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 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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I have updated my blog
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Morning all,

1279, I was about to ask about this too, looks quite interesting to me, looks also as if it is dipping, strangely.

The loop makes it look quite interesting really.

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/catl/loop-wv.html

If it were not for the SAL map that IKE posted, I would think to be concerned about this.

Baje
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The International Space Station might pass over Felicia later today.

Member Since: March 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1421
1279. IKE
Quoting stormsurge39:
Is there anything associated with the blob of convection between 35w and 40w?


...THE ITCZ...

FROM THE AFRICA COAST NEAR 11N16W TO 11N35W 8N50W INTO
NORTHWESTERN GUYANA/NORTHEASTERN VENEZUELA NEAR 8N61W. ISOLATED
MODERATE SHOWERS ELSEWHERE FROM 4N TO 13N BETWEEN AFRICA AND
40W...AND FROM 3N TO 10N BETWEEN 30W AND 60W. A SURFACE TROUGH
GOES FROM 14N34W TO A 1012 MB LOW PRESSURE CENTER NEAR 12N38W
TO 8N41W.
STRONG SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS FROM 11N TO 14N
BETWEEN 36W AND 43W.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting stormsurge39:
Is there anything associated with the blob of convection between 35w and 40w?


a weak low.
Member Since: March 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1421
man it is quiet in here. With a Cat 4 out there you would think it would be busy in here
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Is there anything associated with the blob of convection between 35w and 40w?
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1275. DDR
Quoting potteryX:
I hear you DDR.
Scattered showers in Tobago. Heavy rain yesterday in Central.
The thing is, we have not seen the ITCZ sitting over us and raining for days at a time yet. "Mildew weather" is yet to come.

That true,the itcz has been weak overall this year.
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1274. IKE
Quoting stormsurge39:
Thanks Ike


Welcome.
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Thanks Ike
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I hear you DDR.
Scattered showers in Tobago. Heavy rain yesterday in Central.
The thing is, we have not seen the ITCZ sitting over us and raining for days at a time yet. "Mildew weather" is yet to come.
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1271. Patrap
Felicia 11:30 UTC
Rainbow Image
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1267. stormsurge39 8:15 AM EDT on August 06, 2009
Any thoughts to the area above PR, at about 25n 65w?


SEE:



Quoting IKE:
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
430 AM AST THU AUG 6 2009

.SYNOPSIS...TUTT LOW LOCATED NEAR 24N67W TO MEANDER N OF PR FOR
THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE WEAKENING OVR THE WEEKEND. IN THE
LOW LEVELS...TROPICAL WAVE ALONG 62W TO INTERACT WITH TUTT LOW TO
THE WEST AND ENHANCE SHRA/TSRA CHANCES NEXT 12 HRS. STRONG
SUBTROPICAL RIDGE TO BUILD SW INTO THE NORTHEAST CARIBBEAN BY FRI
BRINGING A MUCH DRIER AND STABLE AIR MASS. A SAHARAN AIR LAYER TO
AFFECT THE REGION DURING THE WEEKEND WITH SOME HAZE/DUST.


FCST GETS A LOT EASIER FOR THE WEEKEND AS SUBTROPICAL RIDGE BUILDS
SW IN TO THE NORTHEAST CARIBBEAN AND SAHARAN LAYER AIR MOVES IN
BRINGING A MUCH DRIER/STABLE AIR MASS. DRY CONDITIONS EXPECTED TO
PERSIST INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK.


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msphar, thats true. But my wife is planning to celebrate my birthday with a party on the 23 rd Aug. It is bound to come down in buckets that weekend. Look out! LOL
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1268. DDR
Quoting potteryX:
Good to see you, DDR.
Correct, I should have been more specific.
July overall was average. But we had a deficit in Central Trinidad. In fact, my garden is yet to become mud this year. Normally, that central clay soil is a sticky mess by now.

Point taken,Hopefully we'll catch up this month,you know how nasty August weather can get,I got one such example yesterday.
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Any thoughts to the area above PR, at about 25n 65w?
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Quoting msphar:
Quiet in the Atlantic is just peachy keen to me as I am on my way to Puerto Rico at present, sitting in Charlotte waiting for connection to San Juan...


Be sure to lean out the window and wave to me when you go over the Turks & Caicos.

CRS
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1265. msphar
Sal, El Nino, weak MJO seems like the stars are aligned against this Atlantic season. We could use the break.
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
Good to see you, DDR.
Correct, I should have been more specific.
July overall was average. But we had a deficit in Central Trinidad. In fact, my garden is yet to become mud this year. Normally, that central clay soil is a sticky mess by now.
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BOO


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1262. crownwx
Hmmm...the Roundy TC experimental probability loop is interesting. Shows late Aug/early Sep increased probability in the Gulf of Mexico.

Link
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Is there anything to whats going on at 65w 25n? Looks like a swirl to it.
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1260. DDR
Quoting potteryX:
Hi Ike.
Not B'dos, Trinidad&Tobago.
Our rainfall for June was 1/3 the norm. July was low by 1/2. Had a couple of waves pass though as you know, but the ITCZ -which is our
weather maker- has not really done it's thing as yet.
Of course, all that could change, fast and furious!

Hey pottery,long time no see,how is tobago?
July was pretty wet on my side,325mm at piarco and i got 300mm,but your right about june.
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1259. IKE
Oops....okay. Close though.
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1258. msphar
Ike - Pottery is in Tobago, as in T&T (Trinidad and Tobago) South of Barbados.
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
Hi Ike.
Not B'dos, Trinidad&Tobago.
Our rainfall for June was 1/3 the norm. July was low by 1/2. Had a couple of waves pass though as you know, but the ITCZ -which is our
weather maker- has not really done it's thing as yet.
Of course, all that could change, fast and furious!
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1256. IKE
Quoting DoubleAction:


They both had a tropical storm develop, today both show nada.


Like futuremet said...ECMWF.

I'm surprised someone hasn't started a SN on here of...0-0-0. CycloneOZ might be perfect for it...lol.....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting IKE:


Amen. They both do suck at cyclogenesis. They have to be suffering from convective feedback.

ECMWF shows limited action in the Atlantic through August 16th!

I have a question...I've been following the MJO charts and seeing it heading into the Atlantic. It's not that strong though. Question...what is more important...MJO or El Nino? It looks like El Nino is champ in the Atlantic in 2009. I wouldn't be shocked if it's after August 20th before the A storm happens.

TSR...13 storms in this? LMAO.


They both had a tropical storm develop, today both show nada.
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1254. IKE
Quoting potteryX:
Morning all.
It's looking like April out in the Atlantic.
I dont recall such an August. If there was one, it was a long time ago.
Dr. Masters did a blog recently, on the Forecast for SAL. Weather 456 had a blog on this as well. Both suggested that a reduced SAL this season may encourage more waves to become potential storm systems.
So far, that has not happened. There is a good chance that August 15 th will still be quiet.
That's just fine with me.


You're in Barbados. I remember last summer you were on here almost every day talking about rain you had.

This summer I'm getting tons of rain.

Looks like a big plume of dust headed for you and islands to your north.....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1253. msphar
Quiet in the Atlantic is just peachy keen to me as I am on my way to Puerto Rico at present, sitting in Charlotte waiting for connection to San Juan after taking the red eye from SFO. Felicia is enough to worry about at present. Cold water and the weight of Enrique should do her in soon.
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I personally think that once the SAL clears out more and the ULL clears N of PR we'll see something happen. More than likely next week. We seem to be on the cusp of favorable conditions and the slight MJO enhancement may be just enough to kick it into gear.
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Quoting IKE:


Amen. They both do suck at cyclogenesis. They have to be suffering from convective feedback.

ECMWF shows limited action in the Atlantic through August 16th!

I have a question...I've been following the MJO charts and seeing it heading into the Atlantic. It's not that strong though. Question...what is more important...MJO or El Nino? It looks like El Nino is champ in the Atlantic in 2009. I wouldn't be shocked if it's after August 20th before the A storm happens.

TSR...13 storms in this? LMAO.


Or for that matter 10 from CSU? We better get cracking or we're all going to need to get in a bomb shelter to make it through September.
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Another quiet day in the Atlantic.



Member Since: March 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1421
Morning all.
It's looking like April out in the Atlantic.
I dont recall such an August. If there was one, it was a long time ago.
Dr. Masters did a blog recently, on the Forecast for SAL. Weather 456 had a blog on this as well. Both suggested that a reduced SAL this season may encourage more waves to become potential storm systems.
So far, that has not happened. There is a good chance that August 15 th will still be quiet.
That's just fine with me.
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1248. msphar
NHC track for Felicia has her going towards the Northern end of the Big Island. North of Mauna Kea towards the oldest of the five major mountains that make up the Big Island, between Honoka'a and Hawi. This is a rugged and sparcely populated coastal land that rings and protects the Kohala basin to the West. Most of the energy will be expended on the Eastern to Northern coastline bringing copious amounts of rain to places like Wiapio Valley. Then whats left of it may slip by on towards Maui.
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It looks as if Felicia's Southern Eyewall is strengthening look at Dr. Masters image of Felicia up above
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1246. IKE
0-0-0

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT THU AUG 6 2009

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

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

$$
FORECASTER BROWN
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1245. IKE
Quoting Claudette1234:
Hello Ike

Do you really think this wave can developed?


It doesn't look promising. Looks like some dry-air is getting to it.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858


Seems like MOROKOT want to make an eye
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1243. IKE
Quoting futuremet:


LOL compare 18z and 0z GFS

they both suck at cyclogenesis. Stick with the ECMWF!


Amen. They both do suck at cyclogenesis. They have to be suffering from convective feedback.

ECMWF shows limited action in the Atlantic through August 16th!

I have a question...I've been following the MJO charts and seeing it heading into the Atlantic. It's not that strong though. Question...what is more important...MJO or El Nino? It looks like El Nino is champ in the Atlantic in 2009. I wouldn't be shocked if it's after August 20th before the A storm happens.

TSR...13 storms in this? LMAO.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting IKE:
Here's why the CMC model is untrustworthy. Here's what it showed in the Atlantic at 144 hours, on yesterday's 12Z run. Look east of the islands....




Here's what it now shows. Note east of the islands vs. the 12Z frame I posted.....WTH?



LOL compare 18z and 0z GFS

they both suck at cyclogenesis. Stick with the ECMWF!
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1241. IKE
Here's why the CMC model is untrustworthy. Here's what it showed in the Atlantic at 144 hours, on yesterday's 12Z run. Look east of the islands....




Here's what it now shows. Note east of the islands vs. the 12Z frame I posted.....WTH?

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Hello Ike

Do you really think this wave can developed?
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1239. IKE
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
430 AM AST THU AUG 6 2009

.SYNOPSIS...TUTT LOW LOCATED NEAR 24N67W TO MEANDER N OF PR FOR
THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE WEAKENING OVR THE WEEKEND. IN THE
LOW LEVELS...TROPICAL WAVE ALONG 62W TO INTERACT WITH TUTT LOW TO
THE WEST AND ENHANCE SHRA/TSRA CHANCES NEXT 12 HRS. STRONG
SUBTROPICAL RIDGE TO BUILD SW INTO THE NORTHEAST CARIBBEAN BY FRI
BRINGING A MUCH DRIER AND STABLE AIR MASS. A SAHARAN AIR LAYER TO
AFFECT THE REGION DURING THE WEEKEND WITH SOME HAZE/DUST.


FCST GETS A LOT EASIER FOR THE WEEKEND AS SUBTROPICAL RIDGE BUILDS
SW IN TO THE NORTHEAST CARIBBEAN AND SAHARAN LAYER AIR MOVES IN
BRINGING A MUCH DRIER/STABLE AIR MASS. DRY CONDITIONS EXPECTED TO
PERSIST INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK.


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
61616 ASTRA WXWXC MORAKOT OB 17
62626 SPL 2623N12318E 0200 MBL WND 01538 AEV 20704 WL150 01034 08
0 =

could never read these dropsond readings =/


At what speed do you think Morakot land in Taiwan?
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Enrique wont to die soon still TS and may be reach CAT1
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1236. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
61616 ASTRA WXWXC MORAKOT OB 17
62626 SPL 2623N12318E 0200 MBL WND 01538 AEV 20704 WL150 01034 08
0 =

could never read these dropsond readings =/
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AOI

AOI
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1234. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
The swan, Goni needs to fly away and dissipate already
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Good Morning,

Nothing in the tropics worth mentioning except that upper low north of the islands but if development was to occur it would take days and that does not seem likely at this moment. None of the models forecasting anything through the weekend. Nothing has change much with Felicia as I expect it to reach Haiwii as a tropical depression or tropical storm and that seems to be the official guidance. If nothing significantly changes my next blog will be weekend (no use watching paint dry), where I hope to discuss Hawaii's hurricane history, which is only part 1 of a series of El Nino blogs I have plan, with the others being Australia, the Galapagos, and California.

Normal Season Still Expected; Hurricane Felicia
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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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