*Felix nearing Hurricane Strength*
At 10:00am CDT:
– Tropical Storm Felix was located 455 miles south-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Movement is towards the west at 18mph and this motion should continue for the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds are near 65mph and Felix may become a hurricane later today or Sunday. Minimum surface pressure is 1001mb.
– Tropical Storm force winds extend outward to 45 miles.
– Another strong tropical wave is several hundred miles east of Felix and will be monitored.
– Felix is not a threat to the U.S. through the next five days. There are reasons to monitor Felix by next Wednesday.
As with Dean, Felix is following the southern route, as it maintains a westward motion. The pattern is very similar to that of Dean, with a strong deep layer ridge to the north of Felix. This will keep Felix on a westward heading through the next 72 hours. NHC track has it near Honduras Tuesday morning. NHC has commented and would stand to reason that a strong ridge throughout the five day forecast is not a given. As such, model trends will be monitored the next few days to see is a northward course develops.
Intensity wise, Felix is very close to hurricane strength and morning IR imagery indicates continued attempts at organization. Felix may be lacking the surface pressure to become a hurricane, however this may change by late today or Sunday. A few of the models make Felix a major hurricane in a few days. Given that it is south of Dean's track and the waters remain quite warm, strengthening certainly seems likely.
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