Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Felicia mainly soggy, as predicted

The passing of Felicia, now downgraded to a tropical depression and continuing to weaken, is being celebrated in the Islands mainly with rain.

(Image: Satellite view of the central Pacific shows the tiny Felicia with significant moisture just north of Maui and the Big Island. By contrast, the big patch of activity in the lower left of the picture is Tropical Depression Maka, which is comparatively a lot bigger. Credit: NOAA.)

The National Weather Service is reporting rain of an inch per hour on the leeward side of the Big Island. There was steady but not too heavy rain on Maui late Tuesday, and increased rain was expected for O'ahu and Kaua'i.

The most significant wind activity was strong gusts—some as strong as 50 miles an hour—but steady winds were much weaker and in most areas, even gusts were significantly less than that. The winds, and surf activity, continue to support small craft warnings statewide.

Felicia, said the weather service, “has lost all of the key characteristics of a tropical cyclone.”

So it's just the rain, which in some areas may have the potential to cause significant flooding.

Meanwhile, the Islands are bracketed by two other tropical cyclones, neither of which appears to pose any immediate threat.

There's Nine-E, a tropical depression that is expected to pass westward from the Eastern into the Central Pacific as a tropical storm about Saturday. It could develop into a powerful storm, or not. It's not showing much punch right now.

And to the west, there is Tropical Depression Maka, which could grow to tropical storm strength today. It is well west of the Islands, but curving northward. At this time, it does not appear to be any kind of threat to the main populated islands.

© Jan TenBruggencate 2009

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