As Major Hurricane Fernanda continues to churn over open ocean, the forecast suggests a weakening trend. Currently, Fernanda has maximum sustained winds near 125 mph (Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale), and is headed west-northwest at nearly 9 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center of the storm. As Fernanda nears Hawaii, vertical shear should weaken the system even further as the forward motion decreases. The entire Forecast Discussion is as follows:
Although the central convection has eroded slightly, Fernanda
remains a well-organized tropical cyclone. The upper-level outflow
is well defined over most of the circulation and the cloud pattern
remains quite symmetric in appearance. The current intensity
estimate remains 110 kt, which is a blend of the various subjective
and objective Dvorak estimates. Since Fernanda will be traversing
decreasing sea surface temperatures, gradual weakening is likely
during the next couple of days. Later in the forecast period,
vertical shear, associated with a large upper-level trough near the
Hawaiian Islands, should result in more rapid weakening. The
official intensity forecast is very close to the model consensus.
The motion is bending slightly to the right and slowing. The
mid-level ridge to the north of Fernanda is forecast to weaken over
the next couple of days. This should cause a turn toward the
northwest with a little more slowing in forward speed over the next
48 hours. Later in the forecast period, a more leftward heading is
likely while the ridge rebuilds somewhat. The official forecast
track is only slightly north of the previous one and is close to the
model consensus, TVCN.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INIT 17/2100Z 14.1N 131.6W 110 KT 125 MPH
12H 18/0600Z 14.8N 132.6W 100 KT 115 MPH
24H 18/1800Z 15.7N 133.7W 90 KT 105 MPH
36H 19/0600Z 16.5N 134.8W 80 KT 90 MPH
48H 19/1800Z 17.1N 136.0W 70 KT 80 MPH
72H 20/1800Z 17.9N 139.1W 50 KT 60 MPH
96H 21/1800Z 18.3N 142.5W 35 KT 40 MPH
120H 22/1800Z 18.8N 145.0W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
As for Tropical Depression Seven-E, the maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph, and is expected to near tropical storm intensity. However, southwesterly shear will help diminish the system by day 5.
Stayed tuned for more updates as we head into the peak of hurricane season here!
ⓒ 2017 Meteorologist Brandie Cantrell