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Hurricane FELICIA

Hurricane Felicia Discussion Number  13
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       EP062021
1100 PM HST Fri Jul 16 2021
Felicia remains an impressively compact major hurricane on satellite 
imagery tonight. The storm possesses a circular, clear, and warm 
(10-15 C) eye surrounded by an equally symmetrical central dense 
overcast (CDO) with cloud top temperatures colder than -70 C. In 
addition, a 0535 UTC GMI microwave pass showed a singular closed 
eyewall, with only limited outer banding outside of the inner core. 
The 0600 UTC subjective Dvorak satellite estimates from TAFB and SAB 
were T6.0/115 kt and T5.5/102 kt respectively, while the UW-CIMSS 
ADT objective estimate was holding steady at T5.7/107 kt. Since that 
time, cloud top temperatures surrounding the eye have cooled a bit 
more during the diurnal max, so the initial intensity is held at 115 
kt, in agreement with the higher TAFB estimate.
The hurricane has maintained more of a west-southwest motion over 
the past 6-12 hours at 255/8 kt. This motion is expected to 
gradually bend back westward or west-northwestward over the weekend 
into early next week as a narrow mid-level ridge axis shifts back to 
the north-northeast of Felicia. In the latter part of the forecast 
period, a stronger deep-layer ridge north of Hawaii is expected to 
become the primary steering feature, leading to a Felicia turning 
back west-southwestward with gradual acceleration. The track 
guidance has shifted a tad further north early on, and has continued 
to speed up the forward motion near the end of the forecast period. 
The latest NHC track forecast has been adjusted a little more 
poleward in the first 60 hours, closer to the HCCA and TVCE 
consensus aids, and is faster after 72 hours. The forecast track 
still lies roughly between the previous forecast and the 
aforementioned track consensus aids.
Felicia currently has the structural characteristics of an annular 
hurricane, featuring a warm eye and cold circular CDO with little 
additional banding beyond the eyewall. Even though sea-surface 
temperatures (SSTs) slowly decrease over the next 36 hours as 
Felicia remains embedded in a dry mid-level relative humidity 
environment, the modest easterly vertical wind shear (around 5-kt) 
forecast over the cyclone will likely prevent dry-air entrainment 
that could disrupt the stable eyewall structure. Thus, the intensity 
forecast for the first 36-48 hours remains above the majority of the 
guidance and it would not be surprising to see Felicia maintain its 
category 4 intensity longer than forecasted in the short-term. After 
60 hours, the ECMWF-SHIPS guidance shows a sharp increase in 
northwesterly vertical winds shear as the hurricane tracks along the 
26 C SST isotherm. These more unfavorable environmental conditions 
will likely lead to significant disruption of Felicia's tiny inner 
core. The weakening rate has been increased a bit more in the latter 
portion of the latest NHC intensity forecast, falling near the mean 
of the intensity guidance and HCCA consensus aid by the end of the 
forecast period.
INIT  17/0900Z 14.5N 123.9W  115 KT 130 MPH
 12H  17/1800Z 14.6N 125.0W  110 KT 125 MPH
 24H  18/0600Z 14.9N 126.8W  105 KT 120 MPH
 36H  18/1800Z 15.3N 128.7W  100 KT 115 MPH
 48H  19/0600Z 15.7N 130.6W   90 KT 105 MPH
 60H  19/1800Z 15.8N 132.6W   80 KT  90 MPH
 72H  20/0600Z 15.6N 134.9W   65 KT  75 MPH
 96H  21/0600Z 14.7N 140.0W   50 KT  60 MPH
120H  22/0600Z 13.8N 145.1W   40 KT  45 MPH
Forecaster Papin/Beven