DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

At 200 PM PDT (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Fernanda was located near latitude 11.2 North, longitude 116.0 West. Fernanda is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h), and a general motion toward the west is expected during the next 48 hour.

Fernanda is rapidly intensifying and maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional
rapid strengthening is forecast, and Fernanda is likely to become a major hurricane by Friday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 990 mb (29.24 inches).

SUMMARY OF 11:00 A.M. INFORMATION

  • LOCATION…11.2N 116.0W
  • ABOUT 900 MI…1450 KM SSW OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA
  • MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…80 MPH…130 KM/H
  • PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 260 DEGREES AT 12 MPH…19 KM/H
  • MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…990 MB…29.24 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

None

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FORECAST DISCUSSION

Fernanda is rapidly intensifying. Satellite imagery indicates that the central convection has become more symmetric, and there have been hints of an eye in visible imagery. In addition, earlier microwave imagery showed at least a partial ring of convection around the center. Subjective and objective satellite intensity estimates range from 65-75 kt, so the initial intensity is increased to a possibly conservative 70 kt. Conservative or not, this is a 35 kt increase from this time yesterday.

The initial motion is a little south of west or 260/10, with part of the southward component possibly due to some reformation of the center as the cyclone intensified. During the next 48 h, a deep-layer ridge to the north of Fernanda should steer the hurricane generally westward, and the new forecast is similar to the previous forecast. After that time, a large mid- to upper-level trough over the central Pacific north of Hawaii should cause the ridge to weaken, and the track guidance shows Fernanda turning west-northwestward in response. The guidance is forecasting a greater northward component of motion from 72-120 h than on the previous runs, and thus the latter part of the track forecast is nudged northward as well. Overall, the new forecast lies close to the various consensus models.

While satellite imagery suggests that some shear continues to affect Fernanda, so far it has done little to slow the development. The hurricane should remain over warm water and in a light shear environment for the next 72 h, and the SHIPS model Rapid Intensification Index shows better than a 50 percent chance of a 35-kt increase in strength in the next 24 hours and a 45-kt increase in 36 h. Based on this, the intensity forecast calls for 36 h more of rapid strengthening. Given the lack of negative factors, except for the possibility of eyewall replacement cycles, the new intensity forecast could still be conservative even though it lies above the intensity guidance. After 72 h, Fernanda should encounter decreasing sea surface temperatures and drier air, and this is expected to cause a steady weakening. The new intensity forecast is again increased considerably over the previous forecast during the first 36 h, and it is decreased below for previous forecast at 120 h.

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