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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When speaking of the tropics things can happen quick.. the models don't always hit every storm
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180. BDAwx
Quoting OSUWXGUY:
I love the TPW for looking at changes in the overall flow...

Check out how our AOI in the Atlantic's circulation has tightened over the last day or so!

This is yet another reason to keep an eye on it.



I agree! just needs a bit more convection...
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
Thanks Dr. Masters!


Do you think he did his homework now?
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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


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
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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
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Felicia may well be on its way to cat4.
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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.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051



My name is Felicia look at my eye!
Member Since: July 21, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 552
I love the TPW for looking at changes in the overall flow...

Check out how our AOI in the Atlantic's circulation has tightened over the last day or so!

This is yet another reason to keep an eye on it.

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AOI

AOI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Currently Active Tropical Cyclones
RAAMB site


Last Updated 7 Minutes Ago

Atlantic* No Currently Active Cyclones

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rain and hail on the West Coast
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Quoting Vortex95:
jeffs its best not to get your blood pressure up for wishcasters they aren't controlling the eniromental favorability in the atlantic basin for tropical cyclones. What they say is irrelevent.

I don't get my BP up much over them. I know they are just being themselves, and really don't know the power of what they are wishing for. No worries.
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Quoting iluvjess:


I'm not suggesting that the not be allowed to read the blog for educational purposes. Just an age requirement on posting. Posts like the immature spats abive just give the blog a bad rap.
I don't know everything along with many other's on here, the way we learn is by asking questions. If they can't post they can't ask. And for the record many of the idots that post the garbage you speak of would meet these age requirements you propose. I am with you on not wanting to see so much garbage but it is what it is.
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Quoting leftovers:
how about a ignored blog that would be fun


hmmmm not a bad idea

Do you mean a place where all the ignored people can go to chat?

That would be like the land of misfit toys lol
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Posting stuff like that demonstrates a lack of concern for the integrity and growth of the blog. One's that lack the maturity to realize this should not be allowed to post.
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I dont igonore anyone. I think its funny to read some of this stuff.
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Looks like Felicia is going through an eye-wall cycle, the eye is closing up and will probably reopen maybe bigger. THis will be one of many eye-wall cycles to keeps itself sustained at cat 3 status.
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Thanks Storm!
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Quoting tigerfanintexas:
No, you have to take the good with the bad. There might be some young minds out there thirsty for knowledge, or maybe they even have something valuble to add. Why would you let a couple of bad apples ruin the whole bunch?


I'm not suggesting that the not be allowed to read the blog for educational purposes. Just an age requirement on posting. Posts like the immature spats abive just give the blog a bad rap.
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I remember 2004, with so many close calls including Jeane and Francis..also before that Charley..I think Ivan was that year also (I think)

Those were all very dangerous and destructive storms. I was just counting my blessings in southeast Florida that year.
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I wish for fish storms, just to track something and watch the power of a Tropical Cyclone without worrying about the destruction. Like Hurricane Dog in 1950, that be a fun storm to track, never effecting land and as a Category 5. I myself, have been through horror's like Hurricane Floyd, Wilma, Isabel, Charley and so on that I wouldn't dare wish it on someone.
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Quoting iluvjess:
Why would one care if another put them on ignore anyway? There should be an age requirement on this blog to ensure the integrity of the same. I used to be a regular reader and poster but every year it seems we have more and more children on here. I propose we start a petition for an age verification before posting comments. Anyone agree?
No, you have to take the good with the bad. There might be some young minds out there thirsty for knowledge, or maybe they even have something valuble to add. Why would you let a couple of bad apples ruin the whole bunch?
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
Good afternoon, all! It looks like your highly desired dead Hurricane Season continues for the time being there, Ike. But all possible indications are that come next week that'll all come to a swift, yet rather aburpt end, FINALLY that is. :) About time too, I've waited long enough.


...wow...
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Obviousy I, and other old timers, are familiar with the ignore feature and we utilize it. However, any new comers that come to the blog for the first time and read doodoo like the spat above will be turned away. Result, we all lose a potential contributor to our blog.
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If anyone wants storms to track, the Pacific has plenty to choose from. Again, its good not to be under the gun in the Atlantic... at least for the time being.
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There aint nuthin out there . If you dont like it then sign out!
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Why would one care if another put them on ignore anyway? There should be an age requirement on this blog to ensure the integrity of the same. I used to be a regular reader and poster but every year it seems we have more and more children on here. I propose we start a petition for an age verification before posting comments. Anyone agree?
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Atleast we might break a record if no storms form or the latest starting season. Then we can all be like man I remember that season, what a weird one.
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Quoting StormChaser81:
I bet you if most of the people meet each other there would be less bickering, because you'd know exactly what that person was like. You would come to expect it from there personality.imo



True........
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The past 5 years have been rather hectic in the tropics so it is refreshing to see a season that doesn't have all hell break loose so early. In 2005, when Katrina formed...it was already the 11th storm of the season I believe.
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Quoting AndrewSurvicor:


I couldn't agree more. I cannot believe there are people on this board who are wishing for hurricanes. They should have been with me during Hurricane Andrew, as I hunkered down in my bathroom with a mattress over me. Please believe me these storms are no joking matter.


lol wonder where that disclaimer is, oh here it is


"When people are wishing for storms, they are wishing for storms to track. They in no way want the death and destruction that goes with them. No matter how many times it is said, people continue to assume that those who want a storm to track, also want death and destruction. It is a completely unfair assumption to make."
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Quoting Vortex95:
jeffs its best not to get your blood pressure up for wishcasters they aren't controlling the eniromental favorability in the atlantic basin for tropical cyclones. What they say is irrelevent.


I hate the fact that when someone makes an opinion and they think something will develop they're called 'wishcasters' the same as people who say something wont develop and they're automaticaly called 'downcasters'

Wishcasters are people that hope a Category 5 hits them so they don't have to go to school the next day or want to get a rise out of people.
Downcasters are people who are in flat denial or want to get a rise out of people.
What do they have in common? They're trolls. I haven't seen that today.
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I bet you if most of the people meet each other there would be less bickering, because you'd know exactly what that person was like. You would come to expect it from there personality.imo

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Quoting btwntx08:

ok i'll be more careful next time anyways if is a troll that everywhere knows then i'll take action thats what i'll do for now on


that sounds fair, msphar is not a troll by any means
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The Raw on that thing's 7.0! Wow!
This has to be nearing Category 4 strength.
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Wow sorry to cause controversy. Just killing time here. Waiting for the season...waiting for the reason...Waiting to drive to the airport...and fly down to the tropics for some boat maintenance and that ain't "nuthin".
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Look at the overall pattern begining to shape up from next week on forth.


Your talking about the MJO?
Member Since: March 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1421

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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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