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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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
Quoting StormChaser81:
I think the wambulance needs to be called on certain bloggers...Lots of ill put tou on the ignore lists and thats not funny.(points fingure) lol, people are really touchy lately. its a blog you'll never meet these people and its just opinions.



Actually, I would like to have a drink/like to meet some of the folks on here and maybe (I'm too busy at the moment to organize it though) we should have some "regional" happy hours around the Gulf States (and other locations) some time where we can pick an estblishment and try to meet one another (and make peace for some in person)......That would actually be a really neat thing to do.
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WS

Still waiting for your description of the impending weather pattern over the Atlantic....as you discussed.
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WS

Please explain that pattern.....
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Quoting StormChaser81:
I think the wambulance needs to be called on certain bloggers...Lots of ill put tou on the ignore lists and thats not funny.(points fingure) lol, people are really touchy lately. its a blog you'll never meet these people and its just opinions.



no kidding lol, nice pic
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Still firing, indicative of the reds on the sat.

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I think the wambulance needs to be called on certain bloggers...Lots of ill put tou on the ignore lists and thats not funny.(points fingure) lol, people are really touchy lately. its a blog you'll never meet these people and its just opinions.

Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2315
Quoting btwntx08:

did u read my comment correctly....i said am not putting him in ingore it was a warning to stop i'm gving him another chance


lol you are giving him another chance? well isnt that nice of you

point is you are way too sensitive, because someone disagrees with you, you want to put them on ignore

in this arena, there isnt much of a difference between threatening to put someone on ignore and actually putting them on ignore when it comes to how someone will perceive you in return.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


Surface low on the maps, looks like it is trying to break from the ITCZ


Yeah BAP.

On that map where the sfc.low is you can see it is just about ready to break out of the ITCZ, thus the sharp bend north of the ITCZ where the low is.
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Quoting SeniorPoppy:
The aoi in the Atlantic will really need to dig deep if it is even going to survive...honestly it looks more promising now than it has the past couple days. The blowup of convection the past few days was mainly attributed to the itcz. I highly doubt however that Ana will form from this aoi.


I'll give an "A" for persistence though; it appears to have broken away from the ITCZ and is still firing some convection.
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Jeffs.

Amen brother.
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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 : 153000 UTC
Lat : 14:00:00 N Lon : 128:49:11 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.1 / 971.1mb/ 92.4kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
5.1 6.8 7.0

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : 3.1mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 12 km

Center Temp : 1.9C Cloud Region Temp : -73.7C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

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

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 2.2T/6hr
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

****************************************************
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08E
HURRICANE FELICIA 12:00UTC 05August2009
UW-CIMSS Experimental Vertical Shear and TC Intensity Trend Estimates

Current Conditions (from TPC) :
Latitude : 13:45:43 N
Longitude : 128:45:20 W
Intensity (MSLP) : 961.7 hPa

Max Pot Int (MPI,from Emanuel) : 919.3 hPa
MPI differential (MSLP-MPI) : 42.4 hPa

CIMSS Vertical Shear Magnitude : 5.6 m/s
Direction : 98.9 deg

Outlook for TC Intensification Based on Current
Env. Shear Values and MPI Differential
Forecast Interval : 6hr 12hr 18hr 24hr
F N N 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
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Quoting jeffs713:
WS...


You actually WANT a storm? Why? I would be estatic with a dead season. After going through Ike, and seeing others go through very damaging storms, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. (and that includes "fish storms" - they cause me headaches at work)

What kind of person wishes destruction upon another for their entertainment?
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114. IKE
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
The aoi in the Atlantic will really need to dig deep if it is even going to survive...honestly it looks more promising now than it has the past couple days. The blowup of convection the past few days was mainly attributed to the itcz. I highly doubt however that Ana will form from this aoi.
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Quoting btwntx08:

thats not funny just saying nuttin....this is a warning if u continue i'll put u in ingore


What are you 2 years old?

Come on lighten up a little, you seem to put people on ignore like its going out of style
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Quoting matt213213:
Per wikipedia, Hurricane Andrew formed August 17th and since it was the 'A' storm that year, I am guessing the 1993 hurricane season started later than this year as well.


IIRC, back in 1992 we were not labeling sub-tropical or extra-tropical storms, etc... I think that one of those formed earlier than Aug. 17th in 1992... Dr. M had stated that on one of his earlier blogs. I could find it if you really want it.
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Quoting futuremet:


It will likely not. The fact that it is weak, and a ridge is developing toward the northwest should block poleward movement. A track toward the caribbean is becoming more probable each run.


possible that an anticyclone is forming over that area of low pressure

I really think the GFS has this scenerio nailed much more closely than many are saying

GFS scenerio was the the back part of this wave would develop the surface low and become a system, may not be that farfetched
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Nuthin past 40W and nuthin past 150W. Nuthin, nuthin and nuthin for the next 7 days per the Doc. Better get your jollies out of Felicia in the next 24 hours before she dies. Me I like calm.
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
WS...


You actually WANT a storm? Why? I would be estatic with a dead season. After going through Ike, and seeing others go through very damaging storms, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. (and that includes "fish storms" - they cause me headaches at work)

What kind of person wishes destruction upon another for their entertainment?
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Quoting AllStar17:


I do not think it will because it remains weak, thus it should continue west with the low level flow.


I concur.
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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 : 150000 UTC
Lat : 13:51:00 N Lon : 128:51:16 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.1 / 971.1mb/ 92.4kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
4.8 5.2 6.5

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : 3.1mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 17 km

Center Temp : 4.6C Cloud Region Temp : -69.0C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

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

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 0.5T/hour
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : FLAG



Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Surface low on the maps, looks like it is trying to break from the ITCZ
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Quoting IKE:
Looks like the 12Z GFS has that AOI in the Atlantic @ 13N and 35W getting pulled north by the trough out in the ATL ocean...


It will likely not. The fact that it is weak, and a ridge is developing toward the northwest should block poleward movement. A track toward the caribbean is becoming more probable each run.
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does Felicia look like it is trying to become annular to anybody?
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Quoting IKE:
Looks like the 12Z GFS has that AOI in the Atlantic @ 13N and 35W getting pulled north by the trough out in the ATL ocean...


I do not think it will because it remains weak, thus it should continue west with the low level flow.
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we need to develop an online based sim game for the wunderground folks to play when there are no storms.......lol
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92. IKE
Looks like the 12Z GFS has that AOI in the Atlantic @ 13N and 35W getting pulled north by the trough out in the ATL ocean...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Looking very good. NHC says little change in strength expected, but I do not know, I think it will continue strengthening in the short term.

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Quoting futuremet:


45W
Ok..so the one that i was talkin about and the one that you said was dead. ????
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 51 Comments: 1731
Quoting matt213213:
Per wikipedia, Hurricane Andrew formed August 17th and since it was the 'A' storm that year, I am guessing the 1993 hurricane season started later than this year as well.


I guess this needs to go in an FAQ or something, at least until Aug 17. There was a subtropical storm before Andrew that year, but it wasn't designated until after the season. "Upon further review..."
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Quoting cyclonekid:
now you've gotten me confused...are u talkin about the one near 35W...if so...didn't know that was a broad area of LP.


45W
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Interesting that 1988 was the last time a named storm formed in the Atlantic, and at the same time they had hurricane Gilbert, which is the second strongest hurricane in the Atlantic on record, second only to Wilma.
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209

WHXX01 KMIA 051316

CHGE77

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE

NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

1316 UTC WED AUG 5 2009



DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.

PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.



EAST PACIFIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR



TROPICAL CYCLONE FELICIA (EP082009) 20090805 1200 UTC



...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...

090805 1200 090806 0000 090806 1200 090807 0000



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 13.8N 128.3W 15.1N 130.1W 16.2N 131.7W 17.3N 133.3W

BAMD 13.8N 128.3W 14.9N 130.1W 15.9N 131.8W 16.7N 133.7W

BAMM 13.8N 128.3W 14.9N 130.0W 15.9N 131.6W 16.8N 133.3W

LBAR 13.8N 128.3W 15.0N 129.9W 16.4N 131.6W 17.7N 133.5W

SHIP 100KTS 114KTS 117KTS 112KTS

DSHP 100KTS 114KTS 117KTS 112KTS



...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...

090807 1200 090808 1200 090809 1200 090810 1200



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 18.2N 135.2W 19.9N 140.1W 21.1N 145.9W 21.6N 151.4W

BAMD 17.2N 135.6W 18.1N 140.1W 19.0N 144.6W 20.2N 148.1W

BAMM 17.5N 135.1W 18.8N 139.6W 20.0N 144.4W 21.1N 148.3W

LBAR 18.6N 135.3W 19.4N 139.3W 19.4N 144.3W 20.1N 148.7W

SHIP 100KTS 77KTS 61KTS 44KTS

DSHP 100KTS 77KTS 61KTS 44KTS



...INITIAL CONDITIONS...

LATCUR = 13.8N LONCUR = 128.3W DIRCUR = 305DEG SPDCUR = 9KT

LATM12 = 12.6N LONM12 = 126.8W DIRM12 = 299DEG SPDM12 = 9KT

LATM24 = 12.0N LONM24 = 124.9W

WNDCUR = 100KT RMAXWD = 25NM WNDM12 = 70KT

CENPRS = 955MB OUTPRS = 1008MB OUTRAD = 200NM SDEPTH = D

RD34NE = 120NM RD34SE = 120NM RD34SW = 90NM RD34NW = 90NM



$$

NNNN


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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

you got to be kidding me ok what time is D-max


5-6 am local time
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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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