Hurricane Felicia hits Category 3; may affect Hawaii next week

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:45 PM GMT on August 05, 2009

Share this Blog
4
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1083 - 1033

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28Blog Index

Katrina made landfall @ Buras LA and the sea level pressure was 917 mbs(Cat 5). When Rita(who can forget that bad girl) winds were 185 mph in the GOM. The pressure was much lower than Katrina was. It'll take a long time for this monster cane to spin down as it approaches Hawaii. The string of pearls in peril?? I'd be on edge if I were in Hawaii, despite what the computer models predict*****
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
so guys what is going on with our AOI
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Felicia at 120HR VT 11/0000Z 20.5N 153.0W 35 KT?

So, at the very least, we're talkin' North Shore Swellumongous, right?
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3753
1079. amd
Quoting PortABeachBum:
I wonder how many of the TX Gulf Coast would agree? Do you think those homeowners of Gilchrist,TX on the Bolivar Penisula would want to be asked to remain on the coast?


the surge profile on the texas coast, especially the ne texas coast, and the caribbean islands are much different.

A large continental shelf allows for surge waters to build along the NE Texas coast, while in the Caribbean, there is very little shallow water, so water levels from surges is a lot less where weather456 resides than from the bolivar peninsula.

A storm like Ike would bring surges at best in the Caribbean to about 6 feet, and of course on the bolivar peninsula, it was about 15 feet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PortABeachBum:
I wonder how many of the TX Gulf Coast would agree? Do you think those homeowners of Gilchrist,TX on the Bolivar Penisula would want to be asked to remain on the coast?


He is talking about inland on an island, in the US evacuating inland is much different
1077. gator23
Quoting sammywammybamy:
1068. I didn't say katrina intensitity ... I said Size

ok. Ike size, Cat 5, Miami Beach worst case scenario
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If Andrew, even at his size, landfalled just 15 miles north than where it did, that would be a worst case scenario.

What are other examples of annular hurricanes?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1075. gator23
Storm experts suggest: Run from water, hide from wind
If you don't live in a surge zone, you probably should stay put
By DAN FELDSTEIN Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
June 1, 2006, 1:27AM
Share
icon Print
iconShare
iconDel.icio.us
iconDigg
iconTwitter
Yahoo! Buzz
iconFacebook
iconStumbleUpon

Most people who looked at pictures of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina saw water filling the streets and houses.

Earl "Jay" Baker, a geography professor and evacuation expert at Florida State University in Tallahassee, noticed something different.

Yes, the homes flooded because of the failed levees. "But," he said, "the reason people had roofs to climb on in New Orleans is because they didn't blow away."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
An island is much worst. If a hurricane was coming at mines, they do not encourage you to move too far inland. If you do, becuz of the higher elevation, you will encounter much higher winds and heavier rains than at the coast. That is why you gotta take what comes. We dont normally get high surge like those on the mainland becuz of the surrounding bathymetry.
I wonder how many of the TX Gulf Coast would agree? Do you think those homeowners of Gilchrist,TX on the Bolivar Penisula would want to be asked to remain on the coast?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Some of the conditions associated with annular hurricanes are:

An intensity 85% or greater from their theoretical maximum potential intensity,
Weak wind shear from the east or southeast,
A cold east wind at a high altitude (the 200 mbar pressure level),
Near-constant sea surface temperatures between 25.4 °C and 28.5 °C, and
Lack of relative eddy flux convergence at the 200 mbar pressure level, relative to the storm


So if the theoretical maximum potential intensity of Felicia at landfall at downtown Hilo, HI was set at say TS strength of 60 mph...then 60 * .85 = 51 --> 60+51=111 mph?
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3753
1071. gator23
Quoting stormno:
well gator to answer your question i can think of a four letter word to evacuate even if you dont get storm surge its called WIND....Stormno

you dont evacuate from wind read this article!
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ZCZC MIATCDEP3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
HURRICANE FELICIA DISCUSSION NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP082009
800 PM PDT WED AUG 05 2009

FELICIA HAS CONTINUED TO STRENGTHEN THIS EVENING...WITH SATELLITE
INTENSITY ESTIMATES INCREASING TO 127 KT FROM TAFB AND 115 KT FROM
SAB. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS THUS INCREASED TO 120 KT. THE
HURRICANE IS CURRENTLY IN A LIGHT-VERTICAL SHEAR ENVIRONMENT WITH
EXCELLENT CIRRUS OUTFLOW IN THE WESTERN SEMICIRCLE AND FAIR OUTFLOW
ELSEWHERE. JUST-RECEIVED AMSU DATA SHOWS THAT FELICIA HAS A CLOSED
EYEWALL WITH NO SIGNS OF ANY OUTER EYEWALL FORMING AT THIS TIME.


THE INITIAL MOTION IS 300/10...A LITTLE TO THE LEFT OF THE PREVIOUS
MOTION. FELICIA...AS WELL AS TROPICAL STORM ENRIQUE TO ITS
NORTHEAST...ARE ON THE SOUTHWEST SIDE OF A MID/UPPER-LEVEL RIDGE
EXTENDING WESTWARD FROM MEXICO. A LARGE MID-UPPER LEVEL LOW IS
CENTERED NEAR 24N148W AND COVERS THE AREA FROM 18N-35N BETWEEN
140W-156W. A STRONG LOW-LEVEL RIDGE COVERS THE EASTERN AND CENTRAL
PACIFIC NORTH AND WEST OF FELICIA. THE LARGE-SCALE MODELS FORECAST
THE LOW TO MOVE SLOWLY WESTWARD AND STRENGTHEN DURING THE NEXT
SEVERAL DAYS...WITH A MID/UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH EXTENDING SOUTHWARD
FROM THE LOW NEAR AND EAST OF HAWAII AND A MID-LEVEL RIDGE BUILDING
WEST OF HAWAII. THE TRACK GUIDANCE RESPONDS TO THIS PATTERN BY
FORECASTING FELICIA TO MOVE GENERALLY NORTHWESTWARD FOR 48
HR...FOLLOWED BY A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE WEST. AFTER 72 HR...THE
THE LARGE-SCALE MODELS FORECAST LOW-LEVEL EASTERLIES NEAR
FELICIA...WITH UPPER-LEVEL WESTERLY FLOW AND LIGHT AND VARIABLE
MID-LEVEL FLOW. THIS SUGGESTS THE CYCLONE COULD SHEAR APART...WITH
THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER CARRIED WESTWARD IN THE EASTERLIES. THE NEW
FORECAST TRACK IS A LITTLE TO THE NORTH OF THE PREVIOUS TRACK AFTER
72 HR AND A LITTLE SLOWER. IT IS DOWN THE LEFT SIDE OF THE
ENVELOPE OF DYNAMICAL GUIDANCE.

A LITTLE ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE TONIGHT BEFORE FELICIA
MOVES OVER DECREASING SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES. AFTER THAT...THE
CYCLONE SHOULD STEADILY WEAKEN THROUGH 72 HR AS THE SEA SURFACE
TEMPERATURES ALONG THE FORECAST TRACK COOL TO NEAR 24C. THE
INTENSITY FORECAST IS SOMEWHAT UNCERTAIN AFTER 72 HR...AS THE
FORECAST TRACK CALLS FOR THE CYCLONE TO MOVE OVER INCREASING SEA
SURFACE TEMPERATURES. HOWEVER...BASED ON THE THE LARGE-SCALE
MODELS AGREEING WELL IN FORECASTING FELICIA TO SHEAR APART DURING
THAT TIME...THE INTENSITY FORECAST CALLS FOR CONTINUED WEAKENING
AFTER 72 HR.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 06/0300Z 14.9N 130.5W 120 KT
12HR VT 06/1200Z 15.8N 131.7W 120 KT
24HR VT 07/0000Z 17.1N 133.2W 110 KT
36HR VT 07/1200Z 18.3N 135.0W 100 KT
48HR VT 08/0000Z 19.4N 136.9W 85 KT
72HR VT 09/0000Z 20.5N 142.0W 65 KT
96HR VT 10/0000Z 20.5N 147.0W 45 KT
120HR VT 11/0000Z 20.5N 153.0W 35 KT

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN

NNNN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1068. gator23
Quoting sammywammybamy:
The Worst Possible Case Snerio is a Katrina Size Major Hurricane LandFalling Between Miami and Ft.Laturdale .. And a NWN track .....

That is not worst case scenario Katrina was a cat 3 at landfall... Worst case Sceraio would be a cat 5 monster landing directly at Miami beach/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Agreed with some above posters. The greatest threat from Felicia is not damaging winds, but heavy rain. Topographical enhancement of any thunderstorm activity around the center of Felicia could be a significant issue if the center gets close enough. Even depressions can be destructive. 35-45mph sustained winds would just make for a windy day. The rain is the biggest issue. Although frankly I've heard Hawaii could use it. But hopefully not too much all at once.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1066. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Some of the conditions associated with annular hurricanes are:

An intensity 85% or greater from their theoretical maximum potential intensity,
Weak wind shear from the east or southeast,
A cold east wind at a high altitude (the 200 mbar pressure level),
Near-constant sea surface temperatures between 25.4 °C and 28.5 °C, and
Lack of relative eddy flux convergence at the 200 mbar pressure level, relative to the storm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1065. gator23
Quoting SavannahStorm:


Florida doesn't have mountains and doesn't have to worry about mudslides and gravity-induced flashfloods.

I'm not necessarily saying you evacuate everyone off the islands, but the preperation process in Hawaii is much more complicated and has to start days sooner than it does in Florida.

yes i know. all i am saying is people evacuate sometime when they shouldnt. If your area does not feels storm surge why leave
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gator23:

yes but, the question was where do the evacuate. They evacuate inland. Just like people in South Florida do. 5-10 miles inland away from the coast. "They even have a saying Run from the water hide from the wind" read about it hereLink but hey if you want to sit on an expressway for hours for no reason at all. go ahead. [Texas Fail]


Florida doesn't have mountains and doesn't have to worry about mudslides and gravity-induced flashfloods.

I'm not necessarily saying you evacuate everyone off the islands, but the preperation process in Hawaii is much more complicated and has to start days sooner than it does in Florida.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1062. BDAwx
Quoting Weather456:
An island is much worst. If a hurricane was coming at mines, they do not encourage you to move too far inland. If you do, becuz of the higher elevation, you will encounter much higher winds and heavier rains than at the coast. That is why you gotta take what comes. We dont normally get high surge like those on the mainland becuz of the surrounding bathymetry.


Same except Bermuda has no mountains... but the effect of being on a mountain is there to an extent because of total exposure to the wind off of the ocean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If there is one positive thing about Morakot, it's that its enormous circulation should prevent rapid intensification.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1059. gator23
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


lol um I dont think the storm surge is going to be that great

yes but, the question was where do the evacuate. They evacuate inland. Just like people in South Florida do. 5-10 miles inland away from the coast. "They even have a saying Run from the water hide from the wind" read about it hereLink but hey if you want to sit on an expressway for hours for no reason at all. go ahead. [Texas Fail] If you dont live an area prone to storm surge just stay put.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If I went to Hilo, I'd stay there for Felicia. There's a good chance she'd hook right into the bay there.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3753
1057. gator23
Quoting stormno:
well guys like i said a few days ago august will be quiet....the el nino is a very strong one and will cause high shear in the caribbean the rest of the month so dont look for anything to develop...my latest data shows this month is down the tubes for tropical development...3 factors shear dust and the position of the azores high...guys im going to lower my forecast to 5 storms 3 becoming hurricanes and 2 major ones...i just dont see this pattern changing until mid september if then...guys you are in for a long boring season so dont get your hopes up...i tried to tell STORM W that the other day ....oh well we will see what happens but it looks bleak men....keep working hard learn all you can 456 is doing and excellent job on here im proud of him...i probably wont be back on here until late august so guys play nice dont fight with one another and try to get along....if you have any questions email me and ill be glad to answer..i opened up a blog so if you go to it you can ask your question and ill try my best to help you out...you guys have a great night...Stormno

2 of your 3 factors are diminishing and the third doesnt effect anythign but track. but hey thanks for your input
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gator23:

no. you dont want to drown.


lol um I dont think the storm surge is going to be that great
An island is much worst. If a hurricane was coming at mines, they do not encourage you to move too far inland. If you do, becuz of the higher elevation, you will encounter much higher winds and heavier rains than at the coast. That is why you gotta take what comes. We dont normally get high surge like those on the mainland becuz of the surrounding bathymetry.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1054. WxLogic
Quoting HURRICANECAT5:
The area just nw of Puerto Rico has vorticity at all levels. What is this? i lnow shear is high at the moment but can some development happen?


That's just a TUTT which is starting to have some surface reflection. Nothing much... it will be moving W.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1053. gator23
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


High mountains feel heavier winds, that is the last place you want to go

no. you dont want to drown.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gator23:

In South Florida we do not evacuate to other states we evacuate inland. They can do the same.
Quoting gator23:

Anywhere that does not feel the effects of storm surge. Like i dont know the high mountains perhaps or anywhere 20 miles from the water. I think people over evacuate. You dont need to evacuate from wind only storm surge.


Problem is that Hawaii has mountainous terrain that is susceptible to mudslides and flash flooding, much like Cuba or Haiti. Inland flooding damage has been extensive on Hawaii in the past.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i hope ya did'nt buy those tickets yet oz


What a deal!!!!

$890 out of Phoenix.

It's so hard for me to lay off...but I am.

{Worth $890 just to be in Hawaii for a few days!}
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3753
1050. BDAwx
Quoting gator23:

wikipedia told me the same thing.


LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting extreme236:


while I wouldnt rule this out, from what I'm seeing with the ADT raw T#'s, I'm thinking she's peaking. I doubt she can maintain her inner structure too much longer before a replacement cycle begins.


If she is annular, which as was shown is possible, she wouldnt have any ERWCs nor would she weaken as quickly

Quoting gator23:

Anywhere that does not feel the effects of storm surge. Like i dont know the high mountains perhaps or anywhere 20 miles from the water. I think people over evacuate. You dont need to evacuate from wind only storm surge.


High mountains feel heavier winds, that is the last place you want to go
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Felicia at 5 AM could be nearing Category 5 intensity.


while I wouldnt rule this out, from what I'm seeing with the ADT raw T#'s, I'm thinking she's peaking. I doubt she can maintain her inner structure too much longer before a replacement cycle begins.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1045. gator23
Quoting BDAwx:
Annular hurricanes, I've heard, aren't affected/effected as much by cooler water temps and higher wind shear.

wikipedia told me the same thing.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The area just nw of Puerto Rico has vorticity at all levels. What is this? i lnow shear is high at the moment but can some development happen?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1042. gator23
Quoting AllStar17:


Huh? Where is inland when they are on an island?

Anywhere that does not feel the effects of storm surge. Like i dont know the high mountains perhaps or anywhere 20 miles from the water. I think people over evacuate. You dont need to evacuate from wind only storm surge.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFS and CMC are predicting the wave off Africa will develop, we should see the start of the Atlantic activity in a couple days as the shear abates. The forecasters call for a normal season, 10-4-2.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1040. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
i hope ya did'nt buy those tickets yet oz
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1039. BDAwx
Annular hurricanes, I've heard, aren't affected/effected as much by cooler water temps and higher wind shear.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Felicia is peaking now as we speak. It isn't going to be a huge threat to Hawaii.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gator23:

In South Florida we do not evacuate to other states we evacuate inland. They can do the same.


Huh? Where is inland when they are on an island?
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
1036. gator23
Quoting AllStar17:


I have always wondered that. How would they do evacuations if a major cane did threaten the area? Fly evacuees to CA? It would make the most sense. I am sure the last thing they would want is to be lost in the Pacific!

In South Florida we do not evacuate to other states we evacuate inland. They can do the same. Run from the water hide from the wind.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1035. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting AllStar17:
Please explain to me why Felicia would be a stronger system when it reaches Hawaii if it became an annular hurricane. I really think Felicia may get to 150/155 mph before peaking.
she's already peaking beginning at dawn she will start to wane
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1034. gator23
Quoting SavannahStorm:


Five days isn't a whole lot of time when you're out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean... It's not like they can hop in the car and drive to another state...

WHy would they? Travel inland. Anyway my point is alot can happen in five days. Five days out katrina was headed for Tampa, 3 days out Fay was headed for Tampa, and 5 days out a CAT 5 Ike was headed for Miami
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SavannahStorm:


Five days isn't a whole lot of time when you're out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean... It's not like they can hop in the car and drive to another state...


I have always wondered that. How would they do evacuations if a major cane did threaten the area? Fly evacuees to CA? It would make the most sense. I am sure the last thing they would want is to be lost in the Pacific!
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313

Viewing: 1083 - 1033

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
53 °F
Overcast