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 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: 5315
Quoting SavannahStorm:


It's not like they can hop in the car and drive to another state...


And I have the reverse problem. I can't jump into the XtremeMachine and drive to Hawaii!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4033
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.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Current SSTs - 28-29CC

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1029. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
## ANNULAR HURRICANE INDEX (AHI) EP082009 FELICIA 08/05/09 18 UTC ##
## PASSED SCREENING STEP, MIGHT BE ANNULAR, CALCULATE AHI FROM DISCRIMINANT ANALYSIS ##
## AHI= 1 (AHI OF 100 IS BEST FIT TO ANN. STRUC., 1 IS MARGINAL, 0 IS NOT ANNULAR) ##
## ANNULAR INDEX RAN NORMALLY

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Quoting gator23:


They have five days.


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...
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Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
I am confused


This thing exploded over 24C water temps and this thing is heading for 28C water temps how high is shear.

I mean how in the world is this thing going to be a minor hurricane in 24-48 hours


Its over more than 24C waters lol...its going to be over 24C waters in a couple days.
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Quoting Dakster:
I bow to the experts, if Felicia becomes an Annular Hurricane any chance it could be a major 'cane when it hits Hawaii?


I don't know about a major cane, but annulars don't weaken that easy as typical hurricanes.
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1025. gator23
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Goodnight all. Will check back in the AM to see what Felicia and the CATL blob have been up to overnight but I really think the folks in HI need to start preparing for the worst.


They have five days.
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Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
I am confused


This thing exploded over 24C water temps and this thing is heading for 28C water temps how high is shear.

I mean how in the world is this thing going to be a minor hurricane in 24-48 hours


where are you seeing 24C waters?

The ssd floater is screwed up, it showed that with Carlos too
the low is still there
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I am confused


This thing exploded over 24C water temps and this thing is heading for 28C water temps how high is shear.

I mean how in the world is this thing going to be a minor hurricane in 24-48 hours
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1021. Dakster
I bow to the experts, if Felicia becomes an Annular Hurricane any chance it could be a major 'cane when it hits Hawaii?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10655
Felicia's poleward outflow jet stretches all the way to California or one can say the upper flow over North Pacific is aiding in the poleward outflow

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Goodnight all. Will check back in the AM to see what Felicia and the CATL blob have been up to overnight but I really think the folks in HI need to start preparing for the worst.
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1018. Dakster
Good thing she is supposed to be a T.S. before she hits Hawaii...

Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10655
1017. gator23
Quoting Stoopid1:


Felicia is a 140mph cat 4, and still strengthening, Morakot is massive now, and uhh... usual stuff that happens around here.


Well ok then. lol
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1016. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 06 AUG 2009 Time : 020000 UTC
Lat : 14:52:33 N Lon : 130:18:53 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.6 / 935.0mb/129.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.6 6.5 6.5

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.8mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 18 km

Center Temp : -0.2C Cloud Region Temp : -69.7C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

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

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

****************************************************
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gator23:
well im back from being banned. What did I miss?


Felicia is a 140mph cat 4, and still strengthening, Morakot is massive now, and uhh... usual stuff that happens around here.
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Felicia with wind gusts to 165 mph! Wow!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4033
Very solid ring of thunderstorms around a clearly define eye with outflow measured in 3/4 quadrants. Felicia MODIS IR



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1012. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
CIMSS Internal Code : Basin - eastpac Storm - FELICIA

08E
HURRICANE FELICIA 0:00UTC 06August2009
UW-CIMSS Experimental Vertical Shear and TC Intensity Trend Estimates

Current Conditions (from TPC) :
Latitude : 14:50:12 N
Longitude : 130:11:36 W
Intensity (MSLP) : 942.6 hPa

Max Pot Int (MPI,from Emanuel) : 949.6 hPa
MPI differential (MSLP-MPI) : -7.0 hPa

CIMSS Vertical Shear Magnitude : 3.4 m/s
Direction : 120.5 deg

Outlook for TC Intensification Based on Current
Env. Shear Values and MPI Differential
Forecast Interval : 6hr 12hr 18hr 24hr
U U U U

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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1011. gator23
well im back from being banned. What did I miss?
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Looks like might soon reach Cat 5 intensity.


So this near Cat V storm is supposed to be a >73 but <110 mph hurricane in roughly 48 hours.

This I gotta see to believe!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4033
1009. WxLogic
Quoting Skyepony:
Quikscat totally missed the atlantic blob this evening. Cloudsat missed everything but the surface trough N of PR.


Unfortunately... the AOI @ 37W will be approaching an upper level anticyclone soon... hope we get a QS later... hehe of course I won't be awake for that.
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Felicia at 5 AM could be nearing Category 5 intensity.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


130 knots?

/me counts on fingers...

That's 149.5 mph!!!!
Looks like might soon reach Cat 5 intensity.
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Also felt this 3 months after Ivan. Pretty scary too since this is rare for us to feel.



A magnitude 6.7 earthquake IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS REGION has occurred at:
18.98N 81.31W Depth 10km Tue Dec 14 23:20:13 2004 UTC
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1005. Skyepony (Mod)
Quikscat totally missed the atlantic blob this evening. Cloudsat missed everything but the surface trough N of PR.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 209 Comments: 39113
Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
Here we go

UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 06 AUG 2009 Time : 020000 UTC
Lat : 14:52:33 N Lon : 130:18:53 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.6 / 935.0mb/129.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.6 6.5 6.5

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.8mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 18 km

Center Temp : -0.2C Cloud Region Temp : -69.7C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

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

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

****************************************************

130 knts


130 knots?

/me counts on fingers...

That's 149.5 mph!!!!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4033
Quoting robie1conobie:
not to mention the Interstate 10 bridge over p'cola bay that got lifted off its supports and crumbled.


There was only one way westbound out of town, and that was Hwy 3 from Hwy 95. I-10 was blocked in both directions.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4033
ZCZC MIATCPEP3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
HURRICANE FELICIA ADVISORY NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP082009
800 PM PDT WED AUG 05 2009

...FELICIA BECOMES A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE...

AT 800 PM PDT...0300 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE FELICIA WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 14.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 130.5 WEST OR ABOUT
1455 MILES...2340 KM...WEST-SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA
CALIFORNIA.

FELICIA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 12 MPH...19 KM/HR.
A GENERAL MOTION TOWARD THE NORTHWEST IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT
DAY OR TWO.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR NEAR 140 MPH...
220 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. THIS MAKES FELICIA A CATEGORY FOUR
HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE. FELICIA IS LIKELY
NEAR PEAK INTENSITY...AND WEAKENING IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 40 MILES...65 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 140
MILES...220 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 937 MB...27.67 INCHES.

...SUMMARY OF 800 PM PDT INFORMATION...
LOCATION...14.9N 130.5W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...140 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WEST-NORTHWEST OR 300 DEGREES AT 12 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...937 MB

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT
200 AM PDT.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN

NNNN
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Here we go

UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 06 AUG 2009 Time : 020000 UTC
Lat : 14:52:33 N Lon : 130:18:53 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.6 / 935.0mb/129.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.6 6.5 6.5

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.8mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 18 km

Center Temp : -0.2C Cloud Region Temp : -69.7C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

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

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

****************************************************

130 knts
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Quoting robie1conobie:
Iam sure along with many others on here, Ive been through my fair share of storms. Nothing ever like Ivan though! I used to love going through storms[still excites the s$%t out of me, but I dont want another Ivan. that was scary as hell. It seemed like it would end.
I have also been through many growing up in S. Florida and I would be happy if I never see another strong hurricane again.

Had a couple of close encounters the past couple years but thankfully nothing like Ivan.
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Quoting Elena85Vet:
The true test of a nasty hurricane in my book is did it knock out bridges.
Camille, Frederic, Katrina...

Ivan- These bridges are also out: Hwy 98 bridge from Pensacola to Gulf Breeze and US 90 bridge. Both of these bridges received structural damage.

JMO




The Ben Sawyer Bridge following Hugo. This September 21 will be the 20th anniversary.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


That night in Ivan was the most frightening night of my life. I hope I'm never that frightened again in future hurricanes.
agreed oz! good night all. happy hurricane dreaming.
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997. Skyepony (Mod)
Felicia looks to be strengthening further..

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 209 Comments: 39113
Quoting robie1conobie:
Iam sure along with many others on here, Ive been through my fair share of storms. Nothing ever like Ivan though! I used to love going through storms[still excites the s$%t out of me, but I dont want another Ivan. that was scary as hell. It seemed like it would {never} end.


That night in Ivan was the most frightening night of my life. I hope I'm never that frightened again in future hurricanes.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4033
995. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
120 kts suggestion for Felicia now, Yikes
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FYI... 00Z VORT MAX charts are starting to show that the AOI (37W) is starting to get some stacked energy build up from 850MB to 500MB.

We'll see how DMAX further enhances this by tomorrow.
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Quoting Elena85Vet:
The true test of a nasty hurricane in my book is did it knock out bridges.
Camille, Frederic, Katrina...

Ivan- These bridges are also out: Hwy 98 bridge from Pensacola to Gulf Breeze and US 90 bridge. Both of these bridges received structural damage.

JMO
not to mention the Interstate 10 bridge over p'cola bay that got lifted off its supports and crumbled.
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Quoting Elena85Vet:
The true test of a nasty hurricane in my book is did it knock out bridges.
Camille, Frederic, Katrina...

Ivan- These bridges are also out: Hwy 98 bridge from Pensacola to Gulf Breeze and US 90 bridge. Both of these bridges received structural damage.

JMO
No bridges in the Cayman Islands to knock out so that one doesn't work with us. No rivers etc. here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The true test of a nasty hurricane in my book is did it knock out bridges.
Camille, Frederic, Katrina...

Ivan- These bridges are also out: Hwy 98 bridge from Pensacola to Gulf Breeze and US 90 bridge. Both of these bridges received structural damage.

JMO
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Felicia is being fed by the southern feeder band and Enrique to the NE.

Friday evening's forecast for this storm is going to be very interesting. If winds still remain above 100 mph, I'm going to Hilo.

Hilo has VerizonWireless coverage...so I'll be able to broadcast via the live webcam on the website.

A U.S. landfall doesn't necessarily mean CONUS only!


Yep. It sure will be interesting what impending forecasts will say if Felicia continues to strengthen.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
In Grand Cayman we have one main road that links one end of the island to the other. Ivan took out huge chunks in several areas. Some parts you had to pull off to the side so another car could pass.
Iam sure along with many others on here, Ive been through my fair share of storms. Nothing ever like Ivan though! I used to love going through storms[still excites the s$%t out of me, but I dont want another Ivan. that was scary as hell. It seemed like it would end.
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Quoting AllStar17:
Notice the hurricane symbol for the eyewall :)


notice the ts looks like a face that is trying to run away from the hurricane
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Quoting AllStar17:
Notice the hurricane symbol for the eyewall :)



Felicia is being fed by the southern feeder band and Enrique to the NE.

Friday evening's forecast for this storm is going to be very interesting. If winds still remain above 100 mph, I'm going to Hilo.

Hilo has VerizonWireless coverage...so I'll be able to broadcast via the live webcam on the website.

A U.S. landfall doesn't necessarily mean CONUS only!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4033
Quoting robie1conobie:
yeah i lived like two streets north of bay street.
In Grand Cayman we have one main road that links one end of the island to the other. Ivan took out huge chunks in several areas. Some parts you had to pull off to the side so another car could pass.
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Quoting PcolaJess:
I grew up out that way. I remember seeing bay street after Ivan or well what was left of it. absolutely horrible
yeah i lived like two streets north of bay street.
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Quoting AllStar17:
Notice the hurricane symbol for the eyewall :)

Unmistakable.
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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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