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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Hurricane Felicia now a Category 4

Hurricane Felician has intensified to a cat 4 storm. Tis major storm is still heading in a northwesterly direction towards Hawaii. Felicia is expected to strike by Monday but should die down some making landfall.

Hurricane Felicia strengthens, heads toward Hawaii (CNN)

The center of the storm was located about 1,455 miles (2,350 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of the Mexican state of Baja California. Felicia was moving in a northwesterly direction and expected to strike near the Hawaiian islands, potentially making landfall around Monday.

However, Felicia's journey over Pacific waters is expected to weaken the storm, though it will still bring rain and rowdy surf.

The hurricane center said the storm was "likely near peak intensity" and that "weakening is expected in the next couple of days."

"If anything, it will be a rain-making system over the islands," said Richard Knabb, deputy director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.



Wind shear should knock much of the puch out of this storm.

Hurricane Felicia roars to Category 4: Hawaii-bound? (Examiner)

Hurricane Felicia burst into Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson scale late Wednesday evening with sustained winds of 140 mph.

The storm held on to major hurricane status into Thursday morning, though increasing westerly wind shear over the coming days is expected to lead to a weakening phase for Felicia that will continue through the upcoming weekend.

The projected path of the storm will take Felicia over cooler sea surface temperatures that will begin to rob the storm of its high-octane fuel = warm Pacific ocean waters.

Increasing wind shear out of the west as the storm makes its turn towards Hawaii should begin tearing away at the upper half of the storm, a stage where Felicia should rapidly weaken during the weekend.



Current projections show Felicia diminishing all the way to a depression before striking near Hilo sometime on Monday.

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