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

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

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


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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845. Drakoen
10:35 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Ike maybe they are going with the NOGAPS model lol.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
844. IKE
5:34 PM CDT on September 01, 2007
Posted By: will40 at 5:34 PM CDT on September 01, 2007.
thsy are east casting IKE lol


Apparently. LOL.
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843. srada
10:29 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
SJ, I went on your site and have added to my favorites, great site, thanks, CMC looks scary though...

thanks WILL40 too! will be watching!
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842. will40
6:33 PM EDT on September 01, 2007
thsy are east casting IKE lol
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841. extreme236
10:33 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
lol IKE, I guess not, but they hardly ever upgrade their discussions (well they dont upgrade their discussion on other things, they just copy and paste it seems for those)
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840. IKE
5:30 PM CDT on September 01, 2007
Accuweather on 98L...note the errors in their description...

"Finally, we are watching a tropical wave along 38 west south of 20 north, that is moving west at less than 5 degrees longitude per day. An area of low pressure area is along this tropical wave near 14.5 north and 36 west. Satellite images show thunderstorms forming near this low pressure area. Further development of this system will be slow due in part due to dry air to the north. This dry, dusty air should thin out as the system moves west. Another limiting factor is that strong easterly winds aloft over the region are causing shear that is tearing the thunderstorms apart. However, the shear will relax as the wave moves to the east, and higher moisture levels are present farther east as well, so this wave has a chance to develop further a few days down the road.".....

Do these guys ever proofread?
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838. wnabseaside
10:26 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
does anyone ever look at the naval projected path? if so do you know how accurate they are?
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837. srada
10:27 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
thanks SJ!
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836. extreme236
10:27 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
It seems that we could see at least a strong category one according to the nhc in 24hrs or so
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835. will40
6:27 PM EDT on September 01, 2007
Link


CMC srada
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834. centex
10:25 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Eye starts showing up in the 2115 and through the 2145 visible loop. If you don't know go to the visible floater link on this site.
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833. truecajun
10:26 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
I do remember the NHC using blob in their alert. I thought, wow, "blob" is officially scientific slang!
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832. Tazmanian
10:25 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
any ways whats new has it started to make its NW trun or WNW trun yet update me thanks
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831. littlefish
10:25 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
98L now at 13N 37W and exposed but tried pretty hard to cover itself. Strong rotation at the surface.
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830. StormJunkie
10:26 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
srada, It is 12 minutes long, but it will walk you through the site I use most of the time for viewing the models.

FSU experimental forecast page tutorial.
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829. Dan187
10:26 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
main thing with latest recon vortex message is they had the center still a tad south of 12.5.
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828. srada
10:24 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Thanks SJ,

Do you have a link to the CMC?

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827. StormJunkie
10:24 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
No problem tc, that was about my same reaction when I saw that link. Someone else posted it here back in June or something...
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826. littlefish
10:23 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
LOL fire (Blob alerts). I remember the NHC using the word blob earlier this hurricane season! Maybe you're to blame for NHC starting that practice :)
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825. JLPR
10:23 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
once this waves pass the cape verde islads they start to develop into low pressure systems
how come they dont develop further out
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824. truecajun
10:22 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
centex, i looked for an eye and didn't see one, i'm not as advanced as some of the others here, though. just wanted you to know that I did look
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823. StormJunkie
10:23 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Good question srada, don't think we will begin to know until some point after it develops if it does at all.
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822. littlefish
10:21 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Looks like Taz is suffering from radar loop syndome. LOL I have that too sometimes. I'm back briefly.
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821. StormJunkie
10:20 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Yep jp, you saw the Charleston discussion I just posted right. Now the GFS hints at it two runs in a row.

This run of the GFS has it developing a little as it moves off shore, but then takes it out to sea eventually.
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820. truecajun
10:19 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
98L looks like a pacman goblin at war with windshear

I think the African mess will develop as 98L did
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819. CFL
10:21 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Mike Naso doesn't think too highly of 98l
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818. centex
10:20 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
I care about eye because we can now track it better.
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817. srada
10:18 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Hey everyone!

SJ, Wilmington here, how will that affect us here? If it develops?
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816. extreme236
10:20 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
taz the wave you circled as 99L is 98L lol
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815. JLPR
10:19 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
taz thats both 98l
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814. centex
10:19 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Yes I saw eye 20 min ago. No one on this blog cared.
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813. Drakoen
10:19 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Taz what you have as "99L" is 98L from this morning...
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812. extreme236
10:19 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Once again, history can only be used when condition are the same as they are now
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811. truecajun
10:12 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
thanks StormJ. I was looking for Africa and boy did you give me Africa. NICE!
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810. Tazmanian
10:06 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
here is 98L




here is what may be come 99L and the same wave that went poof a few night a go and now it came back

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809. extreme236
10:18 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Cosmic, they are finding an Eyewall...the pressure is falling...it will be a hurricane tonight and definatly not a TS in 24hrs for sure...
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808. Delsol
6:11 PM EDT on September 01, 2007
I see quite a dramatic shirt north from the GFDL model is this is an outlier or the start of a more northern trend for Felix?
-
What effect will the formation and probable development of 98l have on Felix?
-
Thanks in advance for the info. I really enjoy this site even though I stay pretty much a lurker, I have been on board since 2005 I always enjoy the most interesting science and samk talk keep up the good work y'all
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806. CosmicEvents
10:07 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Don't expect much change over the next 24 hours. Until Felix clears Puerta Bolivar don't expect much change one way or the other. 24 hours from now, we'll be likely looking at a cyclone around mid to HighTS/weak Cat 1 strength. And that's when the data from the NOAA will begin to get incorporated into the models as well. We'll know much more at that point about future path and strength.
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805. Drakoen
10:17 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
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804. StormJunkie
10:16 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Yea LF, the CMC puts it right on top of me, so I think I am pretty safe, but the models are hinting that it will develop as it moves off shore, get pushed a little S and then head back to the coast...Somewhere...An area I will be watching since it is so close to home.
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803. will40
6:10 PM EDT on September 01, 2007
Link


SJ i saw this map on the buoy at fryingpan shoals
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801. IKE
5:16 PM CDT on September 01, 2007
996mb's...eyewall forming...they'll update it to a hurricane by the 10 pm CDST advisory...maybe sooner.
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800. littlefish
10:15 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Ope, gotta go. Have a good one all...
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799. extreme236
10:15 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
Posted By: littlefish at 10:14 PM GMT on September 01, 2007.

extreme, I don't think all African waves are called Cape Verdes storms. I think it has more to do with TD origin area. Otherwise there'd be a TON of CV storms... i could be wrong though.


thats what I was thinking, that CV storms were storms that formed in that vicinity
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798. littlefish
10:14 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
SJ- if that east coast low develops is that out your stormwatching way if it loops back to US?
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797. Hawkeyewx
5:15 PM CDT on September 01, 2007
The high density recon obs are on the NOAA page at the NHC site.

000
URNT12 KWBC 012139
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE
A. 1/2125Z
B. 12 DEG 28 MIN N
65 DEG 23 MIN W
C. NA
D. NA
E. NA
F. 043 DEG 57 KT
G. 300 DEG 18 NM
H. 996 MB
I. 13 C/2456 M
J. 14 C/2420 M
K. 14 C/NA
L. POORLY DEFINED
M. NA
N. 12345/NA
O. 1/1 NM
P. NOAA2 0506A FELIX OB 05
MAX FL WIND 57 KT NW QUAD 2119Z
EYE WALL APPEARS TO BE FORMING SW - SE SIDE
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796. littlefish
10:13 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
extreme, I don't think all African waves are called Cape Verdes storms. I think it has more to do with TD origin area. Otherwise there'd be a TON of CV storms... i could be wrong though.
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795. StormJunkie
10:11 PM GMT on September 01, 2007
THE 12Z NAM SOLUTION IS MUCH FASTER THAN THE 12Z GFS...SUGGESTING A
POTENTIALLY DRY LABOR DAY. THE GFS IS SLOWER WITH PROGRESSING THE
FRONTAL BOUNDARY AS IT ALLOWS AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE TO DEVELOP
ALONG IT AND PUSH EASTWARD INTO THE ATLANTIC. THIS SOLUTION IS
SUPPORTED BY THE 12Z ECMWF AND THE 12Z CANADIAN
...SHIFTING THE
SYSTEM OFF THE SC/GA COAST MONDAY NIGHT AND ALLOWING DEEP LAYER RH
TO PUSH SOUTH OF THE REGION BY TUE AM. WILL FOLLOW CONSENSUS AND
KEEP HIGH CHC POPS GOING FOR MONDAY...WITH BEST PROBABILITIES CLOSER
TO THE COAST. AS THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE PULLS AWAY FROM THE GA/SC
COAST MON NIGHT...HIGH PRESSURE WILL BEGIN TO BUILD FROM THE NORTH.
WILL CARRY SLGT CHC POPS MON NIGHT FOR ANY LINGERING SHWR/TSTM
ACTIVITY.

Charleston SC NWS WX discussion
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