Tropical Storm Felix predicted path at 8 p.m. EDT
Hurricane Felix slammed into Nicaragua as a Category 5 hurricane early this morning but has been losing steam after making landfall and hitting the mountains of Nicaragua and Honduras.
Felix has now been downgraded to a tropical storm. Not that tropical storm force winds (39-73 mph/63-119 kph) are anything to sneeze at, but it was greeted as great news by the local television stations.
Now for you hurricane neophytes (Floridians can skip this part ;-) ), let me point out a couple of things about the map above. The large circles don't mean that the storm is getting bigger as it progresses. It just means that the further out in time that the predictions go, the less accurate the predictions are. The possible tracks that the storm may follow could be further to the north or south part of those circles.
Also, be sure to compare the color of the little swirl in the middle of the circles with the chart at the top and you'll see that tropical storm Felix is expected to be downgraded further to tropical depression Felix. That's good. (BTW, I just learned all this stuff in the past few weeks and it occurred to me that some of you might not understand either.)
This is the latest from the National Hurricane Center:
HURRICANE FELIX DISCUSSION NUMBER 18
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062007
500 PM EDT TUE SEP 04 2007
FELIX CONTINUES ITS TREK OVER LAND AND THE CENTER IS NOW APPROACHING THE HONDURAS BORDER. THE CLOUD PATTERN HAS REMAINED QUITE WELL ORGANIZED UP TO THIS TIME AND THERE ARE STILL SOME IMPRESSIVE SPIRAL BANDS EVIDENT ON SATELLITE IMAGERY. HOWEVER...THE CYCLONE WILL BE ENCOUNTERING SOME FORMIDABLE MOUNTAINS OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS...SO RAPID WEAKENING IS LIKELY. THE SYSTEM SHOULD BE REDUCED TO A TROPICAL DEPRESSION TOMORROW. MY INTENSITY FORECAST CALLS FOR A SLIGHTLY FASTER RATE OF WEAKENING DUE TO THE PRESENCE OF HONDURAS' HIGH MOUNTAINS. DISSIPATION IS LIKELY IN 36-48 HOURS...IF NOT SOONER.
Here in La Ceiba, the rains have become more steady and, at times, heavier, but still no winds. Some weathergirl I am! I meant to put out my giant rain gauge and completely forgot. I put it out at 6:22 p.m. and I'll report tomorrow what we have.
Here are a few new reports. The times are Honduran time, which I think right now corresponds with US Mountain time. I'm including the Honduran map again so you can compare the reports with the locations:
Tegucigalpa: I hear the rain slowly fall from my roof in my house. Nothing heavy right now. TV says we still have to be on the lookout for the next 24 hours. But right now it hasn't actually "rained" , only drizzle , drizzle , drizzle. No wind or anything like that. --Angel (8 p.m.)
Siguatepeque, Comayagua: The weather has turned cool no rain at this time. Clouds moving SE fairly fast. Satellite shows we are in between two of the major feeder bands right now. Will fire up the Isuzu later and make a recon run checking out water flow at some critical bridges.. They don't have water gauges here but you can get a idea from the trash in the trees from previous high water conditions. Will give the river conditions here in town later tonight. --Dennis (6:45 p.m.)
San Pedro Sula, Cortés: The mayor, interviewed on TV, said that they had received only about 1 1/2 hours of heavy rain but their concern was when the rain falling in the mountains comes down in the rivers.
Tela, Atlantida: Intermittent rain right now. The skies were partly blue at sunset. I cannot believe the internet is still working. --A's Daddy (6:30 p.m.)
Tocoa, Colon: I just spoke with a niece (who is 13) and she said that it had rained, but that it had stopped, and all in all they were fine. They live in Barrio El Tamarindo. --Jen (6:00 p.m.)
Roatán, Bay Islands: All reports have been that they have received sporadic rains and no heavy winds.
Gracias, Lempira: Our power was off for a couple of hours this afternoon - not the whole city, just our neighborhood. Since it is back on right now, I thought I should take this opportunity for a brief update. It has been raining here since around 3:30(our time), but not very hard. The temperature has dropped and it is quite pleasantly cool. We had a bit of a breeze as the rain first started, but no real wind, and there's not even a breeze now.--Trish (5:45 pm)
Other areas: I don't have any specific reports but I've had the TV on all day. They have been taking reports by telephone from officials all over the country. They mostly report light or heavy intermittent rain and really no serious problems anywhere in the country yet. I heard a report that 25 homes were destroyed in La Mosquitia near where the hurricane hit but there were no deaths.
I haven't heard about any power outages anywhere except for the one Trish mentioned above. I think we are all thrilled and amazed that we have maintained power and internet connections so far (fingers crossed), especially those of us in La Ceiba and further along the north coast to the east, since our electrical power seems to be so precarious even under normal circumstances.
Mel (President Zelaya) has definitely earned some points with the public today. I've been impressed with the reporting and organization and planning of COPECO (the national emergency agency) that we are hearing about on television. Matthew saw it in person in Juticalpa and was impressed, too. Of course, they haven't had a real test yet, but I feel much more comfortable that there IS a plan and that people who need help will get it after watching TV yesterday and today.
Honduras isn't out of danger yet because of the threats of flooding and mudslides from the rain falling in the mountains, but the prognosis looks much better than yesterday.