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Hurricane FELICIA

Hurricane Felicia Discussion Number   9
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       EP062021
200 AM PDT Fri Jul 16 2021
Tiny Felicia has continued to intensify tonight. Earlier SSMIS 
microwave imagery showed that the hurricane was maintaining a closed 
circular eyewall and cloud-top temperatures surrounding the eye on 
infrared satellite have continued to cool below -70 C. Scatterometer 
data from an ASCAT-A pass at 0418 UTC also indicated the small size 
of Felicia's wind field, with peak 34-kt wind radii only extending 
roughly 50 nm from the center in the northern semicircle. Subjective 
Dvorak estimates at 0600 UTC were both T5.5/102 kt from TAFB and SAB 
while the latest UW-CIMSS ADT objective estimate was T5.4/100 kt. A 
blend of these intensity estimates support a current intensity of 
100 kt, making Felicia the first major hurricane in the East Pacific 
basin this year.
Felicia now appears to be moving slightly south of due west with the 
latest estimated motion at 260/8 kt. Now that the strongest 
deep-layer ridging is positioned northwest of the hurricane, a 
west-southwestward motion is expected to continue for the next day 
or so. Afterwards, a narrow ridge axis shifts back north of Felicia, 
and the cyclone is expected to resume a more due westward motion 
between 24 to 72 hours. In the latter portion of the track forecast, 
the hurricane will come under the influence of a stronger mid-level 
ridge located north of Hawaii, resulting in another leftward turn by 
the end of the forecast period. The latest track guidance remains in 
good agreement for the majority of the forecast. The official NHC 
forecast is a touch south of the previous track and lies between the 
HCCA and TVCE consensus aids.
Additional short-term intensification is forecast while Felicia 
remains in a favorable environment of low vertical wind shear 
between 5-10 kt and warm sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) between 
27-28 C. Thereafter, mid-level humidity values are forecasted by the 
ECMWF-SHIPS guidance to drop below 50 percent as SSTs also gradually 
decrease. However, both deep-layer (200-850 hPa) and mid-level 
vertical wind shear are expected to remain light and easterly 
through at least the next 72 hours. Light easterly shear in 
combination with marginally warm SSTs are common environmental 
factors associated with major hurricanes that develop annular 
characteristics, and these storms are known to weaken at a slower 
than typical rate. To account for this possibility, the intensity 
forecast only shows very gradual weakening between 24 to 48 hours 
which is above the majority of the intensity guidance but lies 
closest to CTCI (COAMPS-TC). Afterwards, Felicia's weakening rate is 
forecast to increase as SSTs cool further, and northwesterly 
vertical-wind shear impinges on the cyclone by the end of the 
forecast period. The latter portion of the intensity forecast is 
closer to the mean of the intensity guidance and is near the HCCA 
intensity consensus aid at 120 hours.  
INIT  16/0900Z 15.1N 121.0W  100 KT 115 MPH
 12H  16/1800Z 14.9N 122.0W  110 KT 125 MPH
 24H  17/0600Z 14.6N 123.4W  105 KT 120 MPH
 36H  17/1800Z 14.5N 125.1W  100 KT 115 MPH
 48H  18/0600Z 14.6N 126.8W   95 KT 110 MPH
 60H  18/1800Z 14.7N 128.7W   85 KT 100 MPH
 72H  19/0600Z 14.8N 130.5W   80 KT  90 MPH
 96H  20/0600Z 14.6N 134.2W   65 KT  75 MPH
120H  21/0600Z 13.8N 137.6W   55 KT  65 MPH
Forecaster Papin/Beven