Posted by: Anna Webb | August 9, 2009

Update: Tropical Storm Felicia, Coastal Water Surface Temps

Current satellite view of Central Pacific Storms

Current satellite view of Central Pacific Storms

Hurricane Felicia has officially been downgraded to a tropical storm but continues to travel West at 15 mph toward the Hawaiian Islands. Current tracking projections show it grazing just north of Hawaii’s Big Island and moving West toward Maui and Oahu. She’s losing her structure even though the eye remains and wind speed has dropped to 70mph. Given it’s daily drop in wind speed, it should be between 40-50mph winds when it arrives.

Storms south of the islands continue their journey at 25 mph and it’s worth watching them as well. It seems some rain from the southern storms could be pulled into the area as well. It will be interesting to see what will happen in the next 24 hours. It appears the southern system may be pushing up while Felicia pushes in. And, it’s possible it could help in pushing her further away from the islands.

In addition, something I feel is worth considering is that current surface water temperatures remain above average for August water temperatures throughout the islands. Chalk it up to El Nino, I suppose. Average August surface water temperature for Hilo, Hawaii is 75 degrees whereas it is currently nearly 4 degrees higher at 78.4 degrees. Oahu water temps average 80 degrees for the month of August and are currently 82 degrees. Fortunately, the cooler the water temperatures the less likely this tropical storm can regain its strength.

National Oceanographic Data Center – Hawaiian Island coastal water surface temperatures

Department of Meteorology – University of Hawaii, Manoa


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