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Tropical Storm Felix nearing hurricane strength

Tropical Storm Felix is very near hurricane strength. The latest hurricane hunter reported sustained winds of 70 mph and a central pressure of 999 mb. This intensity estimate could be conservative as it is a little old and Felix appears to be hinting at a developing eyewall.

Infrared satellite

Overnight Tropical Depression Six strengthened into Tropical Storm Felix and the latest hurricane hunter reports are showing Felix to be developing a very tight core. Felix is reported to have sustained winds of 65 mph and a central pressure of 1001 mb. There are some residual advisories which are on the map below.

NHC Cone - 3-Day w/Watches and Warnings

The forecast track is consistent with the computer models, but there is a great deal of spread after 3 days, now due to disagreement over blocking patterns in the Gulf of Mexico. The west-northwestward track seems like to continue, much like with Dean, but we'll probably need a couple more days to sort out what will happen once Felix reaches the Gulf of Mexico. It is possible that Felix could enter the Gulf, but at this point it is unlikely. For now the entire western Caribbean should monitor the storm.

Model forecast tracks

The dynamical models, GFDL and HWRF, have not been much of a fan of Felix and continue to call for very slow development. However, the statistical models have been spot-on and forecast Felix to grow into a very powerful hurricane. At this point my official forecast is in line with the statistical models and I don't see any reason to doubt the continued strengthening on the storm. I think we will again be dealing with a very powerful hurricane in the northwest Caribbean.

Model forecast tracks

More charts are available on our Felix Charts Page or the charts archive.

Posted by Bryan Woods | Permalink