Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:20 AM GMT on September 25, 2005
Rita continues to push inland, and is now creating flooding problems in Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. Radar estimates of rain indicate that over a foot of rain has fallen in some areas. Expect an additional 3 - 6 inches of rain per day to fall during the next three days along Rita's path. Fortunately, Rita is no longer expected to stall, and the regions most likely to be affected are under moderate to extreme drought conditions. Major flooding is already occurring on some rivers, but it will take a long time for many other rivers to come up to flood stage. The Mississippi is over 30 feet below flood stage in some places. Flash flooding along creeks and street flooding from excessive rains will be a problem everywhere, however. The storm surge flooding near the coast will steadily receed tonight, as the winds at the coast return to normal.
Figure 1.Drought conditions exist over most of the areas affected by Hurricane Rita.
Figure 2. Estimated rainfall from Rita.
Elsewhere in the tropics
A large non-tropical low pressure system near Bermuda has changed little the past day, but has the potential to develop into a tropical depression by Monday or Tuesday. This system is now moving quickly to the northeast, and is not a threat to any land areas.
A tropical disturbance near 11N 35W, off the coast of Africa, has gotten sheared by strong winds from a upper-level low pressure system to its east. Development of this disturbance is not likey until Tuesday at the earliest, and it is more likely that the shear will completely tear the disturbance apart before then.
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