a baddie, but I'm going to liven things up...

Could this be ...Ana?

LOL


I think they should just skip that name. I would say the odds of your question becoming yes...are 1 in 20.

And good morning to all.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Can somebody explain to me why there is an area in the GOM? Is it because of the old frontal boundary? If so, I thought HP was preventing any development.
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 51 Comments: 1731
Aw, what the heck, I'm not usually a baddie, but I'm going to liven things up...

Could this be ...Ana?

LOL
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Morning all
Member Since: July 21, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 552
Good morning Ike
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1284. IKE
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting mobilegirl81:
Ivan shook mobile(thought it was suppoesd to hit us), but rocked pensacola. The worst part is that pensacola thought it was supposed to hit Mobile, AL that night.


my job stupidly sent me from tallahassee to milton to get a contract signed (before the storm hit)for a grant, and I got caught in the evacuation mess. I-10 was still shut down with traffic backed up for hours from Ike? another storm a year before I think, anyway, my car kept overheating waiting in the long lines of traffic so to get back to tallahassee I went north and had to go almost to montgomery before I could get back to the panhandle. It was a nightmare. i always make sure I dont have to wait in traffic in a car prone to overheating or be on the road without gas when a storm is coming now.
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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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