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Hurricane FELICIA

Hurricane Felicia Discussion Number   5
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       EP062021
200 AM PDT Thu Jul 15 2021
Overnight, Felicia has maintained a small, but circular central 
dense overcast near its estimated center. A fortuitous GMI microwave 
pass at 0545 UTC depicted a well-defined mid-level eye on the 89 GHz 
channel, with deep convection wrapped three-fourths around the south 
and east sides of Felicia's center. Since that time, the storm's 
infrared satellite structure has improved further, with a distinct 
warm spot apparent near Felicia's center with colder than -70 C 
cloud tops wrapping around this feature. Subjective Dvorak estimates 
from TAFB and SAB were both T4.0/65 kt at 0600 UTC, but a more 
recent objective ADT estimate was up to T4.4/75 kt. Given the 
additional improvement seen on geostationary satellite imagery since 
0600 UTC, the latest initial intensity was raised to 75 kt this 
advisory, making Felicia a hurricane.
Felicia appears to be starting a leftward turn, with the latest 
estimated motion at 280/10 kt. Over the next 24-36 hours, a weak 
upper-level trough currently centered over Baja California is 
forecast to cutoff and shift the mid-level ridging, currently north 
of Felicia, to the northwest ahead of the cyclone. This ridge 
reorientation is expected to result in a slow west-southwestward 
motion of Felicia beginning in the next 24 hours. Afterwards, the 
mid-level ridging becomes reestablished north of the cyclone, 
allowing a resumption of a more westward motion after 60 hours. The 
latest track guidance remains in good agreement, but has shifted a 
bit more southward this cycle. The official NHC track forecast is 
also a little south of the previous forecast, blending the latest 
track forecasts from the TVCE and HCCA consensus aids.
Felicia has rapidly intensified over the last 24 hours from a 
tropical depression to a category one hurricane. In the short term, 
Felicia remains in an environment of low (5-10 kt) vertical wind 
shear and warm (27-28 C) sea surface temperatures. Now that the 
hurricane appears to have developed an inner core with convection 
axis-symmetric around it, additional intensification is expected 
with a new peak intensity of 95 kt forecasted in 24 to 36 hours. The 
first part of the NHC intensity forecast is on the upper end of the 
intensity guidance due to the higher initial intensity, and also 
given the possibility rapid intensification continues, as suggested 
by SHIPS-RII guidance, which gives Felicia a one-in-three chance of 
a 25 kt intensity increase over the next 24 hours. Afterwards, while 
vertical wind shear is expected to remain low, mid-level relative 
humidity is expected to decrease, leaving the small tropical cyclone 
susceptible to dry-air intrusions as sea surface temperatures also 
gradually decrease. A combination of these environmental factors are 
expected to lead to gradual weakening beginning after 36 hours 
through the end of the forecast. The latter portion of the NHC 
intensity forecast is in better agreement with the intensity 
guidance and closely follows the HCCA consensus aid.
INIT  15/0900Z 15.2N 117.6W   75 KT  85 MPH
 12H  15/1800Z 15.3N 118.9W   85 KT 100 MPH
 24H  16/0600Z 15.2N 120.6W   95 KT 110 MPH
 36H  16/1800Z 14.9N 122.1W   95 KT 110 MPH
 48H  17/0600Z 14.6N 123.6W   85 KT 100 MPH
 60H  17/1800Z 14.4N 125.3W   80 KT  90 MPH
 72H  18/0600Z 14.3N 127.1W   75 KT  85 MPH
 96H  19/0600Z 14.4N 131.1W   75 KT  85 MPH
120H  20/0600Z 14.5N 135.1W   65 KT  75 MPH
Forecaster Papin/Beven