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Key West: mandatory evacuation

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:35 PM GMT on September 19, 2005

There's a church in Key West called the St. Mary's Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church. In 1922, a nun built a "hurricane grotto" on the grounds of the church in memory of the 600 who died during the great Atlantic-Gulf hurricane of Sept. 10, 1919, a Category 4 hurricane that made a direct hit on Key West. The nun vowed that as long as the grotto stood, Key West would not suffer the brunt of another hurricane. Key West residents regularly make pilgrimages to the grotto to pray for protection from hurricanes. And so far, the grotto has worked--no Key West resident has died from a hurricane strike since the 1919 hurricane. I've heard from at least one Key West resident that plans to pay a visit to the grotto today, which I think is a good idea. A little divine intervention is what is needed this Hurricane Season of 2005. The current model runs were apparently not initialized last night with the "grotto factor", since they all show Rita's path taking the storm over or very near Key West. Still, the average error in a 24 hour forecast has been about 60 miles the past 10 years, so Key West may yet miss the brunt of this hurricane.

And a hurricane it will be. Satellite images show that deep convection has now wrapped all the way around the west side of Rita and into the center, where a complete eyewall is starting to form. Spiral bands from the storm are already visible on Miami long-range radar as Rita moves towards Florida and expands in size. Winds at George Town in the Bahama Islands were 37 mph, gusting to 57 mph at noon today. The 12:15 satellite intensity estimate from the University of Wisconsin was 991 mb and 68 mph surface winds. There won't be another hurricane hunter aircraft in the storm until 2pm EDT today, but I think we can anticipate that they will find a continuation of the strengthening trend observed today. Rita will be a hurricane by early this evening, and probably a Category 2 hurricane tomorrow. A 6 - 9 foot storm surge can be expected near and 50 miles to the to the north of where Rita's eye passes, and a foot higher if she hits near high tide (11am Tuesday). The surge plus the wind damage will cause hundreds of millions in damage in the Keys, but should cause no major loss of life, since I'm sure after Katrina residents of low-lying areas under evacuation orders will be compelled to comply more readily than usual. Key West and all of the lower and middle Keys were given a mandatory evacuation order this morning. This is a bit of a risky call by the emergency managers; They'll never get everyone out in time, and risk having people stuck on the bridges when the storm hits. Still, they have a lot of experience evacuating the Keys the past seven years, so hopefully it will go smoothly.

Figure 1. Expected maximum storm surge from Rita.

Rita in the Gulf
Once Rita emerges into the Gulf of Mexico, continued strengthening is expected, and she will likely attain at least Category 3 status by Wednesday. However, water temperatures over the middle of the Gulf of Mexico are 1 - 2C cooler than those near Key West, thanks to all the cold water stirred up by Katrina. This cooler water should not allow Rita to grow as strong as Katrina (not a very bold statement, considering Katrina was the 4th strongest hurricane on record!) Rita will probably grow to a Category 3, and has a chance at Category 4 status if she passes over the Gulf Stream loop current, an eddy of very warm water south of New Orleans near 26N latitude.

Figure 2.Sea Surface temperatures for Sunday, September 18. Note the cooler wake in the center of the Gulf left by Katrina.

Figure 3.Ocean heat potential for Sunday, September 18. The big red spot south at 26N 89W shows where the Gulf Loop Current is, a very deep eddy of warm water that will enhance intensification of Rita if she passes over it.

Where will Rita hit?
Take your pick of today's models runs:

GFDL: Central Louisiana (Houma)
GFS: Western Louisiana (Lake Charles)
UKMET: Eastern Texas (Galveston)
NOGAPS: South Texas (Corpus Christi)

Each set of model runs has moved the track of Rita progressively further east. The official NHC forecast has been following along, but staying further back. What we've seen so far this hurricane season is that when the models start trending this way, that's where the storm eventually winds up going. So my best guess is that Rita will hit Louisiana Friday as a Category 3 hurricane. What's the average error for a 5-day forecast? 270 miles. So, everyone from the Florida Panhandle to the Mexican border is still at risk.

Philippe is slowly strengthening but heading northward out to sea. Philippe will continue to strengthen and head north, and is now not expected to affect any land areas, including Bermuda.

Wave between Africa and the Antilles
A large low pressure system is halfway between Africa and the Antilles islands. While this system does have a surface circulation and considerable deep convection, 15 knots of upper-level wind shear will keep this system from developing into a tropical depression for at least the next two days.

Jeff Masters
The Grotto (2)
The Grotto (2)
Another view of The Grotto in Key West, Florida...keeping us safe from Hurricanes.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

are you in the houston area wx?? you should not have to go to far to see this one..
Im thinking about 60 sustained and gust about 85mph....thats what the NWS has on the coast.....The only thing that worries me is if RITA moves more west than forecast.....I might be chasing nothing......
fsu u should see winds of hurricane forcemaybe higher depending on the strength but i think u will get a good show
And I have to keep wondering why the NHC is milling around with 4mph on the winds. If you ask me, this storm is arguably well organized and I see no reason in the short term for it to attain hurricane status.

If you look at this way, they are basically telling people in the Keys to evacuate for a TROPICAL STORM. How many people (honestly) evaute for a TS?? Tell me a TS is comming and I think 'gee, I may need an umbrella for a couple of hours.' If you tell me a hurricane is comming, I'll probably take it MUCH more seriously... I think it would be shrewd to upgrade by the 7CST advisory...
fsu u will not be more west and u will not chase fornothing. trust me u will get a good show, and ur winds will be onshore so they will be the strongest u could hope for, 65-90 sounds right with some nice gusts.be carefull man
I am just a little north of Galveston...wombats
wx casue no reports give them a cane yet, but what does it matter wx. it woill be a cane in a few hours . relax warnings are already up and evacs in motion. u guys are dwelling on them doing there job. when they get winds that support a cane trust me shye will be named a cane


Everyone on the Gulf coast needs to watch this. I don't know but if he ridge weakens faster or the weakness is farther east then, LA COULD be at risk. Just a guess at this point.
It appears the little thundershowers along the Alabama coast are due to a sea breaze front moving inland. The radar shows it quite well.

There is a new batch of deep convection blowing up near the center of Rita but it remains to be seen whether or not the deep stuff can wrap around the center and get that pressure falling faster. At some point tonight/tomorrow that will happen.
Im waiting on my partner to let me know if he can go.... I should know soon.....I might want to exchange phone numbers if your interested....I need some one who has access to radars and can be my eyes when I get down there.....the radio is only so good...what do you think about that ....
Where is flamingo?
wx no one in the keys are saying a ts is comming. they all know that a cat 2 will be hitting them maybe higher. u need to relax. people in fl been thru this many times in the past 2 years and they know when jeb gets on tv its for real. he wsas on a couplehours ago
Joe Bastardi's Take



Rita continues to get better organized this afternoon and now it is coming into an area that may make or break the middle and lower keys. I am expected rapid deepening to start any time now and by the time the storm passes just south of Key West, it should be at least a cat 3 hurricane. Support is coming from the GFDL as for as modelling goes, but a look at the different bonds that are coming off is really they key. One, the development of better organization is allowing a smoother flow to the center. As soon as that center can become organized, the inflow cycle should improve. 2) The distortion that can occur because of the islands will be gone. One notices that even though the storm was playing hop scotch with the Bahamas, the outflow and structure has improved 3) The outflow and structure improving means that we are getting close to hooking up the feedback. 4) the warmer water of the Florida straits have not really been touched this year. So here is the problem...all of these factors coming together at once may spin this storm very quickly. Again, I will take the posture that folks in the keys should not trust the idea that it may take time for the wind to "come down to the surface". In this case, just as with Katrina in south Florida where cat 2 like effects were felt in some places, assume the pressure will be a good way to determine what kind of wind can occur. Should it fall like I think, the the wind will respond. The classic example was the 1935 hurricane, a cat one on the Bahamas, a 5 in the Keys. If we used todays methods, or some that are being touted, how the heck did the storms wind ramp up so fast if it wasnt close to the pressure fall response. My point is this will turn into a tightening system and tightening systems get the wind the Saffir Simpson scale shows. This is a huge problem for the keys, which if I had my druthers, would be cleared of human life tomorrow morning given the chance for sudden and jaw dropping development.

its not like it hasnt happened this year.

In any case, the idea of the hit between Corpus and lake Charles friday night, centered on Galveston is where I am now, so here is the position forecast.

all times 12z. tomorrow morning: 23.7/79.6 965mb 90kts wed 24.5/85.0 940mb 110kts / thur 25.5 90.0 935mb 115kts/ fri 28.5,95.0 935 mb 115kts/ sat 32.5,96.0 985mb 55kt

The implied hit would be the 1st major hurricane hit within 50 miles of Galveston since Alicia in 1983.

This is tricky tonight because of the fact that if deepening starts quicker, it could be lower and of course vice versa.

Phillippe will continue well out to sea, but the trof dropping south southwest behind off the south atlantic coast will be something to lower pressures in the Bahamas this weekend, once we clear Rita off the field to the west, and Philippe northeast. I will accept the defeat on Phillippe as it is not turning back, but keep in mind Rita is the system that broke off from that trof last week as opined. Now lets see if the pattern shoe fits and I can wear it with something back over the Bahamas this weekend or next week.

And of course that brings me to my idea that changes are occuring next week that will put and end to the pattern we have been in much of the summer, but I will jump off that bridge later.

By the way, if the updates are not coming fast and furious its because how many times can you pound home the same idea. I see models all over the place, though this time they are remarkably good and post 3 times a day. But cmon, if an announcer spent 20 minutes analyzing every pitch in a baseball game, you wouldnt hear anything about the game. The fact is that the ideas have smoothly evolved and ramped up on Rita since last week. Philippe fooled me, and not in the manner of Ophelia where there was one blunder but the overall idea of development then carolina hit, though late, worked. But Rita, I think its a matter of honing in and I think we have been ahead on the intensity and have adjusted the path to where I am comfortable now..

not too comfortable, but enough for now

ciao for now ****
What did Jeb say?
Im thinking about 2pm as the peak time....so if im there by 6am, I will be okay.....the good action should be in a 4 hour window......10am thru 2pm......its 6 hours or so to get there......
would love to fsu but i am way up here in va. sorry man but i am hurting lol. just like u last week
Flamingo is on the southern tip of florida....
hooked sounds like what i said huh lol

jeb said a strong cat2 will be affecting the keys and stuff like that. wasn't watching to closely but her was telling people to get out and stuff
convection has fully wrapped around the South side now. Rita should be intesifying any time now. Rita is MUCH larger than she was about 8 hours ago.

no lefty....im thinking just to call you with location on radar echos and stuff.....are you going to be watching from home.....I can call you and ask where rita is and if she turns north i would need to know.....
ok so thats in Everglades national park wouldn't they close that?
Gotta love Joe B..
lefty, right on the money, Joe B. is the man..
If I go...Im driving till I run out of land........
Damn, I'm not discounting the NHC, I'm not saying they are idiots, I'm not saying anything derrogatory toward them!!! I am just wondering why they keep hem-hawing around with 4mph??
I'm in Katy wx we should get some decent winds out of this..
Once that convection closes on her SE side watch out - it's gonna blow
yeah fsu yeah thats cool. sorry bout the missunderstanding.u know i want to be there lol.

if u decide to go i will give umy number

just like i did with ophelia, drive as far south as you can. we were lucky to get to hatteras island and it was worth it
GFS is now showing new development 7 days out in Bahamas..
She is def moving WNW to NW now - got the Keys in her crosshairs for sure.
i know wx but its policy. u need the winds to reach 74 befor they can do it. trust me they want to upgrade her as well just to get that part over. it will happen soon enough
wx, because that is the speed of highest probability. Even at 0 hour there is uncertainty as too the strngth, could be 65mph could be 75 mph.
Hope there aren't any Cuban refugees trying to make it to Florida in a modofied 78 Chevy Pickup/Boat tonight.

"And of course that brings me to my idea that changes are occuring next week that will put and end to the pattern we have been in much of the summer, but I will jump off that bridge later." Joe Bastardi, 9-19-05
Anyone want to throw an opinion out on the meaning of this?

hey fsu there is a camp there you can pitch a tent over night lol.
Lefty....what time are you seeing as the window for rita...im looking at about 10am thru 2 pm.......
Is the Bahamas development related to AL972005?
i can not i agree with bastardi. i am feeling sick. but he sees what the gfdl is telling me. this thing can blow and blow quick
I think the center of the storm is further north than anticipated? Link

Don't forget to turn on the forecast points
yeah thats about right fsu

my last post should say i can not belive i agree with bastardi
Hooked I do not see what you are talking about.
Fellow Houstonite, I would do as others suggest here. Don't wait. There are not enough Home Depot's in this town. We've been waiting for this since Alicia and it's looking more like it will happen. With any luck or by the Grace of God, it will stay south (doubtful) and just be a rain event of <= 15in. Wednesday will be the determining point for our fair metro area.
Hey TIM....no way baby....were headed down sometime tonight, take turns sleeping and hopefully be there by morning....not sure when we will leave.....hang out until 3 or 4pm(when the good stuff leaves) then come back.....its a good 5 to 6 hour drive........not to bad
If you look at the forecast points, I believe the eye is forming north of the blast of convection to the south.. will see on the next 2 or 3 frames.
slightly off topic, whats the best (cheap) raingear for hurricane force winds? I've tried a poncho without success ( too loose, wind flaps it around like crazy)
thats right fsu. i drove 4+ hrs dfown to obx hung out for the good stuff, or best i could get lol, than drove home later that day. i love ur plan and i was in florida i be there with u. i be honared to b ur eyes on track, strength and radar
Try a wet suit..
Hey Lefty im going to your site to leave my email.....email me and then Ill give you my cell....
duuno just go to a outdoor adventure kind of store and look around. u should find something with pants and a top thats not to much. just like u see them wearing on tv but i laos say a pair of windbreaker pants and top is good too. but yes get pants casue i wore shorts as i forgot my wind breaker pants and top and the sand tore my legs up. hurt like hell
Hi...this is my first post though i have been reading here for about one month and i enjoy all of the comments. They are all interseting. I am in sw miami dade and i am wondering of we should be putting our shutters up or not? also, if someone could tell me if i am correct in that the center is at about 24 north according to this sat. image
if not where is it ???
i ahv updated my blog
wow rita is growing huge
Bob Breck says the stronger the storm gets and the faster it goes, the more west the landfall, so, with the speed up to 14mph and the steady strengthening, maybe today's eastern model shifts were too drastic (as shown in the big western jump of the gdfl in the latest run).

We here in Terrebonne Parish are still more than a little jittery though. Today's earlier gdfl over Morgan City got us on alert reeeal quick.
weatherboy i will just send u my phone numebr to ur wu e-mail and u replay back with ur cell
23.5 N
Posted By: aquak9 at 10:15 PM GMT on September 19, 2005.
"And of course that brings me to my idea that changes are occuring next week that will put and end to the pattern we have been in much of the summer, but I will jump off that bridge later." Joe Bastardi, 9-19-05
Anyone want to throw an opinion out on the meaning of this?

I can only hope he jumps.
Seriously.....I'm not saying he's right or wrong.....I don't have the meteoroligical training to say. But from reading his predictions from last year he's probably wrong....at least he was for every storm last year.
His certainty annoys me more than some on this board. The bottom line is nobody knows for sure. I do know that I actually get a little nauseous reading his words.
558. wpb05
i disagree...i think if anything the center is slightly below that forecast point..not to the north of it......she is increasing in civerage area, but the deep convection seems to be dissiapting at the moment
fsu i sent my number to ur wu e-mail. look up at the top it should say u got mail. i will e-mail it to ur other e-mail as well
HA!! the latest Titan run of T.S. Rita now shows her coming into the gulf and turning alot more morthward near pensacola..... for those of you who dont know what the titan models is. It is a local news channel 28 out of Tampa,FL radar model that has nailed every hurricane track this year! It showed katrina dipping south into the keys whick it did.While the NHC had it going straight across S. FL! like I said dont be surprised if she turns up the west coast of FL!!
Why would MSNBC and FOXNEWS use Bastardi if he is wrong all the time?? Cosmic, he has called this storm for 9 days, he admits when he is wrong, and tracks results.. He is darn good at what he does, and someone without the knowledge shouldn't discount a hurricane expert

Originally from Galveston, lived in Beaumont a few years, live in Baytown now.
DARKABYSS.....No one here knows well enough to advise you on that one. I do advise you to watch BRIAN NORCROSS on channel 4. He did advise putting up shutters in southern Dade.
564. amd
this storm continues to be just a little bit overhyped. The pressure has not decreased rapidly yet, and it is at 994 mb. I do think this storm will strengthen rapidly at some point, but it hasn't happened yet.

with the pressure of 994 mb, and flight winds of 62 kt, it seems that the surface winds are 65 mph at best.

combine that with the decreasing thunderstorms around the center, and the large circulation, which is probably being affected by cuba at some level, and it's very possible that there will be only a minimal cat 1 at best, around key west.

hurricanwayne, if you look at the water vapor, there is just nothing there to turn her north, not for 3 or 4 days...
is there a better site for sat images than than the NHC? One that updates quicker
amd its not forcasted to blow up by the gfdl till tonight. thats what i am calling for so u say minimal cat 1 i say cat3 we wil see
wayne, i think your titan is out to lunch bud...
We have been off and on watching him all day. We have a copule large windows and so we are planning to put those up and we brought all of our patio furniture in. the rest of the shutters are on standby just in case butit takes about 12 hrs to put them all up. Thankyou for your speedy response.
Lets put our official amatuer-non-expert type opinions for Rita on paper..
573. wpb05
I predict Cat 2 for keys, and Cat. 3 landfall in Lake Charles
574. amd
we'll see lefty, but i think the large circulation of rita will be a hindrance to rapid intensification until it gets away from the florida straits.

After that however, the rapid intensification will definitely happen, and i am fearful of the final landfall intensity of Rita, either near galvenston (sp?) or near morgan city, louisiana.
Hooked....I have no idea why some TV channels use his thoughts. But, there's plenty of people on FOX, MSNBC, and CNN that I agree with and disagree with.
I readily admit that I have no meteorolical training. I would advise that you spend an hour looking at his predictions from last year. That's what I did before I posted anything about him. It's only fair. And it's an eye-opener to look back. His bold bravado Limbaugh-esque predictions were pathetic. And keep in mind that they are edited by him after the fact. And they're still lousy.
Hi, Im a newbee!
Hooked I have to tell you last yr the titan forcasted that Charley would go to punta gorda and it did. i hope hope hope its not true for this storm. To manyy people here with blue tarps and in fema trailers!
Saturday Landfall 2AM
Lafayette, LA
935MB rising at landfall
130MPH Winds
60m from center Hurricane
120M from center tropical storm

I am far from an expert please do not take this under advisement
Lefty....I did and i just called you.....and we are leaving, just dont know what time yet...
from the looks of the link I posted, Rita should go into Mexico. So how did the models shift earlier unless she will pass on the right side of the high? That isn't supposed to happen right?
My prediction:

Keys: 115 MPH and rising
961 MB and falling

Landfall #2:
A steady 140 MPH
A steady or slightly rising 938 MB.
Galveston, TX
583. wpb05

i believe the belief is that high will begin pulling ene after a couple days, thereby allowing her to follow the left side into Tex/LA
The high is pulling west from the looks of things.
As I said last night:

Cat 3 Keys
Cat 4 open water
Cat 3 Texas, Loisianna border
Hunkered down in Key West with the shutters up and the plants inside, it seems very calm. May it always be so. I have a wonderful photo of the grotto from yesterday, but don't know how to post it here.
lefty..i was puttin up shutters...wat is the latest...the direction looks to be alot more wnw then earlier but that may be b/c of the thunderstorms wrapping around to the north...norcross is talking of a possible middle keys landfall..wat dou think...wat is the latest?

just had a band of rain that lastest for about 5 minutes and had some gusts up to 30-35
Is Ray Nagin the most clueless mayor in America?
In light of wxwatchers comment, I'll make my prediction now.

Key west will get a weak cat 2 storm, Ritas size becoming a hindrance to strengthening tonight.

On final landfall, I'm going to go out on a limb and buck the models a bit. Based on the size of that 5 day cone, I think we'll see a strong category 3 landfall in eastern Oklahoma - skipping clean over and sparing Texas. I only hope the OK office of emergency management is making the appropriate preparation in the event that my (admittedly low likelihood) prediction is correct.

Long live the contrarians.
Blanco is the clueless one
johnsonwax what if the whole mess just teleports itself to Minnesota's Detroit Lakes - there would be some surprised walley
Mayor - not Governor -
Cat. 2 just south of the Keys
strong 3 in the central Gulf
borderline 2/3 anywhere east of the Sabine
594. Manny
You guys still think the storm is following the NHC track? Because I'm still saying it is south.
fingers crossed on the anywhere east of the Sabine part............sorry, neighbors.
many she is right inline. looks good on a heywest landfall
so what, she's still clueless...lets talk about this storm, La politics could have a whole new internet of blogs devoted to it
fsu - unless you're a keys native - they most likly will stop u at florida city - 125 mi from KW. Think it out - there is one way in and one way out (if you want to keep your car with you). Just between KW and the 7 mi bridge (45mi north of KW) there are 7-8 smaller bridges - take a look at what Kat and several other recent canes have done to over sea bridges. If you want to see cane force wind/sea - pick somewhere with more escape routes.

my blog was updated 1/2 an hour ago
new recon be out shortly
Manny look at this water vapor image Link looks like she could go into mexico
hey, i get to guess, too!
just south of key west as a low cat 1
between galveston and sabine pass having dropped from a high 3 to a low one or a high 2
but what do i know i'm a Dolphins fan
At least you have Nick Saban
fredbeagle, no no no - you are so wrong. How could you believe that! That is the worst guess I have ever seen! Sorry - just trying to get in the spirit of the flame wars LOL
latest gfs shows landfall between galveston and the la border like it did in its last 2 runs

Yeah, I was convinced that Katrina would make landfall in the Billings, Montana area, and see how far off I was on that. And that's the value of wxwatchers comment - Billings wasn't in the 5 day cone, just as Detroit isn't today. You gotta use your head, man.
wannabe no offense taken- i feel like a part of the gang now!
608. wpb05
anyone have a link to the model showing development in the bahamas in 7 days?? i think it was the gfs or gfdl
when should the recon data come in
Here's my prognostication.

Cudjoe Key landfall ( 23 miles NE of Key West ) Cat1+85 mph
Corpus Christi, TX Strong Cat 2 110 MPH

Good luck to all in Margaritaville!!
I've been liking the GFS so far and assuming lefty wouldn't lie to us, it's taking the path I think it will. I'm thinking just a little north of Houston to about the state line for this one.

So my infallible (by this I mean, don't listen to a word I'm saying) prediction:

Slightly south of Key West with winds of 85-125 mph (I like the higher end). Then a little north of Houston with winds around 130 mph.
some time in the next hour, miami
Hey dude...im not leaving the florida penisula....im not getting on no bridges....heck no....im going down to the farthest i can get, just below homestead.....florida city area....ive been to key west but not the state park area where flamingo is .......so we will see ......Im not going on no bridge...........
I saw a post where someone said some convection was forming NW of the center, they predicted a Miami dade landfall. How does this plan out? Post was somewhere in this rather lengthy thread.
new recon. presure down and winds speeds up

URNT12 KNHC 192311
A. 19/23:02:20Z
B. 22 deg 56 min N
076 deg 51 min W
C. 850 mb 1385 m
D. NA kt
E. NA deg nm
F. 303 deg 067 kt
G. 217 deg 016 nm
H. 993 mb
I. 14 C/ 1524 m
J. 21 C/ 1525 m
K. 19 C/ NA
N. 12345/ 8
O. 0.02 / 6 nm
P. AF302 0518A RITA OB 24
MAX FL WIND 67 KT SW QUAD 22:57:20 Z

thanx lefty...is that a wnw to nw jog in the last few frames of the ir loop
617. wpb05
no...no miami dade landfall
the center seems way to far to the south
Ed Rappaport (NHC) Just said that he thinks the center could me moving a little s. of due west. Good news for the time being!
also slight wobble sw but not much
Sorry fsu, - enjoy the drive - atleast the tnpk tolls should be $0.00 g
So the high will move back east and pull her up around Galveston? I thought there was a high moving down from the north behind this front that was suposed to build west. The one over texas looks like its going to stick there and a weekness will form over south central LA or I may be a complete idiot.
623. amd
first landfall:

80 mph - key west, florida: pressure: 986 mb

second landfall:

140-145 mph morgan city, louisiana. pressure: 932 mb. Slightly rising from its low point of 922 mb.

Has anyone seen the GFDL that brings Rita through the Keys as a borderline cat. 4/cat. 5? I mailed Dr. Masters and asked him to either comment about it in the next post or to mail me back about it, in which case I will share the information with you unless he doesn't want me to.
I just hope the rapid intensification that probably will happen waits until it is past the Keys. Everyone seems to be focusing too much on the mainland landfall. Lets worry about the Keys 1st. That area could be in real trouble, which is not getting as much airplay as it should.
626. wpb05
now it will be a cane at the 8 pm advisory....75 or 80 mph winds
I got lefty's phone number and will be leaving here shortly........and will be checking in with him...........im thinking that the storm could get there quicker.....
what are you talking about a wobble SW lefty?
according to the last recon it has taken a huge dip to the southwest...i do not see it on the loop

Whats your prediction for windspeed & pressure at the 7:00PM EST update?

PS. I enjoy your analysis very much!
last 2 recon fixes shows a wobbleto the south just a abit
The storm has taken a little shift/wobble just to the south of due west. It may just be for the time being. However, if the center is reforming here it COULD suggest a track slightly to the left. Will have to wait though.
634. wpb05
it is NOT a huge dip to the southwest miami...don't exaggerate...it is a slight WOBBLE to the SW
635. SEFL
Looking at Bahamas radar, it looks like Rita might engage the north shore of Cuba...it does seem to be moving a little south of west.
miami it was not that big of a dip. and most likely a wobble. we will se with the next reon fix
the wobble would be great news for SE Florida if it holds...
ALRIGHT LEFTY....Im not going to drive 6 hours for nothing am I????
Evening All... Boy, the envelope of Rita seems HUGE. This storm could affect a
very large area upon landfall in the Gulf.
992-993 mb 75 mph caane at 8pm est but i need to see the next recon pass as the first was into the se and the ne quadrant could have alot higher winds
darkabyuss...I doubt you would have enough time to board up now.. we decided to board up, only takes us an hour though, I'm in Ft Lauderdale... good luck, be safe
Yes it would but don't count on it yet. Way to soon to tell. But stay tuned.
darn it might tear up some more production platforms that is horrible !
lol fsu it is just a wobble. when u leaving casue by than u should know for sure
Thanks Lefty!
Wobble to the south is probably center going through a rapid intensification phase and t-storms wrapping around center.
alright...im going home....around 9:30pm, its a 6 hour drive....I will call you or you call me........
i don't see the wobble...i am probably not lookig at the center. in my opinion it is right over the big island in the bahamas but i am probably wrong if anything it looks to be about 290 to 295 movement to me
correct me if i am wrong though
okay she ha sstarted to foiny explode. look at the cold cloud tops in the latest ir images. coldest we have seen all day. pressure down 2 mb in 2 hrs. here she goes
GR, that was my read on the S-jog as well.
anyone local (Miami) have the cbs radio station frequency? the power is reported to already be out in some areas of Homestead. I just want to make sure my radio is set on the right channel. thanks......
sefl, do you have a link to the bahamas radar?
fsu call me befor u leave and i will give u a go no go inmy opinion
You're wrong. Moving west currently. Latest report indicates a possible southern componenet.
Get real-not true neccesarily-recon data does not support this yet.
655. wpb05
i agree lefty..last frame shows the beginning of an explosion..look at those tops!!!
It's hitting the Gulf Stream, things are going to get nasty. :(
yes the new 18z run of the gfs seems to be inline with the previous run, right on the la/tex border. this is a slight adjustment to the east but not much of one. i believe that it will be a la/tex hit myself.
Link please to these exploding cloud tops?
Latest recon indicates a slight south of west movement; perhaps this is one of the proverbial 'wobbles' in the track. My latest thinking is only a brush with a moderate CAT 2 storm with the southern most tip of the Florida Keys. While the center of the storm is exhibiting some erratic motions, the entire storm itself is moving in a slightly north of west motion -- arguably due west when taking extrapolation into account.

The infamous ridge is currently centered over Texas (and it is hotter than hell here) and should begin a slow propagation to the east by the end of the week. I'm not going to go out on a limb and predict where in TX Rita will show her ugly face until she becomes the 800lb gorilla in the Gulf. For now, it's not impossible (in fact looking likely) that the Florida Keys will dodge a direct hit; although winds of hurricane force, torrential rainfall, and moderate storm surge will batter the islands...

I concur that Rita should be a hurricane in 30 min...
660. Manny
Lefty, so now its Wobbling to the sw? Hmmm
yv, 2mb drop in less than 2 hrs, the cenetr temp diffrence increased 3 degrees in less than 2 hrs and the ir imagery shows a blowup of deep convection right at the center
hey, I started a blog for predictions
I will try to run a new blog every evening until landfall and we can see how accurate we are..
663. cjnew
hey. little off- topic but kinda isnt...
If there is a big strong high over me...or say the pressure is 1017mb ...should there be any pop up thunderstorms??
664. wpb05
665. SEFL
Of course it is hard to tell from radar, but the Bahamas radar seems to show the center of the circulation just south of Andros Island.
Dr. Steve Lyons stated that she was under "extreme" intensification
yes manny. cyclones wobble. i am sorry u don't know that but i state what i see and have as data. befor when u guys were calling a south wobble it wasn't there. now i ma telling u a slight wobble to the south and we should se a northen wobble back in the next recon. relax boy
Alright I'm on board with intensification after seeing last couple of images. But new GFDL just came out and has shifted a LITTLE to the left
WHO has the bahamas radar link?
When did Dr lyons make that statement?
671. SEFL
Mirrored site for Bahamas radar

If its going to go anywhere I hope it goes into cameron parish not much there unlike galveston where people can die they have a homeless problem same with houston
maybe tv we will see.

caneman he was on within the past 45 minutes.. He was talking about the -7 cloudtops
Is there an eye showing up on this image or is it just me (look in the middle of the dark red blob):

Okay latest "wobble" was just a "wobble" 8 PM says wnw 13.
But keep in mind any wobble can make or break a forecast especially for a small area such as the keys.
677. cjnew
hey. little off- topic but kinda isnt...
If there is a big strong high over me...or say the pressure is 1017mb ...should there be any pop up thunderstorms??
sorry for re- post
wanted to add that maybe that high isnt over me yet.
but pressure is 1017 and it rained today.. just wondering abou things..lol
still a TS @ 8:00
still a tropical storm as of 8:00pm advisory...and a wobble to the west but movement is still wnw
Dr. Lyons I'm sure is a great hurricane forecaster (of course can't compare with the late John Hope) but there is something about him that I can not stand.... Sorry, I don't mean to sound mean, but..
Is there an eye showing up on this image or is it just me (look in the middle of the dark red blob):

Dunno. I think ........well I am not sure what it is.
Any predictions on what the seas will be ?
hey tx, where you get the latest gfdl?
wx i canlt stand him either lol
All models have shifted back west..
That's NOT an eye as it's not even really near the center -- I think it's just one extremely cold cloud top.
It comes of a feed at work
I think Dr. Lyons is a shmuck..He is wrong often on many storms 24 hours out...
Easy now Buoyking, there may not be alot in Cameron Parish, but here in Calcasieu (next parish up from Cameron Parish) there are quite a few refineries...not as much as Galveston/Houston...but it's not like it's a desolate no man's land...well, maybe Cameron is.
Yeah, Lefty, there is now an explosion of VERY intense convection right over the center and steady strengthening should continue for much of the night. The southwest jog of the center may have just been the new convective burst pulling the center under it. I guess we'll find out overnight whether it is just a temporary jog or real long term motion.
Cloud tops can not get much colder than what we are witnessing right now.
Can someone post the link(s) for these models?
693. wpb05
i can't believe it is still a TS...the se winds supported a cane
The cap is about to come off the top of Rita...Key West is gonna wake up tomorrow morning to a Category 2 or 3 hurricane coming right down their throats.
I agree with the cold cloud tops and them exploding but recon isn't really supporting this. I wonder if N. Cuba is having an effect.
Just as Bastardi predicted, Steve.
TV, since the eye is well over water, Cuba won't have any negative effect.
699. amd
the large circulation is being affected by north and central cuba. It is why very large thunderstorm develop, but cannot stay wrapped around the center. That's also why I think there will be moderate intensification at best until it passes the keys.

After that however, the explosive intensification will begin in earnest.

Also, if the storm doesn't quickly get back on its 280 to 285 track, then the storm may be inhibited more by the cuban land mass.
Thank you, hooked.
Most of the lower Keys can't handle a Cat-3, even a Cat-2 will cause alot of damage!
amd, how are discerning the center of the storm? In 5 or 6 hours we will have it on radar, until then, I think we are guessing.
703. wpb05
CUBA WILL NOT AFFECT RITA!!!!!!!!....there I got that off my chest.......
Amd, aswell as the center of circulation stays over water, there is no way a land mass ( Cuba) can have an effect.
705. amd
the radar will tell the true story. I am an amateur just like everyone else on this board. However, when there is 85-90 degree water, and little shear, something else must be going on to stop rapid intensification.

I personally think it is too close to cuba right now.

amd, she is bombing out. eve the nhc forcast rapis tregthening. why do u think u knowmore than the experts. i call for a cat 3 and thats only a few mph above the forcast strength
I know everyone is watching Rita but Phillipe looks like he's exploding too.
don't forget to go to my blog and post your predictions tonight, so we can track results here, and we can learn from them.

Robert Forsman this is where you can get models runs. This is what most of us useLink
710. SEFL
If it continues in the apparent direction it has been going for the last hour and one-half, the center of circulation will contact the north shore of cuba
Phillipe can go suck air!
i am not going to get into this with u guys again. nhc motion is wnw she will move well north of cuba. the cenetr will wobble. she is no exploding which i have said she will do for days. sit back and watch
713. amd
maybe your right lefty. But, i just don't see the rapid strengthening occuring, yet.

of course, by this time tomorrow, i unfortunaly maybe eating a whole lot of crow.
Cuba is having zero effect on Rita. The entire core of the storm is over open water and the very intense convection is finally wrapping itself around the center. If you match up the latest recon/NHC fix with the latest satellite image, the center is directly under the middle of the huge convective blowup.
The center seems to have relocated directly under the center of the most intense convection that we've seen from Rita yet. I am concerned that this could pull an Andrew and be a cat. 4 when it hits the Keys if this continues. I will be updating my blog a little later with my complete thoughts (they have changed a little bit with this unbelievable burst of convection.

I think you better put that Crow in a "slow cooker", cause YOU WILL BE WRONG TOMMORROW!
good night, don't forget to post you predictions on my blog.. we will seperate the lucky from the unlucky...
amd, 2mb drop in less than 2 hrs. temp differenc insode and out o the cenetr 3 degree increase in less tha 2 hrs and the impoved deep convecion over the core. all signs of deep intensification. u need to look at all the data and under stand what ur seeing.
719. SEFL
Take a deep deep breath Leftyy, you aren't the only one in the room with an opinion or observation to share.
sefl, i only stated the facts. now if u guys see something that is wrong in my facts let me know

amd what is ur def of deep intensification?
Where is Cantori hanging out for Rita? I think he should go live from the 7-mile bridge for this one!
I'd llike to invite folks to my blog.....what little there is of it. Please come by with some comments and insight to tropical weather.
i will be getting off at around 9pm for a bit. i will be on and off. the redskins game is at 9 so iwill be watching that
724. SEFL
I haven't said a thing about your facts. I have shared some observations I've made. You have a bad habit of attacking people who don't share your views.
wow every new imgae shows more deep convection. she is loooking pretty
The Saints aren't doing much to cheer us up.
no sefl, i have a habit of attacking people who ignore the facts or only see the facts to support there views. that i can not stand. u must look at all the facts and data and stop being blind. thats my point
728. amd
lefty, i see rapid intensification as a prolonged period of at least 4-6 hours of a drop in pressure of 1-2 mb per hour, if not more, with a rapid increase in winds.

For instance, katrina rapidly intensified twice, from 75 to 100 mph on friday, and then intensified from 115 to 175 mph early sunday morning.

Or Opal, which went from a category 2 hurricane with 950 mb pressure to a strong category 4 with a pressure of 916 mb in a span of a few hours.

Or charley, which rapidly intensified in a 4 hour period, from 105-110 mph to 150 mph.

i think that will definitely happen with rita, but i'm not sure if it will happen until it clears key west.

lefty thanks for your comments and putting up with all our questions......
ok amd check back in 4-6 hrs
its cool. i only love football more than weather lol
733. amd
lol lefty, i will.
Any recent statements from Bastardi?
here she comes.....radar link
Robert did the site help you any. As I see you did not get what you wanted.
also amd, ur calling it after the fact. i ma calling that it is starting based on all the data avilible. even stev lyons from the weather channel said we are now experiencing deep intensification. now when its over in 6-12 hrs u will see the effects but when u have deeop convection over the cenetr and a 2mb drop in prerssure in less than 2 hrs the increase in the temp differental and with the sst and improved enviroment its safe to say deep intensification is underway
Ah leftyy, I see you're back to your old habits.

SEFL, don't take it personally .Leftyy just happens to love it when these storms intensify and threaten land. Gives him some sort of high I suppose. Therefore, if you suggest that the storm may not in fact be currently rapidly intensifying, it pisses him off and he attacks you. Go figure.
Lefty - lurker here and love your show. I plan to stay up all night and watch Rita "explode" - which satellite loop is the best to observe this?
naples i use the nhc floater. here is the link

lol yeah squam. so forcasting what will haooen is wroing. i donl;t argue anything to the fact in fact i posted the recon when the pressure went up a couple of hours ago, as well as state there was a south wobble. but i gues ofrcasting and being right makes me a sick so be it
Thx Lefty - that is the one I always watch - but which one is more meaningful, the visible, infrared, water vapor or Dvorak or all?
I have to agree with AMD's definition of rapid intensification. The convection is rapidly increasing over the center, but in my book the steady shedding of millibars will have to continue for a couple more recon reports before it qualifies as rapid intensification. I do not, however, think it will have to wait til it is west of Key West before rapid intensification occurs.
Yes, Ray. I'm still trying to figure it all out, but it's very interesting. Thank you. The storm track history is very interesting. Looks like my hometown of Pascagoula has been blasted many times in the last century and a half.
Lefty, I don't accuse you of not posting facts. I accuse you of attacking those who suggest the possibility that the situation may be different thean you say, i.e rapid intensification.
ir is ur best as ur a novice and visible is good during the day. if u scroll down there are tons of links. click them and play around. u might find betetr images u would perfer more
squam i attack people who ignore facts and pick and choose what they want to see

yeah hawk thats why the next recon will tell the story
748. cjnew
WELL!!! would you look at that!!! up therein the far--- far top right hand corner of the screen. is that a chat room link i see??? hhhmmmmm.... that seems like it would be quite useful wow!
cj the chatroom sucks and till tis tweaked i won;t go in there. plus with all the windows i have open it slow my computer down alot. so thanks but no thanks
Sup Lefty and all. Been outta the loop for awhile........are we looking at a Houston-Beaumont hit on this one?


This eye if it were to go due west from here would pass through the florida straits, This looks like a direct impact and hit on the keys. The last frames you can see the eyewall forming... you have to take into consideration that this is pretty far north already. We are in for a week of stress.
Well I think we all know that Rita is revving up and wil continue to do so through the night.

As far a Philippe is concerned, soon he will be entering an wicked sheer environment which should slow his intensification.

This begs the question: will a weaker Philippe be able to punch through the forecasted weakness in the subtropical ridge to his north, especially if he does't get there as fast as predicted?
Greetings! I have been following this blog since prior to Katrina and have been getting to know you all. Finally decided to join the fracus (sp?). Was wondering Lefty what you thought of the latest gfdl which if I'm reading correctly shows a Cat 4 just prior to hitting KW.
What's with that southward hook TWC just showed?
ps not even looking oast the keys yet. i say what evr the nhc says for second landfall is as good as i can do right now

will, i doubt it. i think he is a fuish storm no matter what but time will tell
756. cjnew
i see
sw a wobble. no biggy the wobble all the time. motion is still wnw

yeah thats why i have been calling for a cat 3 over the keys. she could be stronger but i doubt it. the gfdl is just a little to agressive
cj i tried it for a couple days and it was so caotic and my comp was so slow so i was like screw it.
How does and will Rita compare to Katrina in size/coverage/windfield
sw to earlyto tell but she will be a large cirulation but i don't think we will seeanything like katrina forsometime. atleast i hope not.

well skins game is about to come on soi will be in and put but don't have to much fun with put me

PLEASE STOP THE BICKERING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yep I think so too lefty, he is probably a fish storm, yet I feel uneasy about relying on Philippe to punch his way through a weakness that may not materialze to it's forecasted level. That, combined with a storm that may not act just as predicted.

The main reason I bring it up is because if all does not go to plan then it seems that Philippe will be heading NW and then W west in three to four days. West is not a good direction.
don't forget to post your predictions for the hurricane on my blog.. This way you can test your theory agains lefty and not confuse folks on the post STORMTOP, Squak, etc..
This damn storm is going to keep me up nights just like katrina did. I think i called Katrina pretty good the Saturday before landfall. So I will wait until wednesday to make any predictions. Folks, these storms seem to have a mind of their own. No matter how much science or knowledge you throw at them they still are VERY unpredictable. Make your educated guesses and have fun with it, but in reality this storm could impact the western florida panhandle or the Texas gulf coast, it is anyones guess. And I mean it when I say GUESS!!
rays what do u think ur all caps staement does to help the situation huh? ur no betetr than us now , so let it go as it had already stopped

YOu can see her eye wall, definite wnw movement and look at the blow up tstorms on the western side...
yeah will

hookedmaybe later as most know my predictions. cat 3 over the keys after that i will makemy next prediction on landfall 2
i hav updated my blog
I think in about 30 minutes we'll be able to see the "eye" on Miami Long range radar.
Biloxi, how did you make out with the Kat...all family ok?

You are over reacting, really no bickering going on. I think whay you are trying to do is start some bickering. Go elsewhere if that is what you want
good update turtle...i hope we do not lose power....
Hooked, we did alright. Family safe and sound in Austin Texas I am back here in Biloxi. Some damage but not near as bad as some folk a block away. I Thank God for that, some really impossible stuff happened that you wouldn't believe if I told you.
all right skins game time cathc u guys when the next recon comes out in about 30 mins to and hr
hooked, lmao you called me squak. Sounds like a good name.
Not a god fearing man, but after Katrina I am glad there was divine intervention for some folks there. Good news it looks like Rita will be west of you.

No chance the Keys do not get a piece of this eyewall.. hope everyone there has batten down the hatches.
My sister lives in Ocean Springs MS and she claimed the storm surge stopped in her front yard. I believe she is 1 1/2 miles from the ocean. Her home did okay.
All I can say is that if La., or Ms., get just tropical storm force winds, it's going to be bad.... Trees that didn't fall before will, so will large limbs, tons of folks have just plastic sheets over their roofs to keep the rain out ect...

Thanks Lefty and Stormtops for the katrina warning..I got out of Magee and went to Pearl, and it saved my car...
Squam, done intentionally with no harm intended..
Teddy, the surge stopped at the bottom of my doors. 50 yds away homes where flooded 200yds away cars were floating.
My sister's house on Beach Blvd. in Pascagoula didn't do so well. All that was left was the slab.
BiloxiMike, WOW I cannot imagine going through that. Glad you are okay and I can only imagine the stories you have to tell.
I have updated my blog
I drove hwy 90 from gulfport to Biloxi and it is totally unrecognizable. Like a dozer came in ang wrecked everything. I mean EVERYTHING
Geez!!! First you might try stopping with the super big graphics!
788. tessa
Does anyone know how to get in the chatroom? I've downloaded the flash player and all I get is connecting to server. My computer won't even ping. I've put in my nick, password, click the button....nothing. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Hi Willjax, I know everyone is watching Rita but here in N. Fla I am worried about Phillipe, I know nothing about predicting to weather but I won't be happy untill he goes up, up and away in the trough.

I'm reading when you are talking about him!
Looks like the death toll for Katrina is about to break 1000.
what is up all so when could this be a hurrican and where is it going from her and THEMUFFINMAN be cool ok
Never thought I'd see a deathtoll of 1000+ from a hurricane in modern day USA.
Thanks for the reminder. We get so intrigued by wobbles, shear, ridges, lows, highs, etc. It's easy to forget that there are people - dads, moms, grandparents, and kids - who are deeply affected by these storms.
I have just updated my blog. Check it out and tell me what you think.
Where did you hear that the death toll is about to break 1000? The last i heard today it was at 750 or so.
796. tessa
SWLAStorm, are you close to Starks?
Funny thing though; I have trouble finding news on the death toll from domestic sources. I've had to rely on Chinese and Indian sites to stay updated on it.
Thunder, here is the linkLink
i,ve tried to get in there for days i finnally gave up besides everybody is on here
800. tessa
Thanks salter! I was beginning to think something was wrong with my computer.
Let me try this again. Here is the link on the Katrina death toll

Thanks Rob
I think they are trying to hide the actual death toll from Katrina. I have talked to many peaple directly involved with the rescue effort to believe 700 or 800 dead. My educated guess is over 2000.
CybrTeddy, I sent you a message
Over the weekend, I learned that there are still over 2000 children missing. That's hard to imagine.
There sure are a lot of places parroting the "deaths far less than thought" storyline.
Is it just me or from the sat. images, is Rita intensifying?? What are your thoughts??
one thing I am sick of hearing, "Where's my FEMA MONEY, where's my FEMA MONEY!"
Can you imagine if Katrina had tracked 40 miles to the west of where it did? How much worse would things in New Orleans have been?
810. tessa
Lastest wv looks to show that Rita is getting more symmetrical and getting her act together.
i think kat. has knocked this country one step back for awhile its still so hard to put it all in prospective
i dont know if i will ever be able too
Look at this image, the outflow is incredible.


This monster is really, REALLY exploding. I'm expecting a cat. 2 when the hurricane hunters get out there in about an hour.
Tessa,I'm in Lake Charles, about 25 miles as a crow flies...do you have relatives or friends there?
OK the lastest info on Katrina's death toll--typically they have been releasing the death toll around dinnertime each day, but there were no new updates over the weekend. Last night, at around 4 a.m., 67 more deaths in New Orleans were reported on AP, and then today at dinner time, they reported an additional 90 bodies found and counted today. So the Katrina death toll so far:

AL 2
FL 14
GA 2
KY 1
LA 736
MS 219
OH 2
TN 1

Total 977

rita is rapidly intensifying. she is headed towards a cat 3 as she smacks the keys
lol hurricane hunters already in there. been inthere for 3-4 hrs now. new recon be out soon
she looks the best yet and she is HUGE - if you are in the Keys get out
818. wpb05
yes...she is bombing out right now.....tops exploding...recon on its way right now
819. tedly
Stop the chat - 700+ posts to Dr. Jerry's posting? Go find yourselves some place to tell us the water stopped at your sister's steps. Rita is the concern now.
I'm certainly no expert -- in any way, BUT when I looked at this latest sat. image, I immediately noticed the amount of white in the image. It seemed to be really intensifying to me. Lefty, your thoughts --

If it had tracked farther west NO would have been a bad place to be! But you still had all those people unwilling to evac. I just can't believe the level of stupity in that town! what the hell would make you stay for a cat 5 hurricane! And the Mayor did nothing! and the governor did nothing! But still everyone blames Bush and Fema! what the hell are they thinking! They were failed by local and state leaders, not FEMA or the feds. Blanco and Nagin will walk away scatt free and bush will be burned at the stack.
Tedly, lmao good one.
One thing keeping the death toll down--deaths of evacuees, say in the superdome, from old people who died of thirst or stressed out/lac of medication, etc, are NOT being counted. Neither are people who died on the overpasses and freeways waiting for help.

Some deaths are questionable--the deaths in OH are from a traffic accident in blinding rain as the remains went through--same thing in TN. The Kentucky one counts for sure--a little girl playing by a creek fell in and was sucked into a long culvert and drowned.
she is blowing up like i predicted for some time. she will be a amjor cane and she will smack the keys hard
Ugh, why not take the talk over the politics of Katrina to the Katrinablog guys?
827. amd
looks like i may be eating some crow. This storm looks to have the outflow improving dramatically, and the strong storms are co-correlating at the center.

828. Manny
Lefty, if you're a fellow Skins fan I'll never say another bad thing about you. LOL!

The storm has been moving west, some of us saw it earlier, but at least now everyone sees it.
lefty...is she still moving wnw?
Guys, guys, a little referee action here. No matter what your political affiliation or belief (and we all have one), this really is a weather blog. Mixing politics and weather gets really sticky and uncomfortable -- I think we would all agree there is enough blame to go around to everyone. Enough said -- off my soap box now. Let's all try to keep to Rita. Thanks a bunch.
Okay back to Rita, this one has me scared again. I think it may be to much right now.
yeah man. can;t belive brunell got sacked.

as far as i know she is still moving wnw
anyone think I am hot?
I agree with Mike; BLANCO sucks. Nagin sucks too.
836. amd
when is the next recon statement for rita?
manny now thats the d i am talking about. d looking good on the second drive.
Ok their is an extremely intense burst of convection on the center,this could be the beginning of rapid intensification,loook at the radar,most convection is out of radar range but have strong enough echos to be detected.
I say Rita is a Cat 1 ~ 80 mph next recon w atleast a 4mb drop!
next recon out soon. within the next hr or so
Regarding the death toll in MS, it has remained constant for a week but there were 600 missing a week ago--and this week, still 600 missing. Where are those people? 3 weeks is starting to get late.
jed she has been rapidly intensifying for the past 3-4 hrs. where u been man lol
FSUstormnut I say 90 mph with 15 mb drop. I am so hot!
844. tessa
SWLAStorm, I have friends in Starks.
I'm kind of a "new kid on the block", but I'm still going to say it..."can't we all get along?"
lefty - Is that the same plane that did the SW quad - or a new one?
I wouldn't call it explosive, but there has definetly been a flare-up in convection over the past few hours...

Heading is still WNW...
omg manny. wtf was that
Is it me or does it look like Rita slowed down some?
I'm going out on a limb. 100 MPH. 982 MB.
belive its a new one. there will pretty much be a plane in the storm till she gets to the gulf lol
Good night folks, I got to get alittle sleep, back to the grind tomorrow. I am getting tired of cleaning up this MESS!!!!!!!!
wxwatcher maybe you are looking at a differnet IR loop than the rest of us - my entire screen is full of red where before it was just blue and gray. Am I color blind or just too good looking?
hi lefty how r u tonite bro??
i think winds at 115mph with a 960mb
hey stormhank
It won't be a cat 2. next recon.. there still not perfect eye!
8888889 is cantore rowing out in his boat to investigate!!!????
980 mb 85 mph. When hurricanes rapidly intensify, sometimes the strong winds first form above the ground and take time to mix town....but they will! 105 mph 968 mb at 5 am
85 mph, 986mb
It's amazing. He posts like an obsessed demon on and on and on and on...day after day after day........for any cloud that's spotted in the Atlantic basin.
Now, when a storm is on our doorstep, he's busy watching a football game. And when Katrina was making her most intense landfall....he took a nap!!
What a character!
St. Simons...I hope those 600 people are in shelters somewhere.
fsu while i feel it won;t be a cat2 u do not need a visible eye on ir or visible sat to be a strong cane. i have seen cat 3s with no viisble eye
no cantore is not rowing out in his boat he is back at twc at this time
wannabe, i dunno...but I am.
can anyone see the eye on a radar? I think I can but it is a lot further north than i thought it would be......i might be looking at the wrong area.....any thoughts?
I think some of us here are acutally cheering this storm on.....
Based on the rapid intensification I am increasing my forecast for landfall #1 to cat 4.
If this thing passes over KW at Cat 4, there's gonna be a lot of dead people, I'm afraid.
Lefty, I took it as flattery.
Lefty,, I saw a 18Z 360 hour GFS model run that showed a storm comin thru keys similiar to rita but turnin north and heading towards Fla. panhandle ? what u think??
Its all rich gay people on Key West maybe we wont have to suffer through weeks of celebrety telethons? Just kidding - if you are on the Keys EVACUATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously -- for the more experienced folks: Do you guys really think this could be CAT 4 for KW?? Could this thing really intensify that quickly?? Well, look at Charley -- probably a good example!
Huge burst of cold cloud tops....
New Orleans is in the cone.....
storm iu dunno what ur talking about. how far out was it. if it was more than 5 days i would not cary it as a actuall possibilty yet.
If NHC doesn't upgrade in the 10PM, I am literally going to go ape $hit!!! LOL.
Considering it will be cat 3 within 18 hours...hell yes!
fort the gfdl calls for a cat 4 but i think cat 3

In a word, yes.
Seriously, folks: Rita is a GRAVE concern to many, and this forum should NOT be muddied up with political discussion or namecalling. Plenty of room elsewhere on the Net for that.

My house was in St. Bernard, one of the hardest-hit areas, and flooded to its roof. I drove 534 miles to enter on my scheduled day (Wed) to retrieve the few items which wouldn't be affected by the water. Now, as I learned via this blog, St. Bernard is again closed just like New Orleans, due to Rita. Looks like I'll be driving back tomorrow before any possible Louisiana evacuation occurs.

Timely and accurate info on Rita is very important to me, and even more so to those in the Keys. Let's save the bandwidth for the benefit of those who need it.
At least we don't have to worry about Mayor Nagin ordering an evacuation this time :(
there will be a clearly defined eye with 2 hours.
887. Manny
The GFS has it coming into Texas. I don't know who said it said it was going to the panhandle of Florida, but that is absolutely incorrect.
Does anyone have any brilliant thoughts on AL972005's ability to grow and factors that would influence it's direction?Link
was a 18Z gfs lefty out like 10 days which as u say is probably like a grain of salt forecasts
So what's the odds that we'll see a Tropical Storm Alpha this year?
yeah stormhank. i wil chekc it out later. top busy watching the game but i willsee about it in a bit
894. Peff
You can see the eyewall on the Cuban Radar that timl2k5 posted earlier.

Cuba Radar

Thanks for the link tim!
GETREAL! The ridge that is going to influence the storm is still centered over East-Central Texas. It is progged to begin slowly moving to the East on Thursday while the Western perhiphery weakens, that is what will cause it to make the turn toward the middle TX coast... Um, I honestly have no idea what you are talking about in regards to something you are seeing weakening on the water vapor on Monday night....????
Then what after Omega? lol
Definite eye formation on Bahama radar:

I wouldn't take that bet Forsman! At this rate, we will make it to Gamma/ or Delta!
Hey all, so anything new going on? Up-date please!!
Hi Amorris! Same old same old...
: THEMUFFINMAN that will be all
Well, I didn't learn the Greek alphabet in high school...so here's my chance!
I say for sure wnw.....could this ride up the florida coastline on the west side alla Donna? This is a nice link..try it for a scary look
I just talked to my dad who lives just south of Houston. The local media there is on the ball right now; they're taking it very seriously. My mom, sis-in-law, and the grandkids are leaving on Thursday. He works at Lowe's; they're closing and evacuating on Friday.

He said their customers are really getting prepared. All the plywood sold out by noon today, and all the OSB by 6 PM. He said another truck's coming in the morning, but it won't last five minutes.

Only a couple customers have doubted it'll affect them, but he pointed out how close the past few tracks have been. Even if it's 100 miles off, a Cat 3 or 4 is still going to do some serious damage.

TheMuffinMan--you have NEVER made one contribution or good message on this board, you just put up silly graphics and pics. If you don't have something constructive to say, and you haven't once yet--either lurk or leave.
Lefty - I think Rita wants revenge.

After all, she went through her childhood being called "The Blob".

Then as she got a little older it got even worse as we called her "The Virgin Blob".

Can't blame her...

sorry here it is

909. IKE
Buhdog...your link doesn't work.....
For anyone else who is sitting here on the upper texas coast (15 miles inland), you might want to know that the closest, yet far enough inland, hotel I could find is in Waco.

All the Austin and San Antonio hotels are full of people from the New Orleans area. We're booked in Waco for Thursday- Sunday. I hope we have to cancel that reservation.
Actually I am hoping for Phillipe to make major hurricane status at some point so we can set all the records this year.

Most tropical storms and hurricanes 1933/21
Most hurricanes 1969/12
Most major hurricanes 1950/8
Thanks Doc,

As usual your broad consideration of all the issues disarms much of my fears. I pray it weakens and makes landfall somewhere deserted. Here in MS we have allot of jury rigged infrastructure and lots of folks down south living in tents. We just can't take another one right now and we really don't want anything greater than a gentle rain to abate the fire hazard. (We have huge amounts of fuel down and are facing a devastating forest fire season this winter.)

Glad to hear that Nagin has stopped the repopulation of NO. It is just too risky in Hurricane season with Hwy 11 and the East Interstate closed.

StSimonsIslandGAGuy this year will break them all - we don't need Phil.
so dos this have a eye yet? and how do you all think i been doing on her and i this would like to say is sorry for all of that i will try not to do that no more
on the bright side, if it did hit NOLA there isn't a lot left to destroy.
what is the name of that yakuza guy who is the real blog police?
We have 'only' had 4 majors this year, Rita will be 5 and hopefully Phillipe will be 6 as a fish storm.
I want to dispute the suggestion that there is a rush on supplies and shortages in Houston. I live in North Houston - People are buying battteries and such. Plenty of plywood for everyone (although I can't for the life of me wonder by people buying OSB and 3/8 inch plywood think its going to seriously protect their windows, especially while there is still plenty of 3/4 inch on the shelf. Interestingly nobody is touching it, their just buying 1/2.) They are out of generators, but Lowes and Home Depot are shipping in truckloads of stuff tommorrow from their warehouses.

I also find it interesting that people are keeping the saw guy busy cutting individual window size plywood to fit. Must be at least a 2 hour line for the saw.
921. Peff
Remember people....the 'Spam' button works. 1 click from 5 users and Muffinman will get a ten minute break (while he/she/it creates a new account)..

....make that 4 users
Enjoy the football game.
NOW is the time when this blog gets newcomers. Concerned people looking for answers. Literally making life and death choices. It's not 4 weeks ago when some wave was moving off of Africa. It's not even a few days ago when there was just a blob. It's NOW.
It's fine. There's enough of us here to deal with them. There questions will at least be seen without the constant blather on and on and on. We'll advise them. You let us know if your team gets a first down.
will you post that link again didnt work for me
Midwest is really firing off a strong set of storms....could this weaken the high on the east side for a more northerly jog? Climatology factored in...is this trough stronger than anticipated?
The cold front/ trough in the Midwest is not very strong - look at the temo differentials. ONly a few degrees. The air in front was jsut extremely moist and unstable.
Hello From Key West.

Just got home from an interesting walk down Duval Street (which is the main drag downtown in KW). It was pretty amazing to see quite a few bars open....I counted 11 or 12. Seems to be all locals having their last night of fun for a while....everyone was in really good spirits, including me because I got everything buttoned up well. Unless this thing starts peeling roofs....I think everything will be ok. Lots of water, lots of canned goods, and lots of Vodka and lots of single malt scotch.
Now it's just a waiting game. The wind was gusting to maybe 20 mph outside my door on the 3rd floor a few minutes ago...which is just like a typical night.

I was happy to see Jeff Masters write about the Grotto at St. Marys Church. People here really stand by it. It seems to have worked well for the last 80 years or so. There were many people there today.

That's about all for now. Hoping for the bast and preparing for the worse.
I've never seen such an impressive "tropical storm". It looks more like a CAT-2 to me.
temo = temp
HoustonHound, this Lowe's is right by the coast, near Lake Jackson. He said all thicknesses of plywood are gone there, even 3/8. BTW, I agree; using OSB is just stupid.
peff...make that three.

seems a shame when I can get better info for TWC than here, where I used to get the best...chatters please go on and let those who want to read about the storm do so
weatherwannabe you got his e mail and jim in a row boat ah ah that is funny jim in a row boat ah ah but you no they may and the may not send him out there this he needs some time off from the storm do you think?
Keeywester, best of luck to you! Hope Rita is weaker than we think and that the center stays away. What are your plans fo the storm?
I cant get the CMC model to show past 72 hrs it comes up blank screen on 96 120 hrs??
well, I'm one of the new posters, but I've been reading this blog since it's been a blog.

I have a question. What will a category 3/4 Rita do to my house if she hits the mouth of the San Bernard river. We live about 15 miles inland on the San Bernard. Our elevation is 21 feet.

We always leave...
It's hard to say which would be better - hitting NOLA which is largely empty, though delays recovery at least a month and threatens already weakened structures, or hitting Houston where a big chunk of NOLA residents are and walloping the other testicle of the nations petroleum industry and displacing a whole new set and expanding the recovery effort by a huge amount.

I'm thinking that since most of NOLA is already totaled, just heap on the pain and rebuild one place one time.
at least 50% of the key west residents evacuated according to cbs news
I'm just going to ride it out. I'm on the water but in a nice new building....about 30 feetabove the water.
I would be too nervous to stay on an island like key west, I am on a barrier island off GA but our house is on a ridge 16 feet above high tide line. Pretty much safe except for a 4 or 5, and then the winds would tear everything up anyway.
keeywester..keep posting your experiences as long as you can. I too loved the info on the shrine
i ahv updated my blog
That loop from the Bahamas seems to be showing a eye wall...Interesting...The feeder bands are looking bad out of the Miami radar link too....Link
Keeywester what did you think about Georges?
lisa i would leave if i was you..21 feet is kind of close depending on a 3 vs a 4...i think a 3 you would be ok..but a 4 is cutting it close, so better be safe then sorry...
Keywester, how many in your building, how many staying?
WFOR Miami just said US 1 North is wide open at least from Islamorada up. If you want to get out, go!
Best of luck keyywester, my prayers are with everyone down in the Keys. Keep us posted on your observations and stay safe!
I was not here for Georges. Many of my friends were here and they said it wasn't that bad in KW which was directly in the eye. Big pine key about 20 miles away really took a beating in Georges with a lot of damage from the surge.
That Miami Nexrad had a t-strom listed as moving at 62 knots - um wouldnt that imply that there are a LOT stronger than cat 1 winds near the core of the storm?
wxwatcher I probably deserved it LOL
It was cell 'P8'
I'll check back from time to time tomorrow as long as I have power to run the DSL. I plan to go out early and check my business one final time.

I think everything is going to be fine here.
rita is certainly looking impressive tonite,, I hope she dont turn out to be katrinas long lost sister . wishing she would go due west n not even affect the US
thanks weatherguy.

We always leave - my earliest memory is my family's evacuation from Carla. We went to Schulenberg. So did Carla, I think.
good luck and stay safe Keeyester
Holy crap. It's raining and lightning here in SoCal. We haven't had rain in 6 months and I don't think we've had lightning in over a year. Woohoo!

I swear this is the most boring place to live but maybe this will offset some of mother nature's need to batter the gulf coast.
weatherwannabe I seen that too. That particular cell is about 40 miles north-east of Miami so I wonder what the storms are moving in closer to the center of the storm?
Several forecasts compare both storms before landfall, and all indicate that Rita can cause much greater damage than Georges.

Geez, anyone looking at this? She is exploding in the last couple of frames.
No wannabe, you didn't deserve it, I'm having computer problems and I just realized what I did. LoL

Good luck riding that thing out man. Just be smart and safe man. Hopefully we'll see your face around here in a few days, you know if power gets back that quick and all.
Dr. Masters has a new thread

Good to hear from you. Are a lot of people staying? What are their thoughts on how strong the storm will be?

Was a mandatory evacuation issued?
Jim Cantore just said he thinks she has an eye.

Time to get some sleep.

New comments out by Dr. Masters
ok evere one evere time you see THEMUFFINMAN on hit spam he is JEFF from the one you all want to banned befor he is back with THEMUFFINMAN and like i said he is JEFF from the one that was banned be fore he want me to not tell you all for some some kind of lol why i do not no but he is JEFF and i have took him off my yahoo im
975. code1
Storm and Lefty,
What is up with the panhandle. As I told you a couple days ago, monitoring from my hotel (work) now. Hate for anyone to be hit, but sure don't want it in the panhandle again. Please respond as I have to go to bed, need to be at work about 6:00 am CST. Thanks, maybe I am just a nervous ninny, but you know, we women tend to be that way sometimes!

Is there alot of lightning from the feeder bands and do they seem to leave as quickly as they arrived? This is assuming you have had a few thru your area which I'm not certain on but am interested in...

Okay guys, I've gotta ask, because I'm starting to get seriously disturbed by this storm. I live in Friendswood (suburb of Houston). I'm about 8 miles from Clear Lake, about 15 miles from inner Galveston Bay, and about 35 miles from West Bay where you cross to Galveston Island. I know it's tough to call, but how safe am I here? Standard brick home, 2 stories, creek that runs into Clear Lake is several streets away and down in a trough. Someone please reassure me! :(
Canebear -

I used to live in Clear Lake on Horsepen Bayou.

The main question for you is what is the elevation of your house? If you are under 25ft, you are at risk for surge for a strong CAT4 or CAT5. I'm assuming the creek you describe is Clear Creek ("Clear Lake" is neither clear nor a lake, but an estuary which is really a wide spot in Clear Creek before it goes into the bay). That creek is a direct inlet to Galveston Bay. If a major storm hits on the SW side of Galveston Island to Brazosport, it will bring its surge into the bay and it can be funnelled up Clear Creek.

This happened in 1983 with Alicia, which struck @ San Luis Pass and her surge was highest (12 feet) at Todville Road in Seabrook. That is the mouth of Clear Creek.

Here is the Harris County flood control district's page on Clear Creek:

Clear Creek

My house (Brook Forest & Bay Area Blvd) was at elevation 26 feet and we got about 6 inches of water from Alicia (stormwater and backed-up sewers).

979. m777
The grotto works I have seen it for myself!! While my husband was stationed there for four years. We had to evacuate for Ivan last year and we were to come back to nothing so we had been told. The rosary was being said by a group of parishioners of St. Mary's as we left for Orlando later that night the storm had moved just enough that Key West was out of danger, same with Charlie we watched him go right by it wasn't pretty actually it was scarey and what was worse knowing it was growing and someone was going to get it. Key West has a halo around it and the grotto does work.I miss the people of Key West and want to return when we can to the same great little island my prayers are with them all!!
Oh yeah - Canebear - that map shows surge potential and if Rita hits the coast as a strong 3 or 4 of any intensity - get the hell out. Board up and leave. Somebody here said it is better to be inconvenienced and alive than comfortable and dead.

There is a very very low percentage chance of serious harm in Friendswood in anything less than a catastrophic storm. But why chance it if you can leave?
Who let wannabe back in? Maybe it could go pet the Blog Police with 88888889g.

Anywho Rita really looks to be getting her act together.

I saw she was a TS still Lefty and thought that you might make it past 11:00 therefore not owing SSIG a 12 pack, but then I saw the SAT.

I'll see those of ya'll that are gonna wait on the 5am update when I get home from work.
Hey all!

I'm in North Broward. Were getting some good thunderstorms and occasional wind gusts but nothing too major. A normal florida storm so far. I'm headed out to the beach to take a look. I'll bring my camera and post some pix when I get back.
Oh and how for out does the feeding bans extend from the eye. Galveston is opx. 700 mile for me.