Hurricane Rita

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:26 AM GMT on September 20, 2005

Share this Blog
0
+

It's not official, but it soon will be--Rita is a hurricane. The latest satellite imagery shows a huge and expanding burst of deep convection with very cold cloud tops near the center. The latest UW-CIMSS satellite intensity estimate puts Rita as a 80 mph hurricane with a 982 mb central pressure. Radar imagery from Camaguey, Cuba shows a partially formed elliptical eyewall, open to the north. Long range Miami radar shows a large and expanding area of radar echoes approaching Florida. Tropical storm force winds have moved outward from 105 miles from the center at 5pm, to 120 miles at 11pm. Rita is a large, impressive Category 1 hurricane, and growing stronger and larger by the hour. The lower Keys are in for a nasty pounding. This may equal or exceed the most damaging hurricane ever in Key West, which I believe was Category 2 Hurricane Georges in 1998, which brought a 4 - 6 foot storm surge and Category 1 winds to the lower Keys, causing $340 million in damage. Expect roof and moderate structural damage to homes and businesses from Rita. Hundred of mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Large trees and power poles will be toppled. Damage will be at least $1 billion, which will largely be uninsured losses, since many insurance companies won't insure propery in the Keys.

Where will Rita hit?

Take your pick from today's latest model runs:

GFS: TX/LA border
NOGAPS: Brownsville, TX
UKMET: Galveston
GFDL: Galveston

So, the model trend that had taken Rita towards landfall in western Louisiana has now reversed, to Texas' detriment. Tune in tomorrow morning, the NOAA jet is flying its first mission in Rita, a high-altitude synoptic surveilance mission tonight that should greatly aid the model predictions that will be complete in the morning. I won't start believing the models until I see some runs with the NOAA jet data initializing them.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 861 - 811

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18Blog Index

861. OldWorld
11:41 PM GMT on September 21, 2005
Not feeling so well.
Have a well of emptiness inside.
It must be filled.
Have sniffed out your coastal methyl-derivatives source, and will have it.
I beg you...pray for me in my hour of need.
Or, stop feeding me your junk.

Please...It's not personal...I'm only trying to survive.

Yours truly,
Your GlobalWeatherSystem
860. SaCaCh
11:14 PM GMT on September 21, 2005
Link
859. JohnWLeBlanc
2:45 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
I would say Houma is not exactly in danger.

By the way, I was in Houma Sunday. It would be nice if Don could light a fire under the seats of the contractors responsible for picking up limbs by the side of the road.
858. GetReal
1:50 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
HAS ANYONE ELSE NOTICED ON THE WATER VAPOR LOOPS OF SE U.S. THAT THERE IS A TROF DIGGING PRETTY FAR SOUTH INTO MS/AL. THERE ALSO APPEARS TO BE A WEAKNESS EXTENDING FROM THIS TROF SE INTO THE GULF TOWARDS RITA??
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8806
857. hmfynn
1:41 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Also, putintang, I don't know how close to live to water, but it'd be a good idea to put your valuables on shelves just in case. I'm not saying this is going to happen, and no one's forecasting it, but I'm just recalling 3 or 4 years ago when T.S. Allison brought alot of unexpecting flooding along Bayou Terrebonne and we had to scramble at the last minute getting things off the ground.

In other words, if you've got photo albums, insurance papers, or a wedding dress or something in the back of the closet with sentimental value, why not just put it on a high shelf way ahead of time so it's one less thing you have to worry about.

Just speaking from personal experience.
856. hmfynn
1:34 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Ah, thanks, had me worried for a minute.
Well, more worried than normal.
855. GetReal
1:33 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
THE LAST NORTHWARD JOG WAS ABOUT AN HOUR AGO. RITA HAS RESUMED A WEST OR WNW 280 DEGREE MOTION. RELAX FOR NOW IN HOUMA.
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8806
854. hmfynn
1:29 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
I'll ask again, what was this supposed northward jog that Getreal kept talking about?

Also, putintang, it would appear that while SE LA is not entirely out of the woods, the trend overnight has been good for us. Yesterday, we in Houma and Thibodaux were all in a panic over the shift toward Morgan City. Since 5PM yesterday evening, the models have been consistently shifting back to Texas and are even clustering among themselves again.

Encouraging news for LA: The storm's forward speed continues to rise, and the forward motion, assuming Getreal is imaging this north jog, is much more west than north.

Bad news for LA: Anything can happen, and even if the winds hit far away from us, we can still get in on some bad storm surge, so, if you live in a low-lying area, I'd still look into getting to higher ground if necessary if you have friends or relations living nearby. Buying some food and batteries would not be a bad idea since our stores don't stock as often down here thanks to Katrina taking out the interstate and shippers have to rely on Highway-90.

Also, can someone please corroborate that northward component Getreal mentioned?
853. icebear7
1:28 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
ahh... new blog up
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
852. icebear7
1:25 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
*aims two buckets of pistacio pudding at weatherwannabe and ike*
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
851. weatherwannabe
1:23 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
I guess RITA does not like to be called Blobby - I thought that might get to the old hag.
850. weatherwannabe
1:22 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
NEXRAD indicates winds nearing 100 mph in RITA
849. IKE
1:20 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
I don't beat women son. Go watch your HURRICANE!!! Get a life...what do you do after hurricane season, hooker???
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
848. weatherwannabe
1:20 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
000
WTNT63 KNHC 201311
TCUAT3
HURRICANE RITA TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
915 AM EDT TUE SEP 20 2005

DOPPLER RADAR DATA...SATELLITE PRESENTATION AND PRESSURE FALLS FROM
THE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT RITA HAS REACHED CATEGORY
ONE HURRICANE STRENGTH ON THE SAFFIR/SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE. THIS
WILL BE REFLECTED ON THE 11 AM...1500Z ADVISORY.

FORECASTER AVILA
847. hookedontropics
1:17 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
IKE shouldn't you be beating Tina right now? Let us doom and gloomers be and you go play tidly winks..
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 127
846. ralphfurley
1:16 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Bryan Norcross(CBS MIAMI): NHC now confirms RITA is a HURRICANE. Now I will put up my shutters;)

Winds have reallt died down here in Broward County
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 117
845. IKE
1:16 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Dam weatherwannabe....get a life!?!?!?!? I see the weather pattern is suppose to change in about 2 weeks and fall might be on the horizon. Maybe an end to the hurricane season along the gulf coast and the lovebugs. Ah yes...cooler weather...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
844. weatherwannabe
1:16 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Doom and Gloomers, Brian Norcross has joined the club! Woohoo!
843. putintang3
1:16 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Hey let me ask this, How do ya'll think Bush is going to pay to rebuild all these places that keep getting torn up?
Is there even enough lumber to do this? There won't be a tree standing when they finish. Put
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 309
842. icebear7
1:16 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
so she has been oficially upgraded now?
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
841. notwithoutmyprosac
1:15 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Weather channel said lastest info cane now too
840. leelee75k
1:14 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Brian Norcross just said it was Hurricane Rita as of now, looking for NHC info on that change now
Member Since: September 9, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 558
839. icebear7
1:14 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
anyone got some realtime videos of a kidney bean germinating!

whooo!

i need to get some new links for radar and such
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
838. weatherwannabe
1:12 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
IKE I was watching some paint dry earlier - it was pretty excitig too. I have pics if anyone wants to them I will post them.
837. icebear7
1:11 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
i am not expecting a yawner


i am hoping it will fizzle out, but i am not expecting it to.
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
836. amd
1:09 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
IKE, i'm not sure that all of the people who thought that the storm would ramp up to a cat 3 or cat 4 wished for it to happen. They assumed that rapid intensification would occur near the Florida straits.

Last night, I was on saying that because of the imperfect outflow conditions, that there would be modest intensification at best. And, everyone thought I was wrong bigtime.

Looks like the storm will finally become a hurricane, but there still has been no rapid intensification due to an imperfect outflow, something that the NHC finally mentioned in their 5 am discussion.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1024
835. weatherwannabe
1:09 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
fellow Doom and Gloomers - I'm not so sure Blobby isn't weakening. This is looking like a yawner. But good for Key West.
834. IKE
1:08 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
What's a matter...weatherwannabe...??? 70 mph storm isn't good enough???

To everyone else...I'm fascinated by storms too and enjoy tracking them, but wish no harm on anyone. I hope this thing dies out over the gulf or heads to a non-populated area.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
833. hmfynn
1:08 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
As of 9AM(Est) is this northward jog Getreal keeps talking about really happening? I don't see it on the track...
832. hookedontropics
1:08 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
post your predictions on my blog for the second landfall... on my blog, we can track and see who is unlucky and who is lucky
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 127
831. azduck
1:06 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
I think that Rita got more interaction with Cuba than people gave her credit for. Looking at the storm, she only just now is beginning to show outflow on her south side. Cuba (unlike FL or anywhere in the SE US) is mountainous and therefore much more of a hurricane obstacle than the Bahamas or FL.

Also I think that the NWS has been a bit more conservative about calling her a cane than I would be. The pressure and the winds and circulation are all borderline, but the fact that she is beelining toward a place with one road out would have impelled me to call her a cane last night at the 8pm advisory - pour encourager les autres.

But hey, that's me. What do I know.
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 57
830. weatherwannabe
1:06 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
I'd like to see a Cat 6. I dont care where it hits as long as Darwin has a chance to properly operate. I'd love to see IKE crying about how the doom and gloomers were right this time, if only IKE hadn't been such a buckethead.
829. icebear7
1:06 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
cows lick their own nostrils
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
828. putintang3
1:06 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Ike, I understand everyones interest in the Growth of these storms. It is a marvel of nature. I am sure everyone here does not really want to see lose of life. They just like to watch the power of nature.

I am from South Louisiana and also like to watch the progess of these storms, but I don't want it to get me.

It is like watching horror movies. I like them but don't want watch them but don't really want to be in one for real. Put
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 309
827. subtropic
1:04 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
azduck - what have you got against cows?
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
825. icebear7
1:03 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Ike, i wouldn't worry so much about it. Personally. Everyone here is observing, sometimes they may speak (type) in a way that dosen't sound very humane, but sometimes i think its a semantics tangle, and the actual intention is not that we WANT to see something bad happen... my personal thought tho.
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
824. amd
1:01 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
accroding to some on this board, i thought this storm was supposed to rapidly strengthen hours ago. What happened? :)

Fortunaly, it looks like the keys will be spared a major blow, but I am worried about the texas gulf coast.

Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1024
823. GetReal
1:01 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
WHO KNOWS, I'M SURE IF YOU LOOK HARD AND LONG ENOUGH OUT THERE YOU CAN STILL FIND SOME MODEL THAT WILL PUT RITA IN YOUR BACKYARD.
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8806
822. SirVivor
1:01 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Lot of people putting down people for 'dooming and glooming'. Yeah, those of us who watch killer storms tend to doom and gloom. But that is because nobody listens when we see a Katrina ar an Andrew coming at them. They sit through Cat 3 storms and say, "Well, my neighbor lost his roof, but nobody really got hurt so I'll be OK in a Cat 4 storm." They don't listen. And people die. When Dennis was bearing down on the Flordia Gulf coast and looked to be a strong Cat 4 storm, I could not get my family and friends to budge. They all remebered Opal, where our friends and negihbors wre stranded on the Interstate, unable to move in stalled traffic...or siting under the 'safety' of a gas station overhang because they were out of gas and so were all the stations. They figured, and rightly so, that it was safer to stay in thier homes than to be stranded on the highway. But if they had listened to us doom and gloomers and gottne out early, they would ot have been in danger of being stranded, nor would they have been at home. And if Dennis had not lost strength at the last minute, then wobbled and laid on its side at a diagonal so that the winds effectively stayed in the upper altitude and kept from creating a massive storm surge, then my family and friends would have been in serious dnager. When I told them the storm would likely come in as a strong Cat 4 they told me, "We'll be safe as long as we stay inside our homes!" I reminded them of Andrew and the devastation that those people experienced as their homes turned into toothpicks around them. Now they will listen. So, yeah, I doom and gloom when itcomes to hurricanes. Because I know that a hurricane can quickly do the unexpected and people who are not prepared will die when that happens.
820. azduck
1:01 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Anyone obsessively reading this board has a screw loose. I freely admit to a morbid fascination with hurricanes. I would love for every storm to be a CAT5 and then...

either:

A) Magically go to Kenedy County TX (where no one lives except some cows)

B) Hit urban areas but cause no real damage or injury

But even in the real world, these things are fun to track and watch. They are unique weather systems, and we are one of the only places in the world where you can watch them up-close.
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 57
819. zakelwe
1:00 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
My general summary would be that the hurricane is being powered up by the very warm waters but depowered by the air conditions above the water and so it is not gaining as well as previous guesses people have given.

It's stil la borderline hurricane/storm.

The hardcore overnighters will be disappointed when they get out of bed ( presumably alarm clocks set to just before the next update :) ).

I wonder if it will hit that hotspot in the Gulf, at this speed though it will not be over it for that long, but it will be interesting to find out
817. putintang3
12:59 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
Yesterday some of the tracks where putting the storm into Terrebonne bay at a Cat 3. Which is where I am. What has changed their mind?

Put
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 309
816. icebear7
12:59 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
thanks for the temps Collinsfarm

waiting for the upward rush in windspeed

that and my personal habit of pessimisim and murphy's law adherance

reality is of course a fluid distinction
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
815. weatherwannabe
12:58 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
this storm has been a pain in arse from the first time someone said "look at that blob" - Blobby is a tease.
814. IKE
12:58 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
When someone says...it dropped 3 mb's....good news...Their wishing for another Katrina. That's bs.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
813. GetReal
12:56 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
I'M NOT CONVINCED YET THAT SE LA IS SAFE, RITA IS STILL NOT YET IN THE GULF. CHECK BACK LATE TONIGHT OR TOMORROW MORNING FOR BETTER IDEA.
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8806
812. icebear7
12:55 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
yikes, who stretched the board?

as for gloom and doom, i don't know if thats quite it, i think its just preparing for worst case or considering it. Thinking of it does not cause it to happen, so i don't get my panties in a wad over it.
but i agree with the question of the general sanity of some of the bloggers here, lol *wink*


anyhue

i expect that the models will continue to shift. i am also not planning to be surprised if this brat storm goes into some part of LA
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
811. putintang3
12:52 PM GMT on September 20, 2005
SO.....Ya'll think South east Louisiana is safe for now. I do hope so.

Put
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 309

Viewing: 861 - 811

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.