Rita making landfall as a weak Category 3

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:51 AM GMT on September 24, 2005

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Rita is making landfall near Port Arthur, TX, as a weak Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. There is nothing weak at all about any major hurricane, and it definitely a bad night to be holed up in your house or shelter listening to the awesome destruction unleased by this powerful hurricane. Radar shows some very intense echoes in the northern eyewall smashing into the coast, and infrared satellite imagery confirms the presence of extremely cold cloud tops in the northern eyewall. It appears that the interaction of the eyewall with land is producing extra surface convergence of winds that is forcing up some strong updrafts, creating very high thunderstorm tops.

Where will Rita go?
Most of the latest model runs show Rita making a anti-cyclonic loop over northeastern Texas and central Louisiana, then perhaps heading back south to punish the landfall area five days from now. She may even move back over the waters of the Gulf. She would no longer be a tropical cyclone at that point, and redevelopment is not expected.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Tropical Depression Philippe has being absorbed into a large non-tropical low pressure system near Bermuda. This system is expected to move little the next three days, and may develop into a tropical depression. A well-organized tropical disturbance near 11N 33W, off the coast of Africa, has a surface circulation and some deep convection. This system has the potential for development the next few days as it moves westward over the mid-Atlantic. Long range models indicate that this disturbance will likely recurve to the northeast when it reaches the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

Jeff Masters

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652. o22sail
11:56 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
SPOON
I would like to thank SPOON for his T.V. link/webpage using the three local stations. That was one of the coolest uses of the internet I have ever seen in time of emergency. I was able to give local news to people from the effected area that they could not get where they were. Very cool, many thanks!
Trey P. (wunderground blog lurker)
KI4ITV
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 124
651. wxwatcher
6:16 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
In a drought, our main concern is water for cattle. Tanks (the ones in the ground) are dry, in some cases bone dry. Hard rains are needed so runoff fills them. Gentle rain does nothing for tanks except make them a mud trap for cattle as we've seen cattle stuck before.

Our next concern is getting those gentle rains, but our priority is resuppling tanks.
650. SaymoBEEL
6:14 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Yes, Everytime I watch TWC, I think of him.

I remember last night some reporter saying something about a last minute turn to the North. He didn't know what we had been seeing since the day before.

I think there is a story behind why Jim Cantore was in Houston instead of the state line. When he said he had never covered a hurricane from a city, it spoke volumes to me.
649. sngalla
6:13 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
What you need is several days of gentle rains so that ground has time to absorb it. A five inch rain would be a waste.
Member Since: February 18, 2003 Posts: 57 Comments: 5363
648. wxwatcher
6:11 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
sngalla, we NEED a hard 5 inch rain here..!!!!!! The tanks are dry and we are pumping water for cattle. We would have welcomed her with open arms.
647. IKE
6:11 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
wxwatcher...welcome Rita with open arms??? You can't be serious??? Come on. I understand your need for rain, but open arms???
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
646. tornadoty
6:10 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Dr. Masters has a new blog post.
645. sngalla
6:08 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
wx...i think your p-o'd feeling about the storm are not felt by the vast majority of texans. Most aremost likely very thankful that the storm went forther to the NE. There is a big difference between a rainstorm and a cat 3 or 4 storm. More than inch or two of rain does nothing for a drought as it just runs off.
Member Since: February 18, 2003 Posts: 57 Comments: 5363
644. IKE
6:08 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Jacky Jeras(sp???) on CNN must be in need of sleep. She just said...Stay inside, because of the weather coming, in Shreveport..."enjoy some coffee, THIS MORNING?!?!?!? Uh...it's 1 pm in LA. Earlier she was showing the NHC 5-day forecast map and stated today is SUNDAY!?!?!?!?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
643. chicagowatcher
6:06 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Lefty, the wife wouldn't let you chase down to Houston??

/wink
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
642. SaymoBEEL
6:05 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Lefty, The media goes where they can get the most viewers. Houston = big market NOLA = big public sympathy (deserved)
Later the media will show some of the real story. But even that will be distorted to gain an audience or in some cases, promote their own agenda.
641. leftyy420
6:04 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
wx that doesn't give u the right to undereastimate the devestation some people have been thru. ur comments in here are ignorant and hurtfull. but thats why i am going to go next to my wife and be thankfull that i woke up today. unlike some people who wake up to nothing left. or worse don;t wake up at all
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
640. chicagowatcher
6:04 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
I feel for ya for the drought though wx. We're down about 10" here in Illinois. Have friends who are farmers who are getting reaquainted with their insurance agents...
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
639. IKE
6:03 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
I like Dr. Lyons on TWC. He does a good job and does state what he thinks will happen. Most of the others on there are stating what we can find out, in advance, on wunderground.com. from the NWS and the NHC.

Speaking of TWC...I sure miss John Hope. He was a professional.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
638. chicagowatcher
6:02 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Heard there was at least one book written about that storm tornado, but I've never seen it. For years the word on that storm was that it wasn't a tornado at all, just some kind of microburst. Thinking on that has changed, but I'm not sure why.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
637. wxwatcher
6:01 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
LOL, I'm not AGITATED we didn't see any weather from this storm.. I am PISSED. When you are in a drought that we are in and you have a 90% and 100% chance of rain and you don't see a drop... You would be PISSED as well. And when you don't see a drop with those kind of rain chances -- THAT IS HYPE!

Us here in central, east central, and south central TX were welcoming Rita with open arms. I actually saw a piece of plywood by a field that had "Rita this way" with arrows spray painted pointing to his field. We here in TX who didn't see rain are pissed.
636. leftyy420
5:59 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
yeah cosmic, all the who is right who is worng goes out the window the couple of days after a major cane hits land. we need to give hope and prayers to those affected. those towns no one has heard from and surge is still rising. we won;t know until the surge recedes how the coast fared.
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
635. leftyy420
5:57 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
wx the damage may not be bad where ur at or areas the media are at but there are hundred of small towns and communites like homestead in florida that we won;t know about for days. remebr the media trys to be where itds bad but not to bad. they weren't on the coast or in those small towns. those are the people i am worried about. and u should be 2
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
634. CosmicEvents
5:55 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
leftyy.....you're the voice of reason on here today.
.
.

I'm sure all those people that evacuated prefer to come back to a home instead of a pile of rubble. Better safe than sorry. Hopefully the evacuation orders will always be heeded as well as they were in this case.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5684
633. tornadoty
5:55 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Thanks chicagowatcher.
632. SaymoBEEL
5:54 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Ike, True enough.
BTW I'm not against the NHC. I think they do a good job. My problem is more with the private sector not being willing to go out on a limb. TWC is 24/7. Say, "the storm is taking a more northerly track" when it happens. I think sometimes they wanted to, hinted. Just get some brass ones and state the obvious. Don't wait for the NHC to say it first. Also, if they say something different than NHC, just say it.... a disclaimer.
Uh Oh I'm ranting.
631. tornadoty
5:54 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
I'd like to see wxwatcher's reactions when we see the worst of the damage...
630. chicagowatcher
5:53 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
nope, but my wife was tornadoty. She heard the wind and looked out the window. She was wondering why all the grass was lying down, mashed flat against the ground when all the windows exploded.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
629. wxwatcher
5:51 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
By the way, I'm not complaining about the evacuations... I went to Houston twice, once yesterday and once last night and didn't have any problem getting there or back. I did fill up before I left, sooo.... well, I didn't have to set up camp on the side of an intersate.

The point I am getting at is this was hyped up in TEXAS. I don't know what the case is in LA, but from the reporters on TV, the mayors, etc. they are all saying there is some damage, but they feel they "dodged a bullet".

I think there is a manic obsession by the media to see damage, and that JACKASS WOLF BLITZED WANTS TO SEE THE BODIES. Sorry, I have rant on Blitzed, if anyone hopes there are lives lost it's him: "can you give us a feel for how many bodies there are," first thing "how many bodies are lying around," "are the bodies decomposing," etc. Why doesn't Wolfy come out and say it "show us the f.cking bodies!." Ok, enough of the rant. But I am saying the damage isn't as bad as expected, that's a good thing...EVERYONE GO HOME, PICK UP THE FEW SHINGLES AND REPLACE THE SIGNS, AND GET ON WITH IT...
628. tornadoty
5:48 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Chicagowatcher, were you home when it hit? If so, did you see a funnel or anything that led you to believe it was a funnel? Sorry if I bring back bad memories, just curious, obsessed with that monster.
627. sngalla
5:47 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
just downgraded to a tropical storm.
Member Since: February 18, 2003 Posts: 57 Comments: 5363
626. leftyy420
5:46 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
i am not even trying to imagine the damge we will see. all i know is i am not ignorant enough to coime in here and call it over hyped. for all weknow some one in this blogs family might bein a devestated area. its called being a human. and wx is more mad casue he planned for something that didn;t happen. oh boo hoo wx. u should be thankfull. go see ur family, tell ur mom u lover her. but don't make ignorant staements becasue u was inconvienced
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
625. chicagowatcher
5:43 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
*grins at tornatoty*
Ever know someone who went to the doctor and they tried this, tried that, tried something else, until they fixed it (or didn't). We're all kinda spoiled by the near six sigma perfection that we can impose on pieces of our own technology. But when it comes to natural systems, sometimes you just can never tell...
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
624. tornadoty
5:42 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
I have a feeling we are all going to be stunned for the 4th time this year when we see video from the coast.
623. leftyy420
5:42 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
see wx ur agiteated cause u didn;t see any weather. lol but a different trakc u might not even be on the computer right now. while ur agitated rthats ur problem. people still in the storm don;t have time to be agitated. that eprson who died can't be agitated.
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
622. GainesvilleGator
5:41 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
I have to agree with Lefty in that we should wait until we hear from the areas hardest hit. As I recall from Katrina, initial reports said that things were not as bad as expected. We all know that this was NOT the case. We ought to get a good idea by Wednesday how much damage was done. From Dr. Masters & Steve Gregory posts, Rita will still be lingering around then. The LSU vs Tennessee football game may be played during a monsoon on Monday night. The final chapters of Rita have not yet been written.
Member Since: September 11, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 745
621. tornadoty
5:41 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
You're from Plainfield chicagowatcher. God bless ya.
620. IKE
5:40 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
That's the problem with Bastardi...he's too loud and doesn't admit that..."I was wrong". He's not perfect, but tries to act like he is.

The NHC isn't perfect either, but at least they admit it. To me the NHC does a pretty good job.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
619. leftyy420
5:40 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
salter u should go back and read wx comments that u agree with. now if ur point is different stae it as such, but wx comments was this was nothing and wa shyped. i am sorry but until it is over and not 1 home not 1 life was detroyed than it wasn't hyped.

also whne u are in the possible path of a storm u have to follow rule number 1

Plan for the wrose hope for the best

so u evac cause the worse would detroy the city and u hope it doesn come. looks like prayers were answered bu thety were ready for it. that is what u should be spweing not over hype
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
618. tornadoty
5:39 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Steve Gregory says the damage is likely very near the extent of Ivan's last year.
617. wxwatcher
5:38 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Ok, what gives the media the right to cry wolf BEFORE a storm strikes. Yet I get on here AFTER the fact and say, there IS NO WIDESPREAD MAJOR DAMAGE.

Am I angry, not really. Agitated, you damn strait. The past 3 days have gotten me this way. People where I live (which is 150 miles inland) have filled the stores bracing for a hurricane because the NWS on Tuesday said we would lose power, mobile homes would be destroyed, damage to roofs would be widespread, and flooding would be tremendous. NONE OF THIS CAME ANYWHERE NEAR THAT. In fact, we haven't seen one drop of rain where I am at. You know, when the forecasters say something is going to happen, I expect them to be close. This isn't anywhere NEAR close and I believe a 2 year old could have done better. You can say on Tuesday we thought it would do all that but on Thursday it appeared less likely. WHY DON'T THEY COME OUT AND SAY, WE MADE A MISTAKE -- IT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN???????????????? Our forecast still has a 90% chance of rain, winds of 35-45 mph gusts to 60 mph for today. Eh hum, let's look outside -- sunny skies, gentle breeze and the storm is to our northeast. Our area didn't see a drop with 80%, 90%, and 100% chance of rain... Would you not be agitated (this is much needed rain by the way).

Following kat, ivan, and the other storms last year, in the first hour or two (almost immediately) following the storm, there were pictures of entire subdivisions wiped out, no resemblance of some towns, roofs blown off almost every house, etc. Today the media is standing by a 200 y/o rotton oak tree claiming how bad it was. Twigs laying in the street. Come on, a strong norther could have done some of this damage. YES THERE ARE SOME HOMES DESTROYED, YES THE ROOF OF A DAIRY QUEEN SUSTAINED DAMAGE, AND YES AN ICE MACHINE DID BLOW OVER. But I am only repeating what mayors and emergency people in these little towns are saying and that is -- "we dodged a bullet".
616. chicagowatcher
5:38 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
A few years back, an F5 tornado flattened our town in Illinois with no warning. Of course, inquiry and blame followed. Since then, the sirens go off when it get cloudy. So what happens now? People start ignoring the sirens.

I guess it's just human nature. Our house was destroyed, when we hear the sirens we quickly go to the basement. If I lived in Houston, I'd be typing from Phoenix right now: not upset because I had to evacuate, but thankful that my town was still there to go home to.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
615. salter
5:37 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
see your missing the fact we are talking about it isnt me or wx that were complaining about the evac. its the people that had to go and it didnt hit THANK GOD that are complaining
614. sngalla
5:36 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Hearing now that some of the refineries may be on fire.
Member Since: February 18, 2003 Posts: 57 Comments: 5363
613. IKE
5:35 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Katrina made Rita's fears what they were. Plus the fact that Rita, at one time, had 175 mph winds. The problem was, Rita still had 2-3 days before landfall when it attained those winds...plenty of time to weaken which it did. No one knew it would, the NHC thought it might..which proved correct. It could have been much worse..thank God it wasn't. If I lived in Houston and elsewhere in the path/cone of Rita...I would have evacuated.

Katrina made a lot of folks realize...you NEVER take these storms for granted. They'll be others this year. The weather pattern is still there for the taking.....like Stan and Tammy and the next 1 or 2 or 3 names. Beware the eastern gulf and the east coast. You could be next to decide if you should evacuate. I did...for Opal...Ivan...Dennis and I will for the next BIG one that threatens the Florida panahandle.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
612. leftyy420
5:34 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
than don't complain when out of this their is hope. and be thankfull houston fared well but ur posts make it seem like peopel jumped the gun by evacing a vulnerable city
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
611. SaymoBEEL
5:34 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Ike, The NHC was saying the same thing. Bastardi was just louder about it.

On a similar note...
I think the people who report the weather to the public don't want to take responsibilty for making a wrong call if it is too different from NHC.
It would be refreshing to have someone just say "subject to change, please stay tuned"
I also think the NHC is a little nervous about making a wrong call that is catastrophic to a highly populated area.
It seems the early predictions skew to the most highly populated area (maybe thats the right thing to do considering their responsibility). I hate to say, "do the least harm". But, you get the point.
610. salter
5:32 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
besides lefty i'm not one to wish DEATH AND DESTRUTION on anyone i was in punta gorda for weeks helping with the clean up and seeing what a storm can do i dont wish that on anyone
609. sngalla
5:31 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
MSNBC just spoke of a woman that stayed in Lake Charles and she said her whole neighborhood is gone.
Member Since: February 18, 2003 Posts: 57 Comments: 5363
608. leftyy420
5:31 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
salter i neevr said ur point didn't matter. i just said that ur point is ignorant view when it is 9 hours after landfall and people are still suffering. and ur complaint is that houston had to evac for probly no reason. so would u have liked to seen houston flattened?
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
607. leftyy420
5:30 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
tornadoty

well put, well put. i am not watching tv to see the damage i and looking to see hope, that it was not that bad. but i am not ignorant enough to know it was bad and poor people lost their lives or property
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
606. salter
5:28 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
ok lefty forget it your point is all that matters i thought this was a blog for those people s opinions
i guess i was wrong.
605. leftyy420
5:28 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
salyer like i said, today should be a day of thanfullness and remorse for thos affected. thanfull that it did not hit a worse area like gaveston and houstone, remorse for thos it did hit and for their loss. u and wx have shown neither. thats the sickening part
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
604. tornadoty
5:27 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
Everyone is making assumptions based on what they see on TV. If there's anything we've learned this season, when the people on TV say that it wasn't as bad as expected, it's been worse. We have not seen anything out of Port Arthur and Lake Charles yet. I heard earlier today on CNN that levees were burst and Lake Charles was flooding. To say that this storm was overhyped and was minimal in damage is not just wrong, it's grossly irresponsible.

Just now hearing reporter Sanjay Gupta on CNN say that the mayor of Lake Charles has requested the help of General Honore and that the flood waters are rising and the situation is getting worse in Lake Charles. The book has not been written on Rita and we will probably see some grotesque sites from the point of landfall.
603. leftyy420
5:26 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
lol so people ahd to evacuate, and it was not perfect. i would have had millions inconvienced to save lives than to see another nola, wouldn't you? and ur comments about it makes u seem ignorant to the fact that had she hit galveston head on houston would ahve been flooded with surge. so i commend them for the evacs. for you guys to complain about the evacs is the same type of thinking that casue the wholenola situation to begin with
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
602. salter
5:24 PM GMT on September 24, 2005
lefty
i'm not arguing with you but some of wx comments do hold water. mainly about the people that are complaining about having to evacuate ok

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

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