Caribbean disturbance to watch, and Rita moves out

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:25 PM GMT on September 25, 2005

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Rita
Rita is moving quickly to the northeast at 20 mph, confounding the model predictions of a stall and serious rainwater flooding disaster. The maximum rainfall from Rita--a swath of 8 - 12 inches--fell along a narrow strip from Port Arthur to Shreveport. While some rivers in the area are in flood stage, only 1 - 3 more inches of rain are expected to fall over the area, alleviating concerns of a second major flooding disaster on top of the serious storm surge flooding that occurred. The remains of Rita are moving too quickly to present a serious flooding problem for any addional regions along its path. A few isolated areas of 3 or 4 inches are the maximum amounts expected.

Port Arthur got a direct hit by the eye or Rita, but escaped catastropic storm surge damage. This occurred because the east eyewall of Rita with its powerful southerly winds never blew over the bay Port Arthur lies on, but passed over land just to the east of the city. Thus, water from the open ocean was not forced up into the bay by the eyewall's winds. The maximum storm surge hit a very sparsely populated area of the Southwest Louisiana coast. The small town of Cameron (population 2000) was the largest town along this stretch of coast, and apparently suffered damage similar to what was seen in Mississippi from Hurricane Katrina. Damage estimates for Rita (insured plus uninsured property) range from $5 - $10 billion. These numbers would have been in the $20 - $40 billion range had Rita hit Galveston/Houston. So, while Rita was very bad for the regions it did hit, we were lucky it wasn't far worse.

Caribbean tropical disturbance
The main area of concern today is a tropical disturbance in the southeastern Caribbean sea, due south of Puerto Rico. This disturbance has a small but growing area of deep convection associated with it, and is in an area of 10 knots of shear. This shear is forecast to decrease the next 48 hours, possibly allowing more substantial development as the disturbance tracks westward at 15 mph.

African activity
A tropical disturbance about 800 miles west-southwest
of the Cape Verde Islands remains poorly organized, and is suffering from wind shear imparted by a large upper-level low pressure system to its west. This shear is expected to decrease over the next two days, which may allow some development to occur. The disturbance is moving west-northwest, and will probably recurve to the norhteast in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Long range models show the possibility of more tropical development off the coast of Africa during the week, as well. However, keep in mind that we are now into the last week of September, and it is rare for tropical storms that form in the eastern Atlantic this late in the season to affect any land areas. These late September storms nearly always recurve out to sea before threatening any land areas. This occurs because the jet stream is getting more active as Fall begins to assert itself, driving strong troughs of low pressure futher south where they can more easily recurve tropical systems to the north.

The place to watch this week is the Caribbean.

Jeff Masters

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564. aquak9
1:58 PM GMT on September 26, 2005
new post, ya'll
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 26252
563. LADobeLady
1:23 PM GMT on September 26, 2005
It is what it is Putintang3. We can't stop them from coming only prepare and get the heck out of dodge. I don't want to deal with them any longer either, but it is the price we pay for living on the Gulf.
Member Since: July 29, 2005 Posts: 21 Comments: 794
562. putintang3
1:05 PM GMT on September 26, 2005
oh ladobelady don't say that i can't take this any more.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 309
561. LADobeLady
12:52 PM GMT on September 26, 2005
hmfynn,

I find the WWL comments very funny since they can only spout the NHC forecast and never give thier opinion of where a storm will go. They are the LAST station I chose to watch in this area because of it. We just got the kiss of death from WWL if they say not to worry about it that damn wave will probably blow up now and hit dead center of central LA. LOL
Member Since: July 29, 2005 Posts: 21 Comments: 794
560. hmfynn
12:36 PM GMT on September 26, 2005
I asked one of the WWL Meteorologists about the Caribbean Wave on their forum. Somehow I don't buy what he said, he seemed arrogant, defensive, a bit too quick to write it off, but for what it's worth, here's his analysis.

Feel free to tear it apart at your discretion:

"I first of alll don't think upper level winds will be favorable for development. If somthing were to develope it would either move into Central America or into the Southeastern Gulf and into Florida. Even if this happened it wouldn't develope much due to SW wind shear. I would be too concerned about thie wave. With two fronts and strong Eastern trough it would be hard for somthing to come to LA in the next 7-10 days. I looked at the tropical model and non show anything developing with this mornings model runs. Shouldn't watch national Networks for local weather info."


I'm not quite sure why he believes the central gulf is safe from a window that includes both central america and south florida. I've asked him to clarify, but seeing as how he spends most of his time as blog moderator publicly bashing other meterologists on competing stations, I doubt I'll get a reply soon.

559. StormJunkie
8:29 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Night. Gonna try and find some guidance models for it.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
558. subtropic
8:27 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
And with that, I really must go. I'll get with you on this one soon.
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
557. subtropic
8:25 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
I know there is supposed to be a trough moving towards west Florida, but I am not sure how strong it will be yet. Obviously if it is stronger, I guess this thing might move more north. I really hope not. The gulf just doesn't need anything else to watch.
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
556. subtropic
8:20 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
I was just looking at that myself. I am not sure about track right now. I am leaning towards straight into central america. But that is highly debateable.
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
555. StormJunkie
8:17 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
ps I stand corrected.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
554. StormJunkie
8:16 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Good goin Sub.lol. Slow in the tropics. I was jsut looking over the models and the sats. The S of PR blob is looking alittle healthier after the Sat blackout. What is the thinking on general track?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
553. subtropic
8:10 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
stormj. I found it (I cannot belive I even looked).

Posted By: CrucianCrip at 4:04 PM EDT on September 17, 2005.
wonderer - sorry to make your head spin. The Virgin Blob came from my request to have folks recognize that "east of PR" is a chain of US-owned islands and not just open water. SJ then rechristened what was formerly known as the East of PR blob to the US Virgin ISlands BLob, whichb then got laughed down to simply the Virgin Blob.

I do rather like you definition of virgin blob as one that hasn't been sheared yet...more humor is definitely needed most days. Funny. :-)
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
552. theboldman
8:06 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
yes we are friends and you know it
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
551. StormJunkie
8:01 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
ALright night iyou
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
550. iyou
7:59 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
well 'm off for the night-try not to blog wrestle you two-stormjunkie, we;re getting tons of rain up here in southern ontario from Rita-coming down like a thick curtain...night guys ;-)
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
549. StormJunkie
7:55 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Gosh what a temper!

I just know you two are "friends" and was asking if you had seen him as of late.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
548. iyou
7:55 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
geez jeff, that was a delayed reaction-give yourself a shake and be good, k?
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
547. StormJunkie
7:53 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Yes, but it adds a little color.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
545. iyou
7:51 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
stormjunkie-that's the problem with giving them nicknames-it's confusing later!
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
544. iyou
7:50 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
stormjunkie-along the north coast of Cuba is what i meant-it's late-if you can pull up some sats, it's clear, that's what she did.
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
543. StormJunkie
7:49 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Agreed iyou, that is what I was saying, but I thought that was "The Virgin" blob. Sub said Phil was "The Virgin" blob. Formerly known as the PR blob.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
542. iyou
7:47 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
subtropic-i didn't mean you either!! no prob ;-)
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
541. iyou
7:46 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
stormjunkie - if you are talking about Rita - I watched her roll over 'the bent finger hump', if you will, of her northern coast-she rolled perfectly along that north coast with only her outflow extending over Cuba-that's what it looked like to me.
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
540. prttyeyez2002
7:45 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Thanks Guys...Everybody be safe and I'll catch up when I get back on the 2nd. Night All !
539. subtropic
7:45 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
iyou, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it to sound that way. That was a dig for those who might have comments about the "chat" nature of this blog this evening. It was great talking to you. stormj.... smow? What's snow?
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
538. StormJunkie
7:43 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Man, I hope we get some snow in the south this year. It has been a while here.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
537. iyou
7:42 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
sub-tropic - you too-i feel slightly chastised1 - c'est la vie! night ;-)
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
536. StormJunkie
7:40 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Night Lefty.

You could be right Sub, you got me second geussing myself now.lol.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
535. subtropic
7:40 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
nite lefty. At any rate, I suppose I should get out of here. iyou, it was nice getting to know you a little (even if we were tragically off-topic). stormj, I am really not much for blogging, but I hope I see more of you for the next storm! prttyeyeyez if you're still on, have a blast in Vegas!
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
534. iyou
7:37 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Night leftty!
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
533. subtropic
7:35 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
the way I remember it, we were scolded for calling the system east of Puerto Rico "the system east of Puerto Rico". She pointed out that there were other islands out there too. It's late and I could be screwed up, but I think it was phil.
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
532. leftyy420
7:35 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
alright every one. i am out catch yall later. catch u later sj
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
531. StormJunkie
7:34 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
She was N of PR then moved wnw through the keys, with out going over Cuba? No?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
530. iyou
7:34 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Night prtty-treat yourself in Vegas-you deserve it ;-)
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
529. StormJunkie
7:32 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Rita was the Virgin blob and Phil was "the wave" then 17? I thought.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
528. prttyeyez2002
7:32 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Thanks subtropic,iyou and sj. looks like I will be safe to catch a few winks ...gotta rush around packing for a Vegas trip in the morning...not enough hrs in the day...:)
527. StormJunkie
7:31 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Man that birmingham radar is impressive. I don't remeber that line of showers. Looks like the whole SE should get some rain out of this. Is that all Rita interacting with a front?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
526. subtropic
7:29 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
stormj, not to go getting all technical, but it was actually Phillipe that sprang from the virgin blob (the system east of the virgin islands). I guess Rita was called "Blobby".
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
525. iyou
7:25 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
k, thanks subtropic
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
524. StormJunkie
7:25 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Well calling it the Virgin blob did not work out to well for the Gulf coast so...

So the PR blob is headed in to the gulf and not the carib? Been working and going out with the girl all weekend, and watching Rita coverage.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
523. prttyeyez2002
7:23 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Thanks SJ ..I need some good news. Its been a rough one today for sure.. They are still calling for rain and a few storms tomorrow but no tornadoes I hope. I dont like them at night ..I cant see them coming..pretty neat to watch during the day though....from a distance.
522. subtropic
7:23 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Oops. Sorry. I already did but never posted it. Here it is: Link
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
521. StormJunkie
7:23 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
I just did that iyou (radar), that's why I think the center just passed over her.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
520. iyou
7:22 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
heheh - porn looters!! - priorities!!
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
519. leftyy420
7:22 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
hey sj
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
518. StormJunkie
7:21 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
What's up Sub and Lefty?

Easy Jeff. Where's 8888889?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
517. iyou
7:21 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
subtropic - will you pull up that regional radar for prtty?
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
516. leftyy420
7:21 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
flg, it will be 2 days at best befor that system has any chance of developing. i am watching the nice wave that just came off of africa but it is likely not a threat. when the wave south of pr gets near the yucatan it will have a chance to develop. sst are high so she should develop rather quickly. if she gets in the gulf there a question as to how much heat will be availiable but i belive a cat2-cat3 can be sustained in the gulf
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
515. subtropic
7:20 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
Whats up stormj!
Member Since: August 29, 2002 Posts: 209 Comments: 4434
514. theboldman
7:20 AM GMT on September 26, 2005
wow junkie at the word argue you spring into action whats up with that man
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2

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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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