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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233. IKE
Quoting tropicfreak:
As expected.

000
ABNT20 KNHC 051730
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT WED AUG 5 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER PASCH






0-0-0 continues. Looks like 2009 will go beyond 1988(August 7th start date).
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I don't see anything imminent in the Tropical Atlantic.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
Hey KMan.


Good day to you.
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Quoting Drakoen:
The convection associated with the low in the ATL is north of the broad surface center:


Not by very much though and you can see the convection trying to hook around on the W side.
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It has been 21 years since we went this long without a named storm in the Atlantic--the hurricane season of 1988 didn't start until August 7

Gilbert year
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Quoting Drakoen:
The convection associated with the low in the ATL is north of the broad surface center:


Well it is getting slightly sheared by southerly winds. On the other hand, this is actually shielding it from the dry air to the north.
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Atlantic Ocean View (Updated ~3 hours)
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The convection associated with the low in the ATL is north of the broad surface center:
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As expected.

000
ABNT20 KNHC 051730
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT WED AUG 5 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER PASCH



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Does look like a bit of a comeback for the CATL low...maybe all hope hasnt been lost for it yet.
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There's correlation, and there's spurious correlation.

Your post is the definition of a spurious correlation.
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GOES-12 Atmospheric Imagery

These images are primarily for use in tropical storm monitoring. There are several areas to choose from providing a large-scale view of the Atlantic, down to the Gulf of Mexico. During hurricane season, the hurricanes page provides a variety of GOES atmospheric products to help monitor the active storms.

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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


Ah the voice of reason, hey kman


Hi there,

All eyes on the Pacific now but I have not counted the ATL low out yet. It has lifted to about 12N which would allow for the coriolis effect to help spin it up.

Still and AOI for me notwithstanding of its current state.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


2000 miles


thx
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Quoting tropicfreak:
How far is Hurricane Felica from Hawaii?


2000 miles
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Quoting jeffs713:
125. WS -
Even "fish storms" impact people. I work for a containerized shipping company, and a storm that stays out to sea can still close ports (for heavy seas), delay vessels (they have to route around it), damage cargo on board (30-40' seas tends to cause damage to containers lashed to the deck), and put the crews at great risk.

There is no such thing as an "storm without human impact". Whether a storm makes landfall or not, it can still cause significant damage, large financial losses (just think of a container that is 40'x8'x8' full of LCD TVs going overboard), and most significantly... kill people.

Keep that in mind when you wish for tropical activity.
What does it matter if someone wishes for something, it has absolutely nothing to do with the actual outcome. If no one in the world wished for a storm does that mean they won't happen. Don't you think you are being a little to sensitive on this subject. I went through Ike and Rita, I wished they both wouldn't hit, but they did. People track storms as a hobby, their actions and statements in here have no bearing on what really happens. People who work on boats know the risks involved and no amount of wishcasting or downcasting will change those risks, but they make the decision to work on the boats, just like people make decisions to live in hurricane prone areas. You must like tracking storms because you are in here everyday, just like WS. I am pretty sure neither one of you want death and destruction, but guess what...it is inevitable. So downcast or wishcast but don't make people out to look like they want to see someone die or have their lives ruined because they are hoping for a storm to track. That is pretty petty.
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I think Hawaii should be dusting off their hurricane plans. don't beleive they've used them since 1992.

Oh, and that was the year Andrew paid S. Fla a visit during an El Nino year
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Quoting Drakoen:
This morning's quickscat showed a broad low level circulation with the area in the MDR. The convection is poorly organized.
Link


Yes, I am surprised the NHC classified as a low. This system reminds me of 97L
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It will probably blow up within the next hour or 2.
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Quoting BDAwx:


I agree! just needs a bit more convection...


Yeah...and who knows when/if it will blow up again!

I'm not being crazy and saying that it for sure will develop...but I also think it has a lot more positives overall than this time yesterday.

Oh, and Presslord, no offense to Dr. Masters, but that our AOI will not develop is certainly not a FACT...
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wow...compare the incomparable to make a point...wow...


hows our aoi doing out there...anything new?
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How far is Hurricane Felica from Hawaii?
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This morning's quickscat showed a broad low level circulation with the area in the MDR. The convection is poorly organized.
Link
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Quoting kmanislander:
The CATL low is in a resurgent mode today with convection on the increase and the 850 mb vorticity now expanded and colocated with the surface low. Although the vort. signature is somewhat elogated it is more extensive than this morning.

The track is more WNW to W so it has a chance to avoid dry air to the NW.

As the old saying goes, it aint over till its over.



Ah the voice of reason, hey kman
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The CATL low is in a resurgent mode today with convection on the increase and the 850 mb vorticity now expanded and colocated with the surface low. Although the vort. signature is somewhat elogated it is more extensive than this morning.

The track is more WNW to W so it has a chance to avoid dry air to the NW.

As the old saying goes, it aint over till its over.

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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


really? Cuz I am seeing several models forecasting development. Also Dr M has said that before and then had to come back and change it the next day


Probably nothing significant or long lasting or else Dr. M wouldve mentioned it I'd think.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


There is absolutely nothing to track! The AOI has went poof embedded within the ITCZ which i kept telling everyone that it would have to pull out of there before it could be considered a real threat.


Relax.I was talking about this Tampa....which is out of the ITCZ by the way.



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The Raw TI on Felicia is 6.7. 6.5 means 145mph Category 4. 7.0 means 161mph Category 5.
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i dont know if anyone is interested, or if this will get me banned for posting off topic, but i got some neat info here i want to show you

while the atlantic is quiet, anyone been keeping track of swine flu? nearly 1,600 people are already dead from it. nearly 200k people are infected, and the world wide death rate is 0.8%
That's a high end category 3 pandemic, nearly category 4. (flu pandemics go from category 1 to 5 just like the hurricane scale). death rates in a lot of places including the U.S. have doubled ever since swine flu appeared, but it is likely that there are many missed cases that aren't confirmed, which would lower the death rate quite a bit. the places with the highest death rates are

St. Kitts and Nevis: 33.33 %
Tonga: 11.11%
Brazil: 6.59%
Argentina: 6.35%

A category 5 pandemic is 2.5% or higher. (Spanish flu 1918)
A category 4 pandemic is 1-2%
A category 3 pandemic is 0.5-1%
A category 2 pandemic is 0.1%-0.5% (Hong Kong and Asian flu)
A category 1 pandemic is less than 0.1% (seasonal flu)

Many south american countries have death rates over category 5 status
The united states death rate right now is 0.79%
Australias is only 0.3%
China's is only 0.05%.

just goes to show that australia and china have great healthcare.

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Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS AUG 05, 2009 ISSUED 12:40 P.M. EDT


great job as always StormW. I asked a couple questions in the comment section of your blog. If you could respond to those, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks for helping edumicate those of us who ain't got no fancy book learnin'. :o)

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Quoting WeatherStudent:


???


If I have the wrong person please forgive me. Autism Sucks

Some one not very long ago mentioned that Dr. Masters did not do his homework because he stated something like there was nothing worth talking about in the Atlantic.

He was correct. As some one else said 2000 post about nothing! (at the time)
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I bet the boys in Hawaii are getting there surfboards ready. It will be interesting to check out surfline.com at the peak of this swell.
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Quoting futuremet:
Like I said earlier, anticyclogenesis to the north should block recurvature out to sea. A track toward the caribbean is becoming more likely each run. The NOGAPS also shows that.


12Z CMC.


There is absolutely nothing to track! The AOI has went poof embedded within the ITCZ which i kept telling everyone that it would have to pull out of there before it could be considered a real threat.
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When is the NOAA hurricane forecast?
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I'm Impressed. It appears a stadium effect is taking place.
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Quoting jeffs713:
125. WS -
Even "fish storms" impact people. I work for a containerized shipping company, and a storm that stays out to sea can still close ports (for heavy seas), delay vessels (they have to route around it), damage cargo on board (30-40' seas tends to cause damage to containers lashed to the deck), and put the crews at great risk.

There is no such thing as an "storm without human impact". Whether a storm makes landfall or not, it can still cause significant damage, large financial losses (just think of a container that is 40'x8'x8' full of LCD TVs going overboard), and most significantly... kill people.

Keep that in mind when you wish for tropical activity.


amen and amen...
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182
It doesn't really mean much WS. It's just that the wave near 30W might enter the carib.
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Ocean Heat Content & Forecast Track MORAKOT


Multiplatform Satellite Surface Wind Analysis,Wind Field 1200 UTC
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125. WS -
Even "fish storms" impact people. I work for a containerized shipping company, and a storm that stays out to sea can still close ports (for heavy seas), delay vessels (they have to route around it), damage cargo on board (30-40' seas tends to cause damage to containers lashed to the deck), and put the crews at great risk.

There is no such thing as an "storm without human impact". Whether a storm makes landfall or not, it can still cause significant damage, large financial losses (just think of a container that is 40'x8'x8' full of LCD TVs going overboard), and most significantly... kill people.

Keep that in mind when you wish for tropical activity.
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Felicia looks divining on satellite imagery and such a nice name.

Good afternoon all

Normal Season Still Expected; Hurricane Felicia
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Quoting Patrap:
Nothing out there to track...nor expected thru the next 6-7days.

from the entry above,..

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


Pat...their minds are made up...please don't confuse them with facts...
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The amazing thing is that Felicia will be disappated by the time she nears the Big Island. Look at her now in her glory. Thank goodness it will be short lived. Those people on the East coast of the Big Island are the most exposed. Its the rainy side of the island and a lot of people live there. The other side is much drier. So Cal like climate, in the rain shadow of several large mountains.
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The Cyclone MORAKOT approaches Okinawa

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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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