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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Felicia is gonna POOF, she's got 9 lives, and just spun #7
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Its pulling a reped intensificaiton like wilma did.
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Quoting StormChaser81:


Good try but if your going to try and foul people atleast know the facts, winds were 115mph at 8am. Your post are getting sader and sader.


I saw nothing wrong in what he said, he is right
The GFS may have the best track for Felicia
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Quoting STORMMASTERG:
Felicia is now known as wilma.Hurricane alert hurricane wilma has formed again.


For god sake Stormtop, stop being such a troll.

To be honest, Felicia is more of Flossy than any thing else.

I famously, got my first 99% correct forecast with flossy - I saw that she would rapidly intensify and become a cat 4 - before some of the big guns latched on to the idea.
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370. I'm not sure what to make of your post, other than scratching my head.
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Quoting jasoniscoolman10:
winds up to 115 mph on hurricane Felicia at 11am


Good try but if your going to try and foul people atleast know the facts, winds were 115mph at 8am. Your post are getting sader and sader.
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375. Skyepony (Mod)
Felicia
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 193 Comments: 38688
Felicia is a bit foreboding for the Atlantic Basin IMHO if one of our first storms of the season is able to get a "clear shot" at a few days low shear and nice warm SST's at some point after reaching TD or TS status....
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This is my forecast as of August 05 2009, 20:00 BST:

20:00 BST EPAC Foreacst
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I just purchased a '65 gallon watersafe' that fits in your bathtub. Max Mayfied suggested this on his blog. Instead of just filling a bathtub to flush the toilets, this 'water safe' keeps your water potable for drinking and cooking too.



It cost me about $30. Here's a link if interested:

Link
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90% of what I post comes from the wu Tropical Page.There are many good links there under the Imagery section.

Also I use the LSU ESL site as well.

One can google just about anything one thinks of tropically to find a boatload of specific links.
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Quoting Claudette1234:
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 05 AUG 2009 Time : 180000 UTC
Lat : 14:15:00 N Lon : 129:16:17 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.2 / 945.8mb/119.8kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.2 6.6 6.6

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +3.0mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR :N/A km

Center Temp : +3.1C Cloud Region Temp : -70.3C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

Ocean Basin : EAST PACIFIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

119.8kts WOW!


I'm seeing potential for a Cat 5 before she weakens like crazy.
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Next 6h will be critical to reach CAT5 Felicia
if get a more big eyewall has a chance very little but still posible, conditions are still favorable to strengh
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


Minor detail, very much irrelevant


To you maybe, but not to her.
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Quoting P451:


I think She has maybe 12 hours left to intensify before she leaves that warm finger of water she's been riding.

She can't avoid the colder waters and can't avoid the shear unless for some reason she suddenly turned due west with even a wsw jog. Which is not forecast to happen. Even then she maintains for a while, weakens some, and passes to the south of the islands.


looking at the ssd map for SSTs, it appears that SSTs are running 26-29 degrees celsius all the way to Hawaii
Quoting UWalkTheMall:
For the record, he is a she. lol

Couldn't tell from the avatar. LOL
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Here is the other buoy. The AOI will pass just N of this one.
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For the record, he is a she. lol
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357. Skyepony (Mod)
Burned~ I had wondered if that wasn't what the NAM had picked up. This morning's discussion mentioned it association with the N part of that wave traveling through. Interesting feature.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 193 Comments: 38688
Here is a buoy directly in the path of the convection now developing with the CATL feature.

It should provide some info about wind speed and direction over the next few hours as the low progresses further W.

There is another buoy just to the S that shows W winds now. I will post it momentarily.
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UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 05 AUG 2009 Time : 180000 UTC
Lat : 14:15:00 N Lon : 129:16:17 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.2 / 945.8mb/119.8kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.2 6.6 6.6

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +3.0mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR :N/A km

Center Temp : +3.1C Cloud Region Temp : -70.3C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

Ocean Basin : EAST PACIFIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

119.8kts WOW!
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.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Quoting SQUAWK:


Pat, I think he is referring to all the charts and images that are posted with no explanation as to what they are or what they mean. There is a lot of that on here. Just stuff posted for the sake of posting.


You are a winner. That is exactly what I was saying. :) Thanks!
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Felicia should be a Cat. 4 with 135 mph winds at the 5 pm advisory.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
In a zero,zero,zero year
There really is only one thing to fear
With no storms to placate
Sensible reason may vacate
All that's left is tears in your beer.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3892
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


the shear is do to the ULL itself, if it works its way to the surface, most of that shear would go away


I still am skeptical
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Quoting Drakoen:
Felicia may pass south of her forecast points by almost a full degree. That would allow for more intensification.


Yes thinks youre right next NHC report CAT4 for sure
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Quoting AllStar17:
i do not think it will amount much......looks like shear is to hostile for the moment


the shear is due to the ULL itself, if it works its way to the surface, most of that shear would go away
Quoting Drakoen:
Felicia may pass south of her forecast points by almost a full degree. That would allow for more intensification.


That is what I was thinking. I posted that above as well.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Quoting reedzone:
Never say never, the weather has been weird lately so if it stays a Hurricane and hits Hawaii, it would not surprise me. They need to moniter this storm.


If Felecia was coming from the south... there would be more a chance of it being a cane when it gets closer to Hawaii.
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i do not think it will amount much......looks like shear is to hostile for the moment ( the ULL)
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Felicia may pass south of her forecast points by almost a full degree. That would allow for more intensification.
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MJFELICIA.110kts-952mb-141N-1293W
TSENRIQUE.50kts-999mb-174N-1236W
TSMORAKOT.60kts-987mb-230N-1309E
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Quoting Patrap:


This Link is on the right side of this page-->


How to start your own blog, and add blog images and links


Pat, I think he is referring to all the charts and images that are posted with no explanation as to what they are or what they mean. There is a lot of that on here. Just stuff posted for the sake of posting.
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Quoting AllStar17:


What do you think would happen if we got convection over the center? Good shot for development, and further tightening of the COC?


Yes...perhaps. If it does the develop, it would remain as a result of SAL just ahead of it.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


I see it too, NAM picked up on it a few days ago


Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Quoting SomeRandomTexan:


au contraire... convection has been consistent all day long.. it has and is still continuinig to fire new convection... this is indicative of the nearby low.
i'm not saying it will form into anything.. just stating Facts, as some like to say.


For the short term and as of late...it does appear to be holding its own...We will see how it is managing in 24-48 hours.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


Ouch, did I deserve that?
Yes I used to be on your side but after some of you wild post this year things have change
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Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Quoting Skyepony:
The ULL mingling with the surface trough N of PR caught my eye this morning. It has more convection now.


I see it too, NAM picked up on it a few days ago
Hurricane Felicia looks like she wants to pass a bit south of her forecast points (just click Trop. Points and you will see she is likely to go a tad south of her forecast points)
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Quoting UWalkTheMall:
If possible please post some info about the images posted. It helps us lurkers that do not have a clue, but are lurking to learn.


This Link is on the right side of this page-->


How to start your own blog, and add blog images and links
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Quoting Drakoen:
potentially 320

Thanks, because I noticed it last night.
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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.