Hurricane Felicia Churns West, Tropical Storm Guillermo Strengthens

Hurricane Felicia churned toward the west over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean on Sunday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Felicia was located at latitude 16.0°N and longitude 129.0°W which put it about 1330 miles (2140 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Felicia was moving toward the west-northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 140 m.p.h. (225 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 961 mb.

Hurricane Felicia weakened gradually on Sunday as it churned westward over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean. Even though Felicia was weakening, the circulation around the hurricane remained very well organized. A small circular eye was at the center of Hurricane Felicia. The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Felicia. Storms near the core generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the hurricane.

The circulation around Hurricane Felicia was still small. Winds to hurricane force extended out 20 miles (30 km) from the center of Felicia. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Felicia is 22.1. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 6.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 28.3.

Hurricane Felicia will move through an environment that will become less favorable for a strong hurricane during the next 48 hours. Felicia will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 26°C. It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak during the next 24 hours. An upper level trough near Hawaii will move toward Felicia during the next several days. The trough will produce strong southwesterly winds that will blow toward the top of Hurricane Felicia in a couple of days. Those winds will cause strong vertical wind shear and the shear will cause Felicia to weaken more quickly.

Hurricane Felicia will move south of a subtropical high pressure system during the next few days. The high will steer Felicia toward the west. On its anticipated track Hurricane Felicia will move over the Central Pacific Ocean on Tuesday night.

Elsewhere over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Guillermo strengthened gradually southwest of Baja California on Sunday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Guillermo was located at latitude 18.7°N and longitude 113.8°W which put it about 385 miles (620 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Guillermo was moving toward the west-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Guillermo was much larger than the circulation around Hurricane Felicia. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 115 miles (185 km) on the eastern side of Guillermo. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 60 miles (95 km) on the western side of the circulation. Tropical Storm Guillermo is forecast to move toward the west and to strengthen during the next 24 hours.

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