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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1383. cg2916
3:02 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
New blog!
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
1382. HIEXPRESS
3:01 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting Skyepony:


Link


Thanks Skye
Backlinking, I see the data is from ground-based RF (VLF band) sensors. It does give an idea of lightning (or lack thereof) in those waves & tropical systems.
Oh, Duh! NEW BLOG
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
1381. Skyepony (Mod)
3:00 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
I finally figured out where to get the current Annular index for Felicia.. I posted the INDEX determining page last night but found where they hide the current per storm. On a scale of 0-100 with 100 being totally annular Felicia is still a 1..

## ANNULAR HURRICANE INDEX (AHI) EP082009 FELICIA 08/06/09 12 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
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 191 Comments: 38624
1380. StormChaser81
2:59 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Man this thing is starting to produce some nice convection. Looks better and better as the day progresses.

NWS RADAR

Even starting to have rotation in it.
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2315
1379. Ossqss
2:58 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting CycloneOz:


Any reason at all to go the Hawaii makes it worth it, don't ya think?

Hawaii, the Big Island...land of volcanos and Kona Coffee. Lush, tropical vegetation...

...and a storm to boot!

It is so very very very hard for me not to pull the trigger right now and give you folks a live webcam look at Felicia (no matter her condition) early next week.


OZ, You can borrow my boat to keep expenses down :) ooops everyone left --- new blog

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
1378. sammywammybamy
2:55 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
NEW BLOG!!!!!!
Member Since: June 17, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 5010
1377. IKE
2:54 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting OSUWXGUY:


I think part of why the MJO is weak and not really migrating east is that the El Nino locks the convective pattern in the Pacific.

You get higher than normal convection in the central and eastern Pacific and lower in the Western Pacific/Eastern Indian where the MJO pulses originate from...


That makes sense.

Thanks.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1376. cyclonekid
2:54 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
NEW BLOG!!!!
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 51 Comments: 1731
1375. leftovers
2:53 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
thanks port charlotte for your forecast. there is alittle hope
1374. jeffs713
2:51 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
1363.

Stormtop, is that you?

And last time I checked, blueberries were not by prescription nor are they administered in 30mg doses.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5890
1372. P451
2:49 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting Claudette1234:


What about Atlantic The wave still there most people died it but looking maps still a chance to survive.


I don't think anyone killed it - what most people were saying is that significant development was unlikely. In that, if it did reach depression status or even minimal TS status the chances of survival were next to nothing given the dust, dry air, and wind shear.
Member Since: December 16, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 10202
1371. P451
2:48 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Felicia has peaked and will probably begin weakening in about 12 hours as it enters progressively cooler waters and higher shear.

Hawaii is well protected by water far too cool to maintain any more than a moderate TS and by a good heavy dose of 50kt shear.

It's par for the course for systems trying to move in from the east so anyone worried that Hawaii is going to get clobbered by a hurricane let alone a major hurricane - well don't.

It will be a TS at best. Probably a depression.

Main concern: Flooding rains and landslides. Even that cannot be forecast yet as it is unknown how well the convection will hold together in the face of that shear and cooler SSTs.

This isn't the Atlantic, folks, this is an entirely different situation and they all end the same: Major hurricane gets torn apart into a remnant low as it nears the islands.
Member Since: December 16, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 10202
1370. cyclonekid
2:48 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Where's his new blog?
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 51 Comments: 1731
1369. Skyepony (Mod)
2:46 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting HIEXPRESS:
1352, 1353
Are the thunderstorms?
How do we know? (1334?)


Link
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 191 Comments: 38624
1368. AllStar17
2:43 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
SOME WEAKENING OF THE HURRICANE IS LIKELY TO OCCUR SOON AS THE
CYCLONE MOVES OVER PROGRESSIVELY COOLER WATERS. HOWEVER...FELICIA
IS DEMONSTRATING SOME ANNULAR HURRICANE CHARACTERISTICS...AND WIND
SHEAR IS EXPECTED TO BE RATHER LOW FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS..
.
WHICH COULD ENABLE THE SYSTEM TO MAINTAIN ITS INTENSITY MORE THAN
IT NORMALLY WOULD OVER MARGINAL SSTS. FOR THESE REASONS...THE
OFFICIAL FORECAST IS KEPT ON THE HIGHER SIDE OF THE GUIDANCE DURING
THE FIRST 36 HOURS. ALTHOUGH SSTS RISE SLIGHTLY AS THE HURRICANE
MOVES INTO THE CENTRAL PACIFIC...WESTERLY SHEAR IS EXPECTED TO
BECOME MODERATE TO STRONG...WHICH SHOULD CONTINUE THE WEAKENING
PROCESS. IN FACT...ALMOST ALL OF THE GUIDANCE SUGGESTS THAT FELICIA
WILL BE A TROPICAL DEPRESSION...OR DISSIPATED...BY THE END OF THE
FORECAST.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
1367. HIEXPRESS
2:39 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting PORTCHARLOTTE72:
95 percent of the predictions are wrong on this site so i will add to that ALERT!!! TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMING OFF FLORIDA KEYS all interests in western florida shold pay close attention to this developing situation and be prepared to take imediate action due to the close proxcimity to the swest florida coast forcaster blueberry 30mg

3.0mg VALIUM! stat

RE:1356 http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/09jan_electrichurricanes.htm
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
1366. Thundercloud01221991
2:36 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
1363 POOF
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
1365. fmbill
2:36 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
The 12z NAM seems to showing some activity associarted with those gulf showers, too.

Link
Member Since: May 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 466
1364. AllStar17
2:35 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting PORTCHARLOTTE72:
95 percent of the predictions are wrong on this site so i will add to that ALERT!!! TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMING OFF FLORIDA KEYS all interests in western florida shold pay close attention to this developing situation and be prepared to take imediate action due to the close proxcimity to the swest florida coast forcaster blueberry 30mg


??????
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
1362. AllStar17
2:33 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting fmbill:


I noticed that. Shees...if persistance alone determined a storm, this one would get a name! It sure seems to hang on. Terrible structure...but yet it survives.

Good morning everyone!!!


If it gets under favorable conditions, since it has persisted all this time, it may stand a chance after all.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
1361. cg2916
2:33 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Didn't expect much, forecast down. New blog should be out any second.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
1360. marknmelb
2:33 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
NOAA released their outlook, calling for an average to below average season

7-11 named storms
3-6 hurricanes
1-2 Major hurricanes

Here is the important part for this blog.

NOAA urges that just because the season has been quiet, that shows absolutely no indications for the rest of the season and to NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN.


I'm still hoping for a zero impact storm season this year.
Member Since: July 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 408
1359. AllStar17
2:32 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Is Felicia trying to become annular?
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
1358. fmbill
2:32 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting AllStar17:
Our CATL AOI still has persisting thunderstorms.


I noticed that. Shees...if persistance alone determined a storm, this one would get a name! It sure seems to hang on. Terrible structure...but yet it survives.

Good morning everyone!!!
Member Since: May 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 466
1357. CycloneOz
2:31 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting Skyepony:


OZ~ It's not going to be worth it..


Any reason at all to go the Hawaii makes it worth it, don't ya think?

Hawaii, the Big Island...land of volcanos and Kona Coffee. Lush, tropical vegetation...

...and a storm to boot!

It is so very very very hard for me not to pull the trigger right now and give you folks a live webcam look at Felicia (no matter her condition) early next week.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3887
1356. HIEXPRESS
2:31 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
1352, 1353
Are the thunderstorms?
How do we know? (1334?)
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
1355. catastropheadjuster
2:30 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
NOAA released their outlook, calling for an average to below average season

7-11 named storms
3-6 hurricanes
1-2 Major hurricanes

Here is the important part for this blog.

NOAA urges that just because the season has been quiet, that shows absolutely no indications for the rest of the season and to NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN.


So maybe they know something we don't or they might see something. But there are alot of really smart people on here and they have looked at everything that's going on and it looks like hurricane season looks like a dud. I'm not saying there's not gonna be a cane but it sounds like it's gonna be really hard for one to form. But i am no pro i just read what everyone writes on here.

Sheri
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3681
1354. marknmelb
2:29 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting OSUWXGUY:
Speaking of El Nino...




Newest ENSO Update by the CPC


Thanks for the post. But if I read this right El Nino won't really start to strengthen until AFTER this season is almost over, Oct/Nov time frame. But I guess it's strong enough now to help inhibit storms.
Member Since: July 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 408
1353. TheCaneWhisperer
2:27 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting jasoniscoolman10:
i see the t/storm of this wave is moving little down to the south.


The wave is starting to travel under and feel the effects of the ridge of high pressure. See post 1312.
1352. AllStar17
2:27 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Our CATL AOI still has persisting thunderstorms.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
1351. Buhdog
2:27 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
That plume of tropical moisture off the swfl coast is blowin up....

very interesting

Link
Member Since: July 30, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 960
1350. Skyepony (Mod)
2:26 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Burned was right..

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, now predicts a 50 percent probability of a near-normal season, a 40 percent probability of a below-normal season, and a 10 percent probability of an above-normal season. Forecasters say there is a 70 percent chance of seven to 11 named storms, of which three to six could become hurricanes, including one to two major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5).
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 191 Comments: 38624
1349. jasoniscoolman10
2:24 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
i see the t/storm of this wave is moving little down to the south.
1348. sporteguy03
2:23 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
I think it would be a good idea if the WU main blog officially cancelled the hurricane season, that way we dont have to have the arguments, debates that always occur daily and everyone could go out and enjoy life.



Sounds like a plan, maybe we can have a summer weather blog :)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5396
1347. Skyepony (Mod)
2:22 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
AS expected...


Synopsis: El Niño is expected to strengthen and last through the Northern Hemisphere Winter 2009-2010.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 191 Comments: 38624
1346. Patrap
2:22 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
At least Felicia Has a Shirt on..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
1345. TheCaneWhisperer
2:21 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Felicia flexing some muscle.
1344. hahaguy
2:19 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Quoting Skyepony:
See discrepencey between Burned & WS NOAA numbers..

OZ~ It's not going to be worth it..


Ya one has 8 and one has 7 storms.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
1343. BurnedAfterPosting
2:19 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
even if you take the lower end of that, 7 named storms from the middle of August on is still plenty to track
1342. Skyepony (Mod)
2:18 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
See discrepencey between Burned & WS NOAA numbers..

OZ~ It's not going to be worth it..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 191 Comments: 38624
1341. OSUWXGUY
2:18 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Speaking of El Nino...




Newest ENSO Update by the CPC
1340. TheCaneWhisperer
2:15 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
As soon as the pattern breaks next week the MJO will swing around, then, shortly after you'll have storms to track.

No breakie pattern, No trackie storms.
1339. WeatherStudent
2:14 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Everybody, here are NOAA's hugely anticipated updated number.

Named Storms: 8-11

Hurricanes 3-6

Major Hurricanes 1-2

Enjoy, folks, :)
1338. BurnedAfterPosting
2:14 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
NOAA released their outlook, calling for an average to below average season

7-11 named storms
3-6 hurricanes
1-2 Major hurricanes

Here is the important part for this blog.

NOAA urges that just because the season has been quiet, that shows absolutely no indications for the rest of the season and to NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN.
1337. WeatherStudent
2:08 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
Good morning, all!
1336. Patrap
2:08 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
That cluster of Boomers is diving South in a Hurry,thru Miss our way. Should be here this afternoon.

GOM IR Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
1335. CycloneOz
2:06 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
And thus begins the timeframe when Felicia's feeding is cut-off and she begins a slow, agonizing death to TS or TD status.

There's a great roundtrip ticket price from Phoenix to Hilo. VerizonWireless is strong in the Hilo area. And I have my gear configured for air-travel.

This storm better freakin' die if the "no-go" option is played tomorrow!

Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3887
1334. HIEXPRESS
2:05 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
1307, then 1305 - follow the leader
Rain for me, rain for you Patrap, better down than sideways but watch out for the sparks.
Anyone know where to see satellite obs (mid ocean) lightning data (real or near real time)?
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
1333. leftovers
2:04 PM GMT on August 06, 2009
no hope this yr. just when you think maybe there is going to be something csu says no and then ike slams the door shut. still a $5 bet does not sound that bad does grey pay up if hes wrong. i do see the blocker also no doubt the poop shoot needs to be flowing once again im not waisting my time with the epac

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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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