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Hurricane FELICIA

Hurricane Felicia Discussion Number  15
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       EP062021
1100 AM HST Sat Jul 17 2021
Felicia has remained an impressive hurricane this morning. The 
hurricane's clear eye is still surrounded by a ring of very cold 
cloud tops and recent microwave overpasses show that the tiny 
cyclone continues to exhibit a very symmetric convective inner-core 
structure. The intensity estimate is still 125 kt, based on the 
latest TAFB Dvorak fix. Due to the small size of the hurricane and 
the lack of ground truth so far from land, it is worth mentioning 
that the uncertainty in that estimate is somewhat higher than usual.
Virtually no change was made to the NHC track, intensity, or size 
forecasts, though the uncertainty in the intensity forecast remains 
high. All of the available intensity guidance continues to insist 
that at least gradual weakening will begin soon. Although that 
hasn't panned out yet, cooler SSTs ahead of Felicia could still 
contribute to at least a little weakening later today and Sunday. A 
faster rate of weakening is expected by around 48 h as the small 
cyclone moves over colder-yet waters and possibly encounters some 
moderate wind shear. There is poor agreement among the various 
global and regional models how soon the shear will affect Felicia. 
Once it does, the hurricane will likely decline rapidly due to the 
very small size of its inner core. By 72 h, every typically 
reliable intensity model shows Felicia below hurricane strength. 
The official intensity forecast remains on the very high side of 
the guidance, closest to the interpolated GFS forecast for the 
first 3 days, and is near the intensity consensus after that.
Felicia has turned west-northwestward, with a forward speed of 
around 7 kt. In contrast to the intensity forecast, confidence in 
the track forecast is very high. A turn back toward the west is 
anticipated by late Sunday as a ridge to the north of Felicia builds 
slightly. Felicia should then turn west-southwestward early next 
week as it comes under the influence of an extensive deep-layer 
ridge centered over the central Pacific. The spread in the track 
guidance is low, and the NHC track forecast is very similar to the 
various consensus aids.
INIT  17/2100Z 14.9N 125.3W  125 KT 145 MPH
 12H  18/0600Z 15.3N 126.6W  120 KT 140 MPH
 24H  18/1800Z 15.8N 128.5W  110 KT 125 MPH
 36H  19/0600Z 16.1N 130.5W  100 KT 115 MPH
 48H  19/1800Z 16.1N 132.6W   85 KT 100 MPH
 60H  20/0600Z 16.0N 134.9W   70 KT  80 MPH
 72H  20/1800Z 15.6N 137.4W   60 KT  70 MPH
 96H  21/1800Z 14.7N 142.6W   40 KT  45 MPH
120H  22/1800Z 14.0N 148.0W   30 KT  35 MPH
Forecaster Zelinsky