FELICIA INTENSIFIES TO HURRICANE STATUS

August 4, 2009, 11:34 AM HST · Updated August 4, 11:50 AM
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The national weather service is tracking two storms now located in the eastern pacific-Tropical Storm Enrique and Hurricane Felicia.

Image Courtesy: NOAA & The National Weather Service.

Image Courtesy: NOAA & The National Weather Service.

HURRICANE FELICIA UPDATE:

Felicia has been in a rapid intensification phase today and has since developed a ragged eye.  The initial intensity has been raised, making Felicia the third hurricane of the 2009 Easter Pacific Season.

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At 10:30 a.m., Hurricane Felicia was located about 1315 miles west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.  It was moving toward the west at near 14 mph, with a turn toward the west-northwest expected over the next 48 hours.

Maximum sustained winds were near 80 mph, with higher gusts, and hurricane force winds extending outward up to 25 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extending outward up to 85 miles.  Additional strengthening is possible, with the National Hurricane Center saying Felicia could become a major hurricane during the next day or so.

The presence of an eye supports forecasts toward more strengthening over the next 24 hours.  But in the longer term, an increasing westerly shear may help to weaken the system.  In a couple of days, there is the potential for Enrique to interact, causing further ridge weakening as well.

FELICIA FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS:

INITIAL            04/2100Z       12.4N             126.6W          70 KT

12HR VT        05/0600Z       13.0N             128.3W          85 KT

24HR VT        05/1800Z       13.9N             130.1W          95 KT

36HR VT        06/0600Z       14.7N              131.7W          100 KT

48HR VT        06/1800Z       15.5N              133.3W          100 KT

72HR VT        07/1800Z       16.5N              137.0W          90 KT

96HR VT        08/1800Z       17.5N              142.5W          80 KT

120HR VT      09/1800Z       17.5N             148.5W          65 KT

Image Courtesy: NOAA & The National Weather Service.

Image Courtesy: NOAA & The National Weather Service.

TROPICAL STORM ENRIQUE UPDATE:

At around 10:30 this morning, The center of Tropical Storm Enrique was located about 780 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.

The system was moving toward the west-northwest at 16 mph, with a gradual decrease in forward speed expected over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Maximum sustained winds remained near 60 mph with higher gusts.  Some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours.  Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center.

The presence of neighboring Tropical Cyclone Felicia continues to complicate the forecast.  Some of the models show Enrique swinging around the circulation or pinwheeling around Felicia and moving far enough north to encounter sea surface temperatures cool enough to dissipate the tropical cyclone.  Other models predict that Felicia will absorb Enrique in a couple of days.

ENRIQUE FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS:

INITIAL            04/2100Z       15.0N              118.4W    50 KT

12HR VT        05/0600Z       15.9N              120.1W    55 KT

24HR VT        05/1800Z       16.8N              122.1W    60 KT

36HR VT        06/0600Z       17.6N              123.9W    60 KT

48HR VT        06/1800Z       18.4N              125.7W    55 KT

72HR VT        07/1800Z       19.5N              129.5W    45 KT

96HR VT        08/1800Z       19.5N             134.0W    40 KT

120HR VT      09/1800Z       19.0N              138.5W    30 KT

(Posted by Wendy Osher, Information provided by the National Weather Service, NOAA, and The National Hurricane Center)

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