Felix a major threat to Central America; new disturbance could develop

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:09 PM GMT on September 01, 2007

Share this Blog
1
+

Tropical Storm Felix lashed the islands of Grenada, Trinidad, Tobago, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines with winds near tropical storm force and torrential rains this morning. Visible satellite loops show that Felix is a small storm, but is steadily expanding in size and growing more organized. Low level spiral bands have formed on the eastern side, and there is one respectable upper-level outflow jet that has formed to the storm's north. Dry air on the northwest side of Felix continues to hamper its intensification, but the storm is small enough that dry air drawn in from the north coast of South America has not been a problem.

Felix is a major danger to Central America
The latest GFDL model forecasts that Felix will intensify into a Category 2 hurricane by the time it makes landfall in Belize Wednesday. The SHIPS intensity model is more aggressive, making Felix a Category 3 hurricane. Given that the environment in the Caribbean is much the same as we saw for Dean, I think we can expect a steady intensification of Felix to a Category 2 or 3 storm when it approaches the Honduras/Nicaragua border Monday night. On the current projected track of Felix, it would pass just north of the coast of Honduras, which would be an extremely dangerous situation for that country. Hurricane Fifi of 1974 passed along the north coast of Honduras in 1974 as a Category 2 hurricane (Figure 1), and dumped up to 24 inches of rain on the mountainous country. The resulting landslides and floods killed an estimated 8,000 people--the fourth deadliest hurricane disaster in the Atlantic basin. There is one important difference between Fifi and Felix--Fifi was moving slower, about 11 mph, Felix is expected to move past Honduras at about 17 mph, so will not linger as long to dump heavy rains. Even so, Felix's rains could reach 10-15 inches over Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Belize. Officials in those nations need to prepare now for the possibility that Felix could bring a major flooding disaster to their nations.


Figure 1. Track of Hurricane Fifi of 1974, which killed 8000 people in Central America. Fifi was the fourth deadliest hurricane in Atlantic history.

Felix's threat to other locales
Felix should being winds of tropical storm force to Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao as it passes to the north. These islands, and the northern coast of Venezuela, will also get heavy rains, but Felix should not cause any serious wind damage or floods in those areas. The ridge of high pressure that is steering Felix to the west is strong enough that a northward deviation of the storm into Jamaica and the Cayman Islands is unlikely. If Felix is going to deviate from the projected NHC forecast the next two days, I think a southward deviation into Nicaragua is more likely.

If Felix does stay far enough north to make it into the Western Caribbean on Tuesday and Wednesday, there is a trough of low pressure forecast to swing north of the region that could turn Felix on a more northwesterly track into the Gulf of Mexico. The models are split on this, and we'll have to wait and see. Those of you planning on being in Cancun or Cozumel on Wednesday should pay close attention to Felix.

The NOAA jet's first flight will be Sunday morning.

Links to follow today:
Aruba radar
Current conditions on Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao

98L
A tropical wave in the mid-Atlantic, halfway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles, has developed a closed circulation and some heavy thunderstorm activity near the center. This disturbance has been labeled "98L" by NHC this morning. The disturbance is under about 20 knots of winds shear from strong upper-level winds from the east-southeast, but this shear is forecast to gradually slacken over the next few days, and should be below 10 knots by Monday night, and under 5 knots by Wednesday. 98L is a threat to develop into a tropical depression as early as Monday. The 12Z (8am EDT) runs of the GFDL and HWRF models both develop 98L into a tropical storm, but keep it below hurricane strength. The storm will be approaching the Lesser Antilles Islands on Wednesday or Thursday. Given 98L's more northerly starting location, it may eventually affect Puerto Rico.

My next update will be Sunday by noon EDT.

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: 2145 - 2095

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 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43Blog Index

2145. cthodecat
2:49 PM GMT on September 03, 2007
Any idea when the weather pattern that has sent Dean and Felix into central America,is going to change? I'm hoping 98L does not take that same track. Thanks
2144. adrianalynne
5:16 AM GMT on September 03, 2007
the last FSU run is scary
Member Since: August 7, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 134
2142. surfmom
5:16 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Lakewood Ranch Polo Club,srq Water holes are drying up around our area. Really could use a good soaking rain. pastures have been seeding nicley though
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
2141. blueranch
4:53 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
SWFL, Fort Myers area.
2140. CJ5
4:27 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
The gfdl has 98L making a NW turn in 72-06 hours and continues that through the period. Based on the pressure models this is a pretty good forecast, except that it has it aimless for the next 24-48 hours, barely crossing 40 during this time. Its already at 38.7. I think if you straighten out the track over the next 24-48 you could have a different NW track from the previous two storms from this area. Just thoughts....it certainly has to strengthen...lol
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
2139. StormJunkie
4:23 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Dr M has a new blog up
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16556
2138. StormJunkie
4:22 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
I think the shear is just on the N side lf. The S side is is under fairly light and reducing shear. As the high builds in I would think that shear would reduce. Interesting situation to say the least.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16556
2137. louisianaboy444
4:22 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
I was just defending taz lol.....i think the reason they including texas and louisiana is because they dont know how much of a turn Felix will make when it enters the gulf....the models arent too good right now and thus the models could change drastically and if you look at the tracking map good one little shift to the north can make a big difference further down the road....and where did the NHC mention Texas and louisiana i wanna read it
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352
2136. moonlightcowboy
4:22 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Posted By: louisianaboy444 at 4:17 PM GMT on September 02, 2007.
...so cool off and please dont start nothing with taz because you will be out numbered here


EXACTLY! Taz is a long timer, and a favorite among most of the bloggers. He watches the tropics intently and posts good info and points out good observations. Yes, sometimes he gets a bit excited, and makes a few mistakes like we all do. But, all-in-all, TAZ is a-ok, so cut him a little slack here man and move on please.

Lots going on in the tropics right now, WU admin will not tolerate bickering! Thanks in advance!
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
2135. NorthxCakalaky
4:22 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
NEW BLOG
2134. surfmom
4:22 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Deep Breath everyone. Let mother nature be the the cranky one - Let's not cook anyone for a careless moment.
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
2133. Chicklit
4:20 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Attached NHC 11 a.m. Discussion on Felix sounds ominous... Link
I would expect Dr. Masters to update pretty soon.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11328
2132. FatPenguin
4:20 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
You guys/girls need to chill out.

We're about to enter a very busy (and exciting) period with tropical systems and you're acting like a bunch of 4-year-olds.

If you value the discussion, you should focus on the weather and drop the personal bs.
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 315
2131. dixiegal1
4:20 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
i do not understand why people get all uptight and start calling out each other. if you don't agree with someone.. why start an argument and turn it into a personal attack. i lurk here all the time and i have never noticed taz making a personal attack. so what if you don't like or agree with him. lets talk about the tropics peeps.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 77
2130. ChristopherH
4:19 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Good Morning,

We do have a major hurricane and his name is Felix. And I am afraid that Felix is going to make sure that we dont forget him for a while. The NHC's estimate of the winds were on the low end and when the next recon comes in accordance with its current strengthening we could have a cat 4--- 135mph.......at 5pm...........Also, the NHC is saying that the U.S. mainland is not out of the woods, especially Texas and Louisiana...........


Looking at the 5 Day track on wunderground, I notice the cone of uncertainty is very wide, more so than normal, it seems. The models still seem to be pointing toward a Yukatan land fall, but do you think the NHC sees something that may change that? Seems odd for them to mention TX and LA, when the models are showing that, at all.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 93
2129. NorthxCakalaky
4:19 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Posted By: snowboy at 4:18 PM GMT on September 02, 2007.

c'mon folks stop the bickering - Felix is probably Cat 3 and set to explode intensity-wise as soon as he pulls away from South America. How about sharing some observations on the hurricane and your thoughts on what's next?


Next is Mexico.
2128. CaptnDan142
4:19 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
*remains neutral*

C'mon folks - there's a lot going on right now, and tensions are getting a little high. If you want to duke it out, how's about taking it to mail. OK?

Thanks.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
2127. taistelutipu
4:19 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
new blog online
Member Since: August 20, 2007 Posts: 12 Comments: 639
2125. snowboy
4:18 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
c'mon folks stop the bickering - Felix is probably Cat 3 and set to explode intensity-wise as soon as he pulls away from South America. How about sharing some observations on the hurricane and your thoughts on what's next?
Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2547
2124. NorthxCakalaky
4:17 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
They cant drop it unless you answer the question.
2123. louisianaboy444
4:17 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
taz gives good information around here and is valued here and we dont need good people getting banned right now....and if he lied to you in mail outside the blog then thats your problem too bad but that's not worth banning him...and i know taz isnt wishcasting i dont want it to hit mexico either they just got slammed not long ago by dean i think thats what he meant.....so cool off and please dont start nothing with taz because you will be out numbered here
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352
2122. Cavin Rawlins
4:16 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Felix on its way to a mjor cane

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2120. stormlvr
4:16 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
12z GFS update: Consolidates the energy and maintains the low(99L) much closer to the SE coast thru 114hrs!
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 323
2119. NorthxCakalaky
4:15 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Taz, just a question. So people wont WONDER.

Do you want it to hit us?Are you having a bad day, or something?
2118. WPBHurricane05
4:14 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Theres a cat 2 hurricane and all you guys can do is fight?
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
2117. littlefish
4:14 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
98L starting to get a little low level moisture aorund it a bit last couple frames. Definitely not dead yet with the LLC still going... But it is struggling just a bit.
2116. littlefish
4:13 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
SJ- maybe that Ga blob will give you a chance to storm chase but has shear over it. The big African wave can be seen on N Atl vis loop! Really exploding outward, wiped out my little circ over the Cape Verdes last night LOL. Pretty powerfull radiating 'shock' waves blowing over EATL from that thing around Cape Verdes...
2114. Twisterman555
4:13 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Hey guyz I woke up and Felix is looking pretty good and guys just drop it.
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 11
2113. OUFan919
4:13 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/loop-vis.html

The eye of Felix is starting to clear out pretty good.
Member Since: July 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 329
2110. StormJunkie
4:10 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Charleston Long Range Radar

Felix's center does not like land...

Mimic
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16556
2109. extreme236
4:10 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
it is currently 12:10 EDT
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
2107. NorthxCakalaky
4:06 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Posted By: Tazmanian at 4:06 PM GMT on September 02, 2007.

i said nevere main about that now drop it


for get what i said about that post now drop it

You want it to hit us??
2106. TheCaneWhisperer
4:07 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Your right caymanite, thanks for catching the typo. Too much coffee this morning.
2104. Caymanite
4:03 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Canewhisperer, 293 deg is WNW and NOT NW as you stated earlier. 315 degs is NW.
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 315
2102. flzepher
4:00 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
URAKAN.
You hit the nail on the head. I made a call yesterday to a friend who is associated with the Airforce and was told restrictions will limit the fight patterns for a few day. The HH is seen by certain goverments as the military, since it is the Airforce. What a shame, valable information is not being obtained when there is a potential CAT 5 storm approaching and affecting many areas. The areas Felix will be skirting has the potential of killing many if it takes a more westerly route. Thanks
2100. PtOConnorTXfisherman
3:59 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
So, the models are anticipating it slowing down in speed somewhat in next 48-72 hours, right?
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 136
2098. surfmom
3:54 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Blueranch where do you Rodeo? I work at Polo barns - which (other then looking for waves to surf on my off time)is why I follow the weather. I need to know in advance when the owners have got to trailer horses to safer ground - they tend to be clueless.
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
2097. Melagoo
3:55 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
... Anyone think Felix will reach Dean strength?

They have it at Cat 4 in the track.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 19 Comments: 1565
2096. extreme236
3:54 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Posted By: ClearH2OFla at 3:52 PM GMT on September 02, 2007.

Thanks extreme that is supposed to head out to sea correct?


It seems so, yes
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
2095. ClearH2OFla
3:52 PM GMT on September 02, 2007
Thanks extreme that is supposed to head out to sea correct?

Viewing: 2145 - 2095

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 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43Blog 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.