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 AllStar17:
Notice the hurricane symbol for the eyewall :)

Unmistakable.
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982. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


oh when does this map update, normally

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Notice the hurricane symbol for the eyewall :)

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Dennis was weird for p' cola beach because the winds were north the whole time and the intercoastal side of the island got flooded not the gulf. as for ivan, itmade two different inlets connecting the sound and gulf. just completely blew holes in the island.
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979. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
well that is odd I see it on that map, but not on the map I was looking at. O_O
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Nothing going on in the Atlantic basin.
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Quoting AllStar17:


I still see it.
I do too so I was wondering what he was looking at.
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I grew up out that way. I remember seeing bay street after Ivan or well what was left of it. absolutely horrible
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
oh man the low dissappeared on the NHC surface analysis map >.<


I still see it.
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Blog very quiet, and seems like everyone is talking about Ivan from 04.
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Quoting PcolaJess:
what part of gulf breeze robie?
i lived in villa venyce
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972. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
oh man the low dissappeared on the NHC surface analysis map >.<
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Quoting RMM34667:
Fay.. Heading toward tampa. Funny thing was we had the least effects from it. Shield was strongly in place. The entire state was soaked. except tampa bay.
yeah, I was in orlando for fay, we had t.s. cond. for like a week straight. the net for the tennis court at mt apt. was under water.
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what part of gulf breeze robie?
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In addition, steering currents are not reliable beyond 48 hours in my opinion...like with Fay and Ike off the top of my head.
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Fay.. Heading toward tampa. Funny thing was we had the least effects from it. Shield was strongly in place. The entire state was soaked. except tampa bay.
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Fay got me out of jury duty...going home in driving rains. Bad storm for north Florida.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Not true, because I did it.

At 2PM, I took off from Cordova Park in Pensacola to head west to go back home to New Mexico.

The only open highway out of town was to McDavid and Atmore, AL.

It took me 3 hours to get down that highway to Interstate 65. Power was out all the way to Louisana.

And mobilegirl said Pensacola thought Ivan was going to be a Mobile storm...that's not totally accurate. There were those of us that had a strong feeling that sucker was going to keep hookin' into the panhandle.

Not to toot my own horn, but I knew exactly where this storm was going to go when it was down near Jamaica.

When I was sure Ivan would move more north before curving towards the NE (totally trashing the Tampa forecast landfall at the time,) I called my family in Pensacola and told them I was coming home for the hurricane. "What hurricane?" my Dad asked me.

By the time I got to Louisana a couple of days later, Ivan was headed for NO. The panic was palpable. Thousands of cars jammed I-10 and I-12. Awesome!

After arriving in P'cola and taking a 9-hour nap, my bro woke me up and told me that it looked like I was going to be right about Ivan.

At 12:30 AM on landfall, my last family contact, my other bro, called me from Tampa and said "Geez, Brian...it's hookin' right into Pensacola just like you said it would."

That's when the house started to shake.

Two-hours later, my scissor-cut sweatshirt was ripped off my body and I was de-pantsed in the middle of Bayou Blvd. by a 140-mph gust.

Awesome storm, savage and deadly.
not to mention, if we lived in a toilet bowl where Ivan hit it would have been alot worse than it was.It was bad, i lived in gulf breeze, fl. lost everything i owned. flooded and roof caved in on top of that.
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NHC has Enrique covering the Northeast flank of Felicia all the way to her projected downgrade hour of 11 AM on Friday.

Hmmmmm...southern feeder band on Felicia and she's feeding off of Enrique to the NE. Meanwhile, a strong outflow is off the NW. And is this storm going annular to boot?

I may be buying a ticket to Hilo on Friday...
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Oy Fay...

Why did you have to post that picture...
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963. Skyepony (Mod)
Felicia's intensity models~ at or about the strongest she's gonna be for the next 10 hrs. Then they call for varying degrees of decline.
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Memories...

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961. Skyepony (Mod)
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 06 AUG 2009 Time : 010000 UTC
Lat : 14:47:53 N Lon : 130:10:53 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.4 / 940.5mb/124.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.4 6.6 6.6

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.9mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 14 km

Center Temp : +10.6C Cloud Region Temp : -69.6C

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

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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Ok, just wondered . As it passed Grand Cayman I remember it sounding like a freight train and Ivan did not bring much rain with him. I remember we actually had the heavy rain about 2 days before he got here.


Ivan sounded like a freight train in P'cola that night, too!

But there was this thump-thump-thump sound as a sub-harmonic. Incredible power! and not surprising at all that it mimicked the sound of a man-made engine...over hundreds of square miles.
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Shear continues to drop in the Caribbean. Is it possible that the TUTT is lifting out?
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
Quoting CycloneOz:


3700 block of Bayou Blvd., Pensacola, FL 32503
Ok, just wondered . As it passed Grand Cayman I remember it sounding like a freight train and Ivan did not bring much rain with him. I remember we actually had the heavy rain about 2 days before he got here.
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I agree Oz, I remember the sky being light enough for us to see branches falling
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Where did you experience Ivan ?


3700 block of Bayou Blvd., Pensacola, FL 32503
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Quoting CycloneOz:
There were two more very interesting things about Ivan.

1) The storm glowed that night, and lightning was never seen by myself or anyone I've talked to who survived the storm. It was a ghostly glow, and was bright enough for the human eye to see the ravages of the storm that night.

2) There was a "thump-thump-thump" sound to the storm, like a diesel engine of a ghost ship. Very low hertz, but clearly audible.

Ivan was the most interesting storm I've been in to date, by far.
Where did you experience Ivan ?
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Quoting GatorWX:


ok, where in CA are you Taz?






N CA
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Quoting HurricaneKing:


You talking about the IR CH 4 image he posted?

It actually has the date being the 6th on it.


Post 924. He changed it. Now it's correct.
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There were two more very interesting things about Ivan.

1) The storm glowed that night, and lightning was never seen by myself or anyone I've talked to who survived the storm. It was a ghostly glow, and was bright enough for the human eye to see the ravages of the storm that night.

2) There was a "thump-thump-thump" sound to the storm, like a diesel engine of a ghost ship. Very low hertz, but clearly audible.

Ivan was the most interesting storm I've been in to date, by far.
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Quoting Thundercloud01221991:


I am one of the really good ones.

Just kidding

you should really follow some of these

Weather456

StormW

leftovers is good too

I can not think of any of the names of others but there are quite a few that I listen to often. But I still give my opinion on storms :)
There are quite a few and you will eventually figure out who to listen to and who is spouting rubbish but 456 and StormW are some of the better ones.
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On the southern side of Felicia, isn't that a giant feeder band?

Question: Won't that giant feeder band still be over warmer water even though the core of Felicia heads towards cooler climes?
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Quoting 2manytimes:
Sure hope to, Thanks.


I am one of the really good ones.

Just kidding

you should really follow some of these

Weather456

StormW

leftovers is good too

I can not think of any of the names of others but there are quite a few that I listen to often. But I still give my opinion on storms :)
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Quoting Elena85Vet:
Jason, that IR image is from Aug 4th.
Today is the 5th.
It says August 6th on the bottom of it.
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Quoting hunkerdown:
come on, dont you know what "hoping like a bate" means ?


no, but I was never much into baseball, aside from playing little league for a couple years
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Quoting Elena85Vet:
Jason, that IR image is from Aug 4th.
Today is the 5th.


You talking about the IR CH 4 image he posted?

It actually has the date being the 6th on it.
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Quoting mrnicktou:


I've had no problems with my mac on the site. Occasionally it says no blog posted but i think thats a site problem not mac problem
correct
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Quoting hunkerdown:
I think he meant 1873, "October 7, 1873 – A major hurricane makes landfall near Fort Myers and causes heavy damage in Punta Rassa from its 14 foot (4.3 m) storm tide". Ok, that is from Wiki but if you google it you will find additional info.


yea i noticed that, ok so it was 1873
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Nope. Internet Explorer is strictly for windows. I use Safari which is the mac browser. It's working fine now. Thanks though.


I've had no problems with my mac on the site. Occasionally it says no blog posted but i think thats a site problem not mac problem
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Quoting Tazmanian:



read my post and you find out on your own on what i this said


ok, where in CA are you Taz?
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Quoting GatorWX:


what??
come on, dont you know what "hoping like a bate" means ?
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


I dont see any storm that hit florida in October of 1973
I think he meant 1873, "October 7, 1873 – A major hurricane makes landfall near Fort Myers and causes heavy damage in Punta Rassa from its 14 foot (4.3 m) storm tide". Ok, that is from Wiki but if you google it you will find additional info.
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Quoting SavannahStorm:


Poor Enrique's getting gobbled up like a piece of delicious cake.


Yeah, and it looks like Enrique is a pretty big cake!

Question: Can the warm moist air from Enrique sustain Felicia until it makes it's way to Hawaii on Monday or Tuesday?
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Quoting GatorWX:


what??



read my post and you find out on your own on what i this said
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Jason, that IR image is from Aug 4th.
Today is the 5th.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
good thing Felicia is not in the gulf or this blog will be hoping like a bate out of a ball game heh


what??
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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.