In my last post at 8am EDT, when Felix was still at Cat 2, I surmised that I might wake up to a Cat 3. (I'm 6 hours behind Florida.)
But it was already an impressive Cat 4. And now, a mere 12 hours after that post, we have a very intense Cat 5! that shows no signs of slowing in it's intensification.
If memory serves me, we had just another 'ho-hum' Invest-94, just east of the Caribbean, that most models were not even picking up on, let alone prognosticating a full-blown massive Category 5 Hurricane in just over 50 hours!
I'm a little surprised by the central pressures all along with this storm. Felix went from TD-6 to a Cat 1 hurricane in 27 hours, with a drop of *only* 15 millibars. Hmmm ... How is this possible?
And the most current dropsonde reports back 936mb, which 'normally' equates with a low-end Cat 4. Cat 5's 'start' at around 920mb and lower.
Usually, the pressures drop first and the winds follow suit. Here, it would appear that Felix is displaying the opposite. And Mike has mentioned that the radius of Hurricane force winds only extend out 25 miles or so, which seems to many of us rather unusual.
I'm wondering if these two peculiarities are related or intertwined in some way? Feel free chime in and add your thoughts on all this, please. This is very curious to me. We still have much to learn about rapid intensification! ala 'Charlie' and 'Flossie', etc.
Felix is awesomely impressive in itself, but the fact it really roughed up the Recon crew to the extent that they had to abort their mission speaks volumes.
Not in my memory of watching storms over many years, do I recall a Recon team that had to call it quits and retreat to homebase with a dented plane from the graupel blasting and a shaken crew from the extreme turbulence.
I think Felix may well have a few more tricks up his sleeve, which will be played out for all the world to see, in the coming days. Hold on for *this* ride, and pray that the ridge remains intact!
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