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Rita levels off at Cat 4 intensity

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 8:29 PM GMT on September 22, 2005

Reconnaissance flights this afternoon indicate that the weakening phase Rita went through has ceased. Her central presure has held steady between 913 and 915 mb between noon and 4 pm, and the surface winds are steady at about 145 - 150 mph. Rita is a strong Category 4 hurricane. She appears to be going through a collapse of the inner eyewall, which the hurricane hunters have noted has a large gap in it. It may take 12 - 24 hours for Rita to rebuild her eyewall. During that time, some fluctuations in strength may occur, but weakening is most likely. This would occur as a result of 10 knots of shear on her south side from an upper-level high pressure system, and from passage over ocean waters with less heat content. By landfall time on Saturday afternoon, it is expected that Rita will be a Category 3 or 4 hurricane, but still carry to the coast a storm surge characteristic of a much stronger hurricane. A Category 4 or 5 level storm surge is likely along a 60 - 80 miles stretch of coast to the right of where the storm makes landfall on Saturday. Storm surge heights will peak at 15 - 20 feet in some bays, and bring the ocean inland up to 50 miles from the coast. Large sections of I-10 between Houston and Beaumont could be inundated, and the flood waters may reach the cities of Beaumont, Orange, and Lake Charles.

Figure 1. Expected inland penetration of a Category 5 level hurricane storm surge. Only areas along and to the right of Rita's landfall point may get a Category 5 storm surge. If Rita makes landfall east of Galveston, Houston and Galveston will not see the storm surge flooding shown here.

Current buoy measurements
NOAA buoy 42001 in Rita's western eyewall measured sustained winds of 90 mph, gusting to 112 mph, and 34 foot waves at 2:50 pm CDT. A time series plot of the wind and pressure from buoy 42001 is worth checking out.

Where will Rita go?
The 12Z (8am EDT) computer models in general show a shift a bit more to the east, making a landfall near the Texas/Louisiana border more likely. Keep in mind that the average error in landfall location for a 48 hour forecast is 125 miles, which means the landfall point could be anywhere from the Central Texas coast near Matagorda to the central Louisiana coast near New Iberia.

The models runs are now pretty much agreed that steering currents will weaken and Rita will stall and drift westward or southwestward once it moves inland. This will result in severe flooding problems for wherever Rita stalls, as 10 - 30 inches of rain could fall in the affected region. As is usually the case when steering currents get weak, the model forecasts of Rita's motion are highly unreliable. Rita may stall over the notheast Texas, or western or central Louisiana. Oklahoma and Arkansas are looking less likely. It's too early to tell with much reliability. It may not be until next Wednesday when the remnants of Rita finally are gone.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Tropical Storm Philippe is a minimal tropical storm heading out to sea, and is not a threat to any land areas. An area of disturbed weather off of the coast of Honduras has diminished and is no longer a threat. Development off of the coast of Africa is possible beginning on Sunday.

A new blog called TheDiscussionBlog has been set up by tornadoty to serve as an alternate discussion forum for those who want to pose questions. I will read it and respond to questions there if I get the time, which hasn't been too plentiful of late, unfortunately.
Jeff Masters

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

the storm is 3-6 hours from hitting the eddy and will spend 6-12 hrs over the eddy.
I'm sorry for the stupid question -- but where are you guys watching the satellite images? TIA
max mayfield was on cnn a little while ago and stated she could get back upto cat 5 strength over night as she crosses the eddy as upper level winds are extremely favorable. he than belives the cooler waters will weaken her down to cat 4 at landfall
I wonder if there were any reports of windspeed measurements around Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian or Long Beach?
The government aid stuff and self-sufficiency bears some reflection. Compare Katrina with Jeanne--the physical effects on the highest-affected areas were very similar. Talk about Katrina first. In New Orleans, the people who didn't bother to evacuate were the ones who were not used to being self-sufficient--they were used to government always doing everything for them and not used to taking responsibility for their own lives--and you saw what happened when such a population of people was together in large numbers in a small area.

Now look at Jeanne--the race of the people affected by Jeanne in Haiti was THE SAME as that of the people remaining in New Orleans. However, those people were used to surviving on their own and taking responsibility for their own lives. In spite of the fact that Jeanne killed 3000 in Haiti last year, the people directly affected got through it with integrity under the worst possible conditions. Of course, what we saw in New Orleans among the population reaction of the remaining people was not the norm--that's why it made the news. However, I checked--looting and other lawlessness was minimal in Haiti after Jeanne.

People who rely on government to live will have failed lives and will often contribute to the failing of other lives. People who take responsibility for their lives and what they do help themselves to succeed and tend to help others to succeed as well.

It seems that most people are taking responsibility for their lives with regards to Rita, and this is a good sign.
i have tons of links, i use the nhc goes sat, nasa sats, navy sats, ramsids sats. university of wisconsin sats.

Since you're de-lurking. Would you agree that she's moving in more of a straight line toward Galv. and not turning north per the NHC track? It appears to be more than a wobble right now.
Bastardi is staking his reputation on Galveston....120 - 150 MPH
RF - Not to sound trite, but I think there is enough water in the Gulf to fill in all those inlets.

Where the is no inlets or jagged coastal features, like most of the Florida Atlantic coast, we get strong currents parallel to the beach, which cut into the dunes at high tides. On the barrier islands, the dunes are the highest points, so once they are breached you get overwash (in a strong storm, maybe a new inlet).

Any funnel shaped bays in the onshore flow should expect higher surges than "flat", featureless areas of the coast.

The easiest one might be this one:


Click on the links under GOES Storm Floater 1
wax she has been moving nw and than wnw for some tims bacjk and forth all day. currently for the short term she is moving just north of due west. now we will need more recon to determine how long she has been going just north of due west. here is the plots of cenetr fixes for the whole day so you can see what i am saying

1:38am-898mb 24.77n 87.57
3:14am-899mb 24.80n 87.77w
5:12am-902mb 24.92n 87.92w
10:49am-913mb 25.30n 88.63w
12:19pm-915mb 25.43n 88.82w
1:45pm-914mb 25.57n 89.02w
3:22pm-914mb 25.73n 89.25w
4:20pm-913mb 25.82n 89.37w
4:43pm-911mb 25.83 89.42w
5:20pm-913mb 25.89 89.52w
6:11pm-913mb 25.97n 89.65w
7:28pm-913mb 26.02n 89.82w
8:10pm-915mb 26.03n 89.92w
I think the eyewall replacement cycle still has several hours to go and the pressure may very well rise above 925 mb.
Guy, I only know of two hurricanes that have had storm surges approaching 30 feet: Camille in 1969, and of course, Katrina. The one thing they have in common? The eye of both storms made final landfall in the exact same spot: Hancock County, Mississippi.
Yes, Haiti is the model country. ,,

Back to the loops
Bays and inlets funnel the surge. The reason surges are so bad in Breton Sound (MS-LA border) is the funnelling, and then there are the little inlets: Pearl River, Bay St. Louis, Gulfport has one, Biloxi, Gautier, Pascagoula, and Mobile Bay (which really funnelled the surge).

Likewise, Galveston Bay, Sabine Pass and Lake Calcasieu could also be surge funnels. Just depends on where that center of circulation goes...

There's pretty much nothing between High Island and Port Arthur except for some nutria. I'm rooting for that spot. Its the best of a lot of bad options. Not entirely wishcasting, since the storm track, steering currents (such as they are) and the warm water current all lead to that spot.
Sounds about right leftyy...i am thinking around 130mph at landfall with alittle more weakening...Days ago I thought 120mph at Landfall, but i cant see it weakening that much at this point..
nah lefty, it's moving just south of due west for the past few frames. It's going to make landfall south of galveston I'm sure of it
Well, if we could wipe out the nutria, the storm wouldn't be a TOTAL loss.
There is one bit of good news: the river levels in SW Louisiana and east TX are generally at or below average. This means that it would take a lot of rain to make severe river flooding--and time for the main rivers to rise. This is *THE* site for info on river level.s
Anyone have a link for a wind shear map of the Gulf? Thanks.
amazing to watch this buoy as Rita passes by...Link
523. Peff
Yes....Just as I thought.... :|
wx once again her are the cenetr fixes thru an hour ago. no sign of a south jog. we will see with the next cenetr fix. remebr these fixes are straight from recon

1:38am-898mb 24.77n 87.57
3:14am-899mb 24.80n 87.77w
5:12am-902mb 24.92n 87.92w
10:49am-913mb 25.30n 88.63w
12:19pm-915mb 25.43n 88.82w
1:45pm-914mb 25.57n 89.02w
3:22pm-914mb 25.73n 89.25w
4:20pm-913mb 25.82n 89.37w
4:43pm-911mb 25.83 89.42w
5:20pm-913mb 25.89 89.52w
6:11pm-913mb 25.97n 89.65w
7:28pm-913mb 26.02n 89.82w
8:10pm-915mb 26.03n 89.92w
nothing can wipe out all the nutria
robert -- leave the nutria alone, they didn't boost the global warming one bit, not enough farts...:-)LOL
527. Manny
Hello everybody,

I'm just popping in for a second...

The last several runs of the NAM(ETA) model have all been pointing to a more westward track. The GFS has been pushing the storm to the east for the last several runs and that is mainly why the track has shifted.

The interesting thing about this current wobble is that if it turns out to not be a wobble but a true course change, it would be verifying with the NAM model.

Another intersting thing to note is that while the GFS takes the storm and has it drift to the SE, the GFDL which uses the GFS data has it drift to the WEST much like the NAM.

I'd watch that drift to the west very carefully if you're in the Houston/Galvaston area. If it turns out to be a true turn and not a wobble, I would wager a landfall south of Galvaston is more likely.

The 0z NAM is currently running and the GFS will be run right after it is done. It will be very interesting to see what they boy say.

bill nye the science guy is on cnn. its awsome
A nutria tried to chase my dog once. I hate 'em.
you can see from your own coordinates she moved 0.01 degrees north and 0.10 degrees west -- translation? Westward movement
foresman wlox out of biloxi right after katrina which is our local news stated in gulfport ironically in the port the smame type of cargo boat dole banna i believe repoted a 208mph gust when the wind gauge stuck same type of boat reported 238mph gust during camille while the storm was hitting us they reported 125 mph winds sustained in hattiesburg which is 90miles noth of us in biloxi area. its alrightlefty the trolls arent on i have not seen junk top atorm brothers or killdevil but would like to see randy and weatherguy queen and ray.
Wind shear map for Gordo...Link
From the satellite images I agree she does seem to be going almost due west. But Im not seeing the strengthening.
HoustonPapa and family are still here - the weather is fine (calm before the storm) and burgers are in the bellies of my kids. We had several neighbors leave last night or early this morning that have now returned - they spent 10+ hours on the highway trying to get to Dallas or Austin and went nowhere. It was supposedly a complete debacle and they finally turned around before running out of gas. The simple fact is New Orleans had 300,000 people try to evacute -- we are 10 times bigger and you simply can't put 2-4 million people on the road at one time. Hopefully those people will get out, but its looking like a death trap right now and no place for 3 year old twins and a baby (not that my house will be much better when Rita rolls in).

We are doing what we can to prepare for a very bad few days. Thanks for the advice -- we have lots of ice and are planning to leave town on Sunday if we can if the power is going to be out for a while.

I'll post when I can - we should have power for another 24 hours or so, but who knows.
Nutria? LOL one time when I was visiting New Orleans at the River Center they had a sample plate of Nutria sausage--offering samples to people. Very few takers.
If you're interested in the impact of Rita on the oil and natural gas infrastructure, here's a link to damage models, refinery maps, and the like:


(forgive the blatant blogwhoring, but we want people to have these data...if Rita stays on the current track, we're talking about a loss of 15-20% of production for over 60 days, and a big chunk of damage to refining, meaning a huge gas spike.
hey its my friend weather guy still think between lake charles and acthfalaya bay basin?
Since an accurate indication on where Rita will hit land will not be around until it gets finished with its current eyewall replacement cycle, which looks like is going to take at least all night, I'm actually signing off now for the night--I don't think anything significant in the way of strengthening will happen until near the end of tonight at earliest, judging from the latest water vapor images. I would estimate that Rita's actual(!) maximum sustained winds are between 155 mph and 160 mph, and not likely to increase tonight and will probably decrease somewhat, but it will probably not go below middle category 4. One can't make a good prediction about whether it will restrengthen or how much until the new eye becomes stable. Good night all!
the site didnt post. http://water.usgs.gov/waterwatch/
OK, Robert, but how many storms of with intensity of Camille and Katrina have hit anywhere in the Gulf. Camille was Cat 5 and Katrina was very large former Cat 5 with a Cat5-like surge.

We cannot really judge these things on the basis of historical knowledge because we don't have reliable records back far enough.

However, I've seen the "funnel" effect take place in the intercoastal waters behind the barrier island where I live. I think the surge is a function of coastal topography, the slope of the offshore shelf (shallow is bad), and of course storm strength and wind direction. Having "more jagged" coastal topography is just going to get you higher extremes, all other conditions being the same.
Manny, I noticed that too. I think the NHC pulled the trigger too fast in shifting that track to the left. I think they did it to get people evacuated but the track will shift back west if not by the 10pm by the 4am.

I think I'm going to Galveston about 3am to get there at sun up.
18Z GFDL...Link
Thanks, SAINTS. I'm from Pascagoula, myself, but currently in Virginia. I've talked to Mike Reader a lot about tropical weather. He was telling me once about a tropical storm that actually formed over Lake Ponchartrain, and then backed out into the Gulf. I can't remember the name of it right now.
Saint- try some punctuation man, or less Mt. Dew.
545. Remek
Anyone have a link for a wind shear map of the Gulf? Thanks.

Hey Saint..yep definately...Been staying the course with that prediction..LOL..Also at around 130mph...i had it at 120mph but it may be alittle stronger..
Thanks Lefty for De-lurking. As usual, you make good sense.
Even if this more westward jog turns out to be just a wobble, at this point any wobble could mean the difference between a disaster for Galveston Bay and a disaster-saving near miss to the east.
Guy, I've also seen the RESERSE of the funnel effect. I drove over Mobile Bay during Hurricane Danny in 1997, while the eye of Danny hovered over the mouth of Mobile Bay. The north end of the bay was dry: no water in sight.
My mother and father told me about Camille, I was one month out. Last week they told me that Camille was nothing like this. Katrina blasted them, and they are within 20 miles of where they were then. Oh yeah, and they are 100 plus miles from the coast. Whatever the "official" records are Katrina blew them away. I don't trust official records any more than I trust the info I'm seeing from the "officials" right now. I trust my own eyes!!!!!!!!

Standing ovation...
forseman mike is agood guy the system was beyrl 1988 trop storm moved south to chandeleurs. p.s why would you leave s/ms to go to troll country lol. the blue ridge part is gorgeous love the mountains.
hey weatherguy, u see how the gfdl initialises it to weak. it sets it to 935mbs. thats why at this point i don;t look at it for intensity. don;t know hwy its like that
thanks to all of you for your ongoing observations, they are spot on and as accurate as can be for the circumstances
the new western movement has once again baffled me, she just won't stay on a course
Lefty, you were thinking the ewrc would end right about the time it would go over the warm pool? So the convergence of the two should add up to some pretty interesting effects on her?
Take it from me, don't stay for Kitrina's sister Rita. I live three miles from the Gulf here in Biloxi and less than a 1/4th mile from the Back Bay. I was fortunate, my house had damage, BUT every other house down the street was severly flooded or now just a slab. The storm surge was at least 25 feet here. The officials found 10 people down my street who decided to ride Katrina out and now are no longer on this earth. Don't take that chance.

If you want to see intensification, someone (sorry I forgot his name) posted this link:

Select on the side bar:

8 image animation
Continental US
Water vapor 6.7

Select on the top bar:

Slide the speed up (right on the slider) a little bit

Looks to me like she's intensifying, a lot.

Question: how would Rita be steered differently if she fell down to a high cat 3 as opposed to strengthening to a 5?
hey wx, if ur still here, they were showing it wiht a straight line on cnn and she has taken a def jog south. they also showed the gulf loop and she is seeking that warm water wich is just to her west. very unteresting. thought i let you know i see the jog south now
SAINTS...Believe me, I miss being near the Gulf during hurricane season. With regard to the Blueridge.....I can see it out my window even as we speak (or type, rather).
forseman freddy drained mobile bay tore up jackson county and thats when mel showers still had a afro. lol weatherguy is this a jog to the west or a stair step. and glad your on its nice to have experience on this blog with widely open mind.
HoustonPapa, God be with you and your kids!
biloxi blues do you live in dibrville st martin or the point?

Topology will certainly affect surge, just like it does with wind.

The large tidal effect in places like Bay of Fundy and tidal bores are purely topological phenomena. Houston may be fine so long as the surge doesn't overtop the barrier island, but if it should, that funnel will cause the water to pile on top of itself and inundate the city.
567. Manny
Wx, are you really going out to Mustang Island to chase this baby? I was considering it. I'm in San Antonio, but I'm not brave enough to screw with at Cat 4 at landfall.
SAINTS...I always wondered if Al Showers was Mel Showers' brother? Al is a little light in the loafers, I'm afraid.
I think NHC shifted east to scare people because they weren't confident in the Galveston and points south forecast. That is one of the few times I've ever seen them change the track based on one model run...
yeah ice, i noticed with katrina the gfdl and ship will start the storms well weaker than they already were, i don't know iof its how they adjust them or what. but when u start with a storm like the gfdl with it at 935mb when we know she is atleast 915-916,b thats a huge differecn in the forcast intensity. same thing with the ships. but like i said it could be a calibration thing.
Shortwave IR


Why is the blue area exploding by a factor of 3 or 4 times it's size from the start of the loop?

Sunset? Or sickening expansion of wind fields?

Also, what's the best visual presentation (Sat, WV, Dvorzak IR, etc.) to see the concentric eyewalls?

Wondering if there will be an "energy pulse" once the inner eye finally collapses, i.e. - energy distributed outward in the form of more intense cells & bigger max wind radii. I'm sure if such a thing exists even in some vague way, it's probably incredibly complex subject w/ mesovortices & Theta-e profiles.

Rita looks like she'll be a much bigger rain event than Katrina, btw.

Did I see a slight western jog on the satellite, or am I imagining things?
SteveGregory says Rita is definitely returning to Cat 5 status tonight.
lefty would you think the jog is in response to the Ridge up North? It appears to be expanding east.
foresman how close to the mabry mill on the pkwy
I'm a dumbass. Here's the link:Link
hey manny i fele you man. if i was that close it be hard not to but ur right. she is a monster. but if u ask me, i would probly be going lol
its a wobble and i think its due to the center feeling the warm eddy and moving towards it. we have seen storms move towards warmer watter plenty of times. anybody else have a thought on this
RF - "Reverse funnel effect" works too, with offshore winds. I guess that is what I meant by (sic) "higher extremes".

(heh and to think that internet robots are harvesting our every word here, no password protection for viewing...)
yes jog to the west..Maybe the last one before its eventual turn to the NW..i bet it gets Galveston alittle nervous...

Yeah the GFDL does have it too weak at intialization..Basically an intensity forecast is so hard to forecast..Basically i use my own insticts when it comes to intensity..
I am either going to Surfside Beach or Anahuac depending on how long this so-called jog takes place. I really don't think this is a jog, I think she is going back on her west heading then going move NW, and N.

I'm going there tonight/AM around 300 and leaving there tomorrow sometime around 6 or 7 pm before the strong winds get there.
Manny - How is SA coping with abunch of Houstonians?

Please check your wu-mail.
585. linny
Posted By: weatherguy03 at 9:21 PM EDT on September 22, 2005.
amazing to watch this buoy as Rita passes by...Link

Weatherguy, are you saying there's a bouy cam video or something? I went there and could not find a link up for anything like that. Do I misunderstand? I can be slow. If there is I would love to see that.
CNN has said that the high pressure ridge is re-establishing it self as a short wave has moved on (which gave it more northerly componet). This more westward movement may allow for strenthening.
At this point in the run-up to Katrina, the mayor of New Orleans had not even issued a mandatory evacuation order yet....
Rita is reintensifying and heading west. Looks bad...though that one shortwave sat loop was, indeed, the sun setting causing all the blue contrast (albedo decreases).
als no kin my wife is from bay st louis she worked with mels brother at the magic. forseman seems like we gget all the monsters in the gulf or se fla outside of hugo atl coast seems to get them limping all tired out lol.
Good link to watch steering currents...Link..You can see the High does not want to give up just yet..LOL..
Oh sorry linny i meant just the numbers...I wish there was..wow..what a picture we would get...
they just pentrated the eye. recon in a few minutes
During the 1993 superstorm, we had a similary effect here as sustained winds of 69 mp blowing from the WSW caused the ocean to drop 5 feet below normal. Have never seen anything like it before or since. We did not call it a reverse funnel effect though. We called it a blowout.

In Feb 1899 a huge arctic outbreak cased very strong winds from the NW at Galveston, and those winds along with extremely high barometric pressure (above 30.90) caused almost all of Galveston Bay to blow out and be temporarily dry.
2ifbc - I just replied to email.....sorry I have been afk for a bit.

595. Manny

The city is doing just fine. We are simply using the same facilities we used for our 10 thousand Katrina evacuees so it is running very smoothly.


Good luck man and be safe. I envy you, but I'd be real careful!
they just pentrated the eye. recon in a few minutes

Whoohoo! Here we go Recon, here we go!! *stomp, stomp*

Sorry... just in one of those moods tonight... football is on... :)
Actually I made a mistake, we had a blowout in March 1984 here, remember the pressure hitting 29.15 but with westerly gales. The blowout was not as deep as the one in 1993 though.
Anyone have a link for a wind shear map of the Gulf? Thanks.

Link <-- http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8dlm1.html

That's steering, not shear....
The Nye guy on CNN just proved himself to be a wacko. He's spewing the global warming B.S.
Houstonpapa - Please let us know how you fare (drop a line as soon as you can) & rest assured there are folks you've never met, caring & praying for y'all.
Complete novice here, if it hits the warmer water does it's forward speed pickup? Say back to 14mph
naugahyde - I witnessed the inner eye wall collapsing in Katrina, before it became annular. The inner eyewall was rotating around inside the outer eyewall, then it got "squashed" on the south side of the outer eyewall. Whe it collapsed it indeed looked like an "explosion" of extremely strong convection beginning on the south side of the outer eyewall and wrapping around with the outer eyewall, helping to close it off. Somebody probably has some good loops of this phenomenom, it was amazing.
I am not trying to cause trouble, but exactly how is global warming BS?

Hi, I live in North Biloxi and could throw a rock and hit the Back Bay of Biloxi. The storm surge stopped right at our house. I left and didn't see it, but when I came home, there was a fishing boat and hot tub in my yard. I also work at Keesler Air Force Base which also took major damage.

water temp has no effect on speed of motion.
thx manny.

B.T.H.O. texas state and Rita

StSimons...it's psuedo-science. It's the only weather related thing I know of that has its own set of politics.
I was camping bayside on San Luis Pass a couple years ago, up about 2 ft from high tide line. Wind was out of the SE at about 20 solid all night. Anyway, my friend woke me up at about 4 am and said "I think the tide's coming up". When I actually came out of my sleepy stupor I realized that the tent was down all around me (stakes had come out as soon as the sand got wet) and I was in an inch or two of water. Looking back it was funny as hell, but it did take us awhile to collect all our stuff that was floating around...plus I had to walk in front of the truck and try to find a path because all we could see was water.

Point is, it doesn't take much to make Galv bay mad.

RobertForsman at 1:45 AM GMT on September 23, 2005.
At this point in the run-up to Katrina, the mayor of New Orleans had not even issued a mandatory evacuation order yet....

Yeah, and why hasn't Houston's Hizzhoner issued one?

Jeesh--these mayors.

It only took 2 days to get 80% of New Orleans out. What would it take for Houston? 10 days?

LOL. And you really think 80% of Houston would leave?
wx what part of town U B N?
Posted By: StSimonsIslandGAGuy at 1:52 AM GMT on September 23, 2005.
I am not trying to cause trouble, but exactly how is global warming BS?

UH OH I am gonna duck..LOL..
i think bastardi is right on the money with a cat4 130-150 hit on galveston / houston
617. linny
weatherguy- Yes, that would be an amazing video clip. Please forgive my ignorance. I'm very new at this. Also my mis-spelling of "buoy". One too many Jack and Cokes I think! Thanks for your input.
Oh I am dropping the subject, not feeling in the mood.
*sigh* It's not BS per se... The BS is in attempting to attribute it to things for political reasons when it can't possibly be proven... and if it can't be proven, it shouldn't be mentioned even as a *possible* factor... because it only raises political hackles in situations like this. Theorize all you want, but as I said, it's a politial issue at this point, not scientific fact, so keep it out of the discussion of weather facts. I truly expected more from "The Science Guy".

The only reason he's on is to fill air time and to further a political agenda. He's not even close to a qualified weather expert, as far as I know. That's why i don't watch "news" channels for weather information.

new vortex

URNT12 KNHC 230159
A. 23/01:44:40Z
B. 26 deg 03 min N
090 deg 07 min W
C. 700 mb 2381 m
D. NA kt
E. NA deg nm
F. 227 deg 109 kt
G. 136 deg 017 nm
H. 917 mb
I. 12 C/ 3015 m
J. 17 C/ 3044 m
K. 16 C/ NA
M. CO18-32
N. 12345/ 7
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF309 2018A RITA OB 11
MAX FL WIND 123 KT NE QUAD 00:04:20 Z
We've kinda beaten the Global Warming discussion into the sand by now, haven't we?

*waves at 77*
Looks almost wsw
biloxi blues i live 3 miles south of vancleave tore my house up plus i lost my barn and a ton of possesions i heard all langley point is gone.
Robert, I can tell that you are obviously not a scientist. All science by your diffinition is psuedo-science, since not everything well understood. There is no debate (or at least very little) that global warming is occuring. What effect humans have in contributing to it is the controversy. Although it is generally accepted that we (humans) do have an effect...just how much. I think this is not the forum to debate this since this blog is primarily concerned with Rita.
suffice it to say that greedy polititians are brain-wahing an equally greedy populace.
Quick question,

what time does the satelitte stop running at night and when does it start again?
the motion to the south was short lived and likley a wobble. motion appears to be 275-280 degrees or just north of due west. here are the recon center fixes for today

1:38am-898mb 24.77n 87.57
3:14am-899mb 24.80n 87.77w
5:12am-902mb 24.92n 87.92w
10:49am-913mb 25.30n 88.63w
12:19pm-915mb 25.43n 88.82w
1:45pm-914mb 25.57n 89.02w
3:22pm-914mb 25.73n 89.25w
4:20pm-913mb 25.82n 89.37w
4:43pm-911mb 25.83 89.42w
5:20pm-913mb 25.89 89.52w
6:11pm-913mb 25.97n 89.65w
7:28pm-913mb 26.02n 89.82w
8:10pm-915mb 26.03n 89.92w
9:44pm-916mb 26.05n 90.02
2230 - 0135 or 0330z to 635z
volcanoes cause global warming, hee hee
You've gotta be friggin' kidding wxwatcher. If you got to either Anahuac or Surfside you deserve whatever you get. Surfside goes underwater when you spit twice in the street. Anahuac is probably worse. Watch your Ags beat the hell out of poor little SWTSU (ahem, Texas State) and stay on dry land, so your loved ones don't have to mourn you. This will be bigger than Carla.
So for almost 4 hours, it's moved only a few miles north?
corection- the pressure was wrong on my last post. motion still 275-280 degrees or north of due west

1:38am-898mb 24.77n 87.57
3:14am-899mb 24.80n 87.77w
5:12am-902mb 24.92n 87.92w
10:49am-913mb 25.30n 88.63w
12:19pm-915mb 25.43n 88.82w
1:45pm-914mb 25.57n 89.02w
3:22pm-914mb 25.73n 89.25w
4:20pm-913mb 25.82n 89.37w
4:43pm-911mb 25.83 89.42w
5:20pm-913mb 25.89 89.52w
6:11pm-913mb 25.97n 89.65w
7:28pm-913mb 26.02n 89.82w
8:10pm-915mb 26.03n 89.92w
9:44pm-917mb 26.05n 90.02
azduck, I'm not staying for the storm. I'm gettin the hell outta there tomorrow night, I just want to see some of the storm surge. I'll probably ride it out about 5-10 miles inland.

Gig 'Em
yeah chicago. she has been moving 275-280 degress when u smooth out the wobbles for the last 4 hrs or so
Lefty - I still put her San Luis Pass +/- 20 miles. What do you think with this westward motion? I'm thinking she does another stairstep and averages back out to almost due NW.

hey chicago..i agree on the global warming junk
It has been stair-stepping North then West for awhile this current step to the West though seems to be a longer step. Seems like Rita is seeking her warm water.
hey weatherguy looks like if anything its slowing down what you think. foresman thats why i dont watch cnn they are to far to the left for my taste. by the way i watched a special on discovery awhile back syaing they had a droughgt in what is now the southwest that lasted 2 years with temps 3 to 5 degrees above norm that was athousand years ago that is when this glob/warm must have started.
OK I'll say this--I believe human-caused global warming is real, and that human caused global warming will increase at an accelerating pace. I suspect that global warming is increasing the power of hurricanes, but I will concede that there is nothing scientifically testable to prove that conclusion out there yet, and that such proof is unlikely to be found in the next 20 years. Posting this just so people know where I am coming from. I'm not posting anymore bout this tonight.
Joe on Fox seems fairly certain that it will still hit the Galveston area. I know that he's good b/c all of his predictions were right on target with Katrina.
Just got in.. What's going on, and what does it look like it will be doing?
why dos they mb keep going up when will it get back up to a cat 5?
i dunno ps. i am just reporting what its doing. i have stated for a couple days i feel landfall anywhere betwen galveston and the la/texas border
643. Remek
what time does the satelitte stop running at night and when does it start again?

GOES/EAST Eclipse Schedule
jus spoke to a buddy of mine in the active millitary...all leaves in CONUS atre cancelled and there is a temporary hold on retirenments..apparently there is worry over civil strife over fuel prices and shortages
888 - Cause it's not going to Cat 5. It's going to Cat 3 - like I mentioned this morning... The perfect environment no longer exists for Rita...
Orleans - That - or we're invading North Korea on Sunday.
917 is till pretty low and its fionishing a erc cycle...finally its about to be over a warm eddy for next 12-24 hrs..
hey carbo. she is just completeing an eye wall cycle. she will have a chance to intensify maybe back up to a cat 5 later toniight and landfall is still up in the air lol.

i think they will lower the winds to 140 at 11pm. just based on the latest pressure rises and the fact they have not clocked any winds higher than 140 at flight level, the only reason they will keep her at 140 is based on her davorak t number wich is still impressive and her low pressure
She turned left on a dime, even wobbles are kinda gradual
lefty - And continuity... The NHC loves continuity...
Lefty - I know...you're giving us good info as usual. I guess I just wanted some validation for a general NW trend staying in place. This westward is worrying me a little because it's sticking longer than her previous sidesteps.
carbo here is her econ fixes for the day

1:38am-898mb 24.77n 87.57
3:14am-899mb 24.80n 87.77w
5:12am-902mb 24.92n 87.92w
10:49am-913mb 25.30n 88.63w
12:19pm-915mb 25.43n 88.82w
1:45pm-914mb 25.57n 89.02w
3:22pm-914mb 25.73n 89.25w
4:20pm-913mb 25.82n 89.37w
4:43pm-911mb 25.83 89.42w
5:20pm-913mb 25.89 89.52w
6:11pm-913mb 25.97n 89.65w
7:28pm-913mb 26.02n 89.82w
8:10pm-915mb 26.03n 89.92w
9:44pm-917mb 26.05n 90.02
st simons we still love yo are one of the good guys not blog hog troll lol they started the troll now i kinda of like it lol what happened to your falcons they must be watching the inconsistent saints. lol
wow.. 917 and finishing a cycle. When it's done and over that eddy, a 5 is not out of the question.
do you guys think that spring tx in harris county will be recieving any flooding or strong winds? we are in northwest harris county by bush.
ok then if it is 917mb why do we sit have 145 or a cat 4 tell me that i think it will go back up as in wind very soon and mb as low as 905mb or 910mb and winds at 160 or 170mph
its movin more w now because the low over lower midwest is moving E
yeah ps, she will turn nw at some point, when that happens will be key. we will see. should get a new recon in a hour
661. Remek
why dos they mb keep going up when will it get back up to a cat 5?

still going thru eye replacement - she'll weaken a bit till it's done, then can start ramping back up
houston its gonna stall for 3-5 days and rain 20-30" of rain,..youll at least get freshwater flooding

You must not be aware of the water politics in CA or the air quality politics that are here, in NY, in Chicago. We have plenty of beach erosion politics. There's beach pollution politics, wildfire politics, river flow politics at the CO river.

Anything can be politicized. I never thought that evolution would come under fire again. Hell, even the Pope gave that one up decades ago. These things aren't pseudo-science just because they are politicized.

They are complex and very difficult to boil down. They're not pseudo in any way. They are based on very solid chemistry and physics, but to study the ENTIRE system is still beyond our means, so we study parts of it. The underlying science is VERY solid, but the conclusions are very hard to nail down. That doesn't mean it's wrong. It means we should defer to the underlying bits that are very good and act on those. We've known since the late 70s that extra methane and CO2 in the atmosphere traps heat. We can measure how much is there naturally and how much we add. That's solid.

What we don't know for sure is if there are other things that we put in the air that counteract this. What we can't do is point to a spot (like the gulf) and say that this place is warmer because of this industry. Global warming may not have any influence on hurricanes right now - but it may be responsible for the massive ice melt taking place.

Most importantly, if you have any respect for science you need to be open minded about it. As soon as you label it as 'wacko', then you've turned into a zealot. Even the craziest ideas have to be given their due. Feel free to ignore the politics - but look into the science and give it it's due - there's a lot of really solid stuff related to global warming going back over 30 years.

People thought that ozone depletion was 'wacko' - how could aerosol cans cause that - but it turned out to be dead on. People think that oil depletion is wacko and claim that $70/bbl oil is some kind of global conspiracy. People think that evolution is wacko and that dinosaurs and people lived side-by-side (not sure how they got the two t-rexs on the ark without them eating everything else in there, or how they gathered up the thousands and thousands of species of spiders and mites - two by two).

The vast, vast majority of time people who decry theories that are supported by the broader scientific community as 'wacko' turn out to be dead wrong.
Thanks Lefty.
This storm is so large that a Cat 3,4 or 5 will cause extensive damage. I think it will land as a solid 4 but a high 3 is about an equal probability. It probably won't make to much difference. The one thing to watch is the storm surge. The longer it stays as a 4, the less time the surge has to wane.
Oh brother... Doom & gloom, doom & gloom...

Hey lefty - I've been in and out all day... Did that ewrc ever finish? In just about every recon I've seen today - there have been 2 concentric circles - with holes in both. I presume we are still in an ewrc - yes?
do you guys agree with the latest models or do you think its still going to head more towards houston?
Crap, I'm supposed to be taking PCS leave on Monday.

NHC track at 10 should shift more to the left to account for this W movement. Showing no signs of shifting back north...
galveston / houston
better check with yout CO Az ..sorry
How much farther west is it going to shift?
673. Remek
A request - if y'all are going to keep fighting over gl. warming and politics, plz take it to you own blogs here. Let's keep this one for Rita only, K?
how soon will eye replacement be done it is makeing me lol
the outer eye wall has been closed for 2-3 hours now as the inner has started to dissolve. here is the latest recon. notice how it says closed eye wall and at the bottom it says inner open, the inner is no longer the main eye wall. the outer is now the mian eye wall wich is why its labbled as such on the recon

. 23/01:44:40Z
B. 26 deg 03 min N
090 deg 07 min W
C. 700 mb 2381 m
D. NA kt
E. NA deg nm
F. 227 deg 109 kt
G. 136 deg 017 nm
H. 917 mb
I. 12 C/ 3015 m
J. 17 C/ 3044 m
K. 16 C/ NA
M. CO18-32
N. 12345/ 7
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF309 2018A RITA OB 11
MAX FL WIND 123 KT NE QUAD 00:04:20 Z

eyewall replacements

answering part of my questions earlier about how to view:

"passive microwave imagery" is in fact the best way

i found a fascinating article on EWRC in Hurricane Juliette


sample quote:

'Hurricane eyewalls are one of the more enigmatic phenomena in the atmosphere. Even more mysterious are concentric eyewall cycles: the development of a ring of deep convection within a larger ring of deep convection, with a moat between them. On radar, the moat would appear as a nearly echofree annulus, while an eyewall would appear as an annulus with radar echoes typically greater than 35 dBZ. From the first days of aircraft reconnaissance into hurricanes during the 1940s, these double eyes were occasionally observed in strong storms, and the advent of satellite meteorology in the 1960s has provided additional cases that we otherwise would not have known about. In particular, passive microwave imagery is the most ideal and prominent tool available for monitoring the internal precipitation structure, concentric eyewalls, and eyewall replacement cycles (Hawkins and Helveston 2004).'
That's the question, isn't it lefty? When will she resume moving north. God forbid she hit south of Houston/Galveston. I'm thinking that's one of the worst-case scenarios, isn't it??
I'm still looking for landfall either at or just south of Freeport TX.
wxwatcher - which 10 do you mean? I expect 2am for next NHC track. Are you West Coast, or am I missing something? Intermediate report?
680. Remek
How much farther west is it going to shift?

That's a darn good question. Doubt anyone knows for sure.
hey weatherguy looks like if anything its slowing down what you think.

When they wobble or change direction they slow down a bit..
If the outer is closed, and the inner is dissolving. It is about done. Yet it's still at 917... 905 or so is not out of the question.
chicago - yes....SLP / Freeport would be bad bad news. Too far out to tell though.
wx I am with you.
BUMP !!!! still looking for the answer

Hi all;

It is a little out of sequence but is there any explanation why the storm passed by the Keys as a cat 1 when everyone and their dogs were saying it would be a strong cat two or three? Mere normal error or an unforeseen factor came into play?
Not that I didn't like since I'm down in South Miami.
Cheers all
Thanks, though I have no idea what any of that means. I really am a newbie. :)
Chicago THAT is the worst case scenerio. Just South of Houston/Galveston.
You have to be blind not to notice the global climate is getting warmer, and has been for some time. Question is whether this is part of natural fluctuations, or human induced. Most models and climatologists say there is now a human-induced signal in there on top of the natural variation. This being science, one won't know for sure until we've made the planet much less liveable (assuming we are causing some of the observed changes). That is why increasing numbers of people are choosing to act, even though there is no "proof" of human induced global warming.

Are hurricanes getting worse because of humanity's discharge of Co2 and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere? Again, we don't have "proof" because these things cycle naturally as well. But again, do we wait until we know for sure (and numerous Cat 4s and 5s have depopulated the Gulf Coast), or do we start to act now even though the science can't prove anything yet?
speed - Actually, Rita made Cat 2 easily as she passed by the lower Keys.
and, quite naturally, we'll have HOURS to wait until we know. great.
how strong shoudl spring tx expect the winds? we live a mile away from 1 45 and right by bush.
Science provides the evidence, its up to people to act. Even if it turns out that humans are not responsible, it is prudent toact if we are contributing to it. Its like refusing to have medical insurance when you can afford it.
Well, you have to admit - SOMETHING is about to cause us to rename Glacier Natl Park to Glacier-LESS Natl Park.
Looks like this thing is moving due west for the last 3 hours. I think that 100 mile shift to the north may be an illusion.
Gentlemen, the global warming discussion is fascinating and we are all deeply indebted to you for sharing your conclusions. Now could you quit contributing to it with additional hot air? Or at least take it do another blog?
699. code1
hi all,
change topic a little here, (not that I am not interested or concerned about Rita) the new wave off Africa....any predictions or feelings?
houston - Flat top (Neil Frank) was stating today that U may be feeling 90 mph. But that all depends on the track, lanfall strenght/wind and how quick Rita becomes downgraded. Rita does have a large wind field.
The last 4 hours or so, it looks as if the CDO is expanding appreciabily. I really don't know what that means, whether it is getting stronger overall or the spiral is loosening abit.
702. Manny
The new NAM/ETA is coming out as we speak. It is looking a lot like the 18z run. It makes the ridge a lot stronger than the GFS has been doing. I really am anxious to see the GFS run now.
Spring could get winds sustained of up to 100 mph. Of course it depends greatly on where she hits.

Global Warmers, please give it up. You have to be a dumbass to believe in global warming. If anyone is causing the earph to warm it's you people with your hot air.
hey, im just worried cuz we have a huge pine tree sitting right in front of my house
caldwell - I've been looking at Tomball real hard (family there), and I wouldn't expect anything elss than tropical storm force there. We both know how many trees are there, so that will be a prob.
Stronger High=possible stall The new models will be intersting to say the least.
pseabury - You hunkering down yes?
708. Remek
how strong shoudl spring tx expect the winds? we live a mile away from 1 45 and right by bush.

That's going to depend a lot on the track after landfall. The computer models haven't been very consistent on that yet. Some say it might stall and die near DFW, there's also tracks to Dallas then back SW, tracks to the E, and tracks N then NE.

Doubt you'll get lots of high winds that far N, just lots of rain (maybe, again it depends on where it goes).

Best bet is keep an eye on the NHC forecasts once it nears landfall.
wxwatcher - I'm just curious... I'm not really sure I agree with global warming or not - but how do you explain Mt Kilimanjaro, which has been snow-covered for 11,000 years - but will be void of snow completely by the year 2025 at the current melt rate?
wxwatcher, I love your manipulation. I'm done. CNN is talking about the west movement that is now considerably off of model consensus. Is this a long jog or is this the real deal?
swmp - unfortuantely (or fortunately) I'm up here in DC directing traffic from up here. Family is all where they're gonna stay (some couldn't leave Tomball) and they've gotten everything as hunkered down as possible. Of Course, you can't hunker down the 100+ pine trees around my house....but they do have chainsaws and plenty of gas and tarp.

a stall would be worst case camille stalled and then moved due north if they stall all bets are off whats your take weatherguy. by the way chicago i bet you can be real handy when blizzard season starts on da bears lol
rain, it's called normal natural climatic cycles. The earph warms and cools regardless of what we do. There are active periods of hurricanes and there are periods with a lull. The earph is not a friend of status-quo.
Do you suppose Rita is just trying to finally cross an NHC Trop Forecast Point? She's missed everyone today to the north. So far - she hasn't missed one yet to the south.
latest from Bastardi

THURSDAY 8:40 PM. A COUPLE OF OBSERVATIONS. First on Rita. Paul Pastelock, a great forecaster here, may have had a big key to this situation right now, as the short wave that has gone by to the north of Rita may have a) inhibited outflow and b) turned it a bit more northwest. The past couple of hours the movement has been more west, in fact it was been at a 4 to 1 ratio west to north, and the cloud shield is expanding with the storm. I dont think this means the storm will intensify pressure wise all that much, but just signals the mature stage of the cyclone and the expansion of the wind field.

The new GFDL is almost right on the track I have outlined for you (18z) with a position Saturday morning only 30 miles east southeast of mine, but bearing northwest at the time so the storm passes within 15 miles of the 12z idea. So moral is, why change. Keep in mind that it was 36 hours ago that there was trending away from Galveston bay...to the southwest.

Now here is the bombshell...Phillippe is forecast to fool around, then hit Bermuda on the new run. This is something I had not been concentrating on, but will have to look closely at now

ciao for now ****
i think these hurricanes strengthen more in daylight hours and weaken during nightfall. The heating in the upper atmosphere ceases to exist when the sun is gone and I am wondering why no one ever discusses this? This is true for most thunderstorm developement. Someone please explain this for me cause no one is.
is the eye replacement done yet
wxwatcher - Aha! So you say we're in a period of global warming! Interesting... You seem to have just come full circle.
raindancer - I think that's about right. I can't imagine that she'll continue on that course. She'll start swinging back to the north I THINK in the next 3-6 hrs...probably to a more 300 heading.
wonderer, if it's a jog it's one of the longest one's I've seen. I hope she took her hiking boots and a big jug of water, she's going to get thursty.

Look for the westward movement to continue with occasional shifts to the north for the next 17 hours or so followed by a turn to the NW and finally a turn due north by 27 hours.
This is like Bart Simpson in a car trip

Is the EWRC done yet? No. Is it done yet? No. Is it done yet? No. Is it done yet? No. Is it done yet? No. Is it done yet? No. Is it done yet? No. Is it done yet? No. Is it done yet? No. Is it done yet? No.
Yeah, Wxwatcher, I agree with you on this one.
724. Remek
is the eye replacement done yet

won't know til the next vortex reports
Is Rita going to be like another Allison concerning Houston? or worse?
wxwatcher - Early plant life on Earth completely changed the atmosphere and created the oxygen we breath today. What makes you so sure that human life cannot also change the climate:?
3-d precipitation radar modeling ... TRMM ... if only they had this in real time


Rita via microwave Precip Radar

u guys see why i been lurking all day. its more fun to watch than argue with u guys lol global warming, westward jog lol. good stuff
Just the opposite... as the sun goes down, the "cap" of warm air dissipates and allows storms to build upward with the cold cloud tops.
Hmm. You guys are asking people to stop discussing global warming, and then prodding them for more responses with these "hot air" insults?

Also, to minimize misunderstanding, "global warming" is simply, literally, any general warming of temps worldwide, regardless of whether or not it's man-made or natural.
731. code1
732. Remek
Is Rita going to be like another Allison concerning Houston? or worse?

For what? Wind-wise, worse unless she goes way East. Surge, probably worse, much worse if West. Rain, hard to say, depends on how fast she's moving.
Lefty, do YOU believe in human-caused global warming?
i am here. been lurking all day and keeping my thoughts to my self. only submiting my obs from recon when they come out. every time i open my mouth trolls come flying in.
736. Remek
u guys see why i been lurking all day. its more fun to watch than argue with u guys lol global warming, westward jog lol. good stuff

don't run out of popcorn lol
the inner eyewall is falling apart on satellite now...i think well have almost a doughnot looking storm in 3-6 hours....what do you guys think....
We have a guy here who watches "the Factor" ANYWAY, I said at 5 p.m. that Rita would start to intensify about now. Will lurk till 2 a.m.
what sat dou yousee the inner eyewall falling apart in?
a stall would be worst case camille stalled and then moved due north if they stall all bets are off whats your take weatherguy.

Definately gonna stall as High pressure blocks it to the north..Now where does it go..South, SW, SE..hard to say, but i think somebody is gonna have historical flooding...We may see alot of deaths because of flooding after landfall..See ya tomorrow Saint..Time for bed..gonna be a long night tomorrow night..LOL..
AySz88 - You pegged the global warming concept...

Peeps - we've discussed just about every wobble, angle, wind gust, ewrc (ad nausea), and beat the pressure to death. What else is there to talk about thru the night?

Global warming!

OK, I'll give it a break. Actually, I'm going on vacation tomorrow - so I'm off to pack. Not surprisingly, I will NOT be visiting the ocean.
Upper air envionment doesn't look to be bad at all looking at Rita's sat appearence. Outflow looks good. There is some evidence of Southernly shear (some elongation to the North and recently the SE side maybe getting a little compressed). So its not perfect but the storm is riding this intrusion pretty well.
ok thanks sportingwood- but these hurricanes have a tendency to weaken in the am as opposed to the pm from what i have observed over the years, just tossing this out there :P

just wanted to take a second and thank you for all your observations/discussions and patience
Will there be another vortex before the 10pm advisory?
748. Remek
looks like some towers are starting to form in the SW quad, she could be about ready to rev up again
lol st. i am not going to get involved so iwill let u know my view in one post and that will be it

global warming is a cuase and eefct. it would happen on its own wiht out us but we have added to it. science tells us this. we can measure the co in the air and we know thru science co is a green house gas and that we produce tons of co every year that would not be in the atmosphere if we did not burn fossil fuesl. we put cfc's in the atmosphere and have put a hole in the ozone layer. we as humans are destructive, if not an pupose but as an effect of us trying to improve life for our species. same thing happens with all species that went estinct. they used up all resources and chnaged their particluar enivoroment. we do it on a global level. its no one fault. evry thing we use or do puts co and other green house gases in the atmospher. plastics, gas, heating our home, eletricity. if u want evedcne go look at a landfiil. thats our waste pilling up. we just can see greenhouse gases but we can measure them.

now on hurricanes, maybe its global warming maybe its not. but at some point it will be.
btw, lots of stranded evacuees getting tons of help from houston authorities and this traffic has become almost a serious event in and of itself houston news

Hurricane going to slam into Texas in around 24-36 hours and you're talking about global warming?

Is there not time for this at a later date? Seriously let's talk Rita, and not people drinking "kool-aid."
CAN we drop the global warming??!!
753. Remek
Not surprisingly, I will NOT be visiting the ocean.

Just make sure the ocean doesn't come visit you lol

Have a nice vacation!
HoustonPapa - Don't forget to put your important papers in ziploc bags inside your dishwasher. Water doesn't flow out, so it shouldn't flow in. When that's full, switch to your washing machine. Same theory.
NCAR WRF 4km Rita model:


Check out the 9/22 12Z run; first check 14 hours out -- look at the cloud top temperature image and compare to 9/23 2Z IR satellite. The similarity is stunning. Then check out the full loop; this model takes the NE eyewall directly over Galveston and Houston. Interesting stuff; I haven't looked at this model much before. 4km resolution on a hurricane model is pretty to look at in loops; now, how accurate is it? :P
Lefty - Be careful of what you say! If it actually makes sense, then you will be dismissed as a "kook" who would knowingly accept a glass of cyanide-laced kool-aid from the late Jim Jones.

OK, sorry everyone else, back to weather, not climate.
This global warming seems to be a cause and effect. Quit making stements about kool-aid and maybe the debate will simmer down.
11 pm advisory

winds down to 140
WNW at 10

looks like a VERY slight shift east again
lots of amazing microwave, TRMM, & Quick Scat graphics that are fairly fresh.


just start clicking around on the grey table & you'll see some interesting data i don't think you can't get directly from NOAA/NHC.
760. Remek
Less than an hour of sat left before eclipse. Wonder if she'll show her hand before then.
just like i said they dropped her down to 140 mph.

Repeating the 10 PM CDT position...26.2 N... 90.3 W. Movement
toward...west-northwest near 10 mph. Maximum sustained
winds...140 mph. Minimum central pressure... 917 mb.

Global Warming is a problem because we are changing our environment at a faster pace than any other natural cycle. Something akin to a small asteroid hitting the earth. The Earth takes time to self regulate, and we may be exceeding that self regulating capacity. The REAL problem is that we are heading nto uncharted territoty. Manmade cycles vs. natural cycles and we probably won't know the consequences until they have already occurred.
I don't mind the global warming kooks nearly as much as the Bush bashing kooks...Trust me, I live in Santa Monica and am surrounded everyday by Bush bashers...Yet these same bashers have no solution. The problem in Louisiana was a lack of leadership, both the governor and the mayor.

Though I will say Bush has egg on his face when it comes to hiring the fired head of the Arabian Horse Association as the leader of FEMA...For this he should explain but as for the rest, totally politicized.

Now back to the hurricane, I'm sticking with my Freeport to Galveston strike with strengthening one more time before winding down slightly to about where it is right now for landfall.
I have seen pictures of the boats and casinos washed ashore by the storm surge. What about fish?

sorry if i missed it but do you see this storm getting stronger again tonight? still a cat 4 at landfall?
once again i move into lurk mode. will be back when recon comes out have fun boys and girls
Until now I have never weighed in on the global warming issue. My position is this... clearly there is some warming. After all, melting of arctic ice, glaciers, parts of siberia, etc. is not happening because the world is getting colder. How much of the warming is caused by humans is likely somewhere between a little bit and a lot. That is really irrelevant. Without ruining the economy we should be doing everything we can to minimize pollution of the environment. Do we really need a reason to not pump shit into the air and water?
769. code1
Sent you an email. Let me know what you think.
ok realy quick, when this ewrc is over she will gain some strength back. how much i don;t know but a cat 5 is not out of the question. cat 4 at landfall maybe 140-155 range
Here is an interesting fact...the only year yet to have 2 cat 4s make landfall in the US was 1915 and the landfalls were *drumrolls* New Orleans....annnnnnnnd...Galveston!

And the death tolls for both storms was the same 275
lefty...I recognize hardly anyone here....this is all too frightening...nuff said, I suppose...
who was it that predicted this storm the STRENGTHEN throughout the night and for the next 12 hours? please specify!
do you think we will get any weather in lafayette la . this town was going nuts today
CAN we drop the global warming??!! ok all this is a cat 4 hurrican so i do not what global warming have to do with a cat 4 hurrican but whats drop the global warming??!! thank you

thanks lefty
So, I am sheltering in place about 20 miles from the northeast Liberty County line. There is No gas and everything is closed. I havnt heard anything about any shelters opening up in our area. Spoke to the police and they do not have any more gas than what is in their cars!
Traffic is cleared along FM 1960, I think everyone has decided to stay put. Couple of my neighbors left early this am only to return this afternoon---cant get out of the area. very crazy!
779. Remek
NHC shifted more east towards Beaumont, like to see this pan out, because I dont feel comfortable with that track until tomm especially with this west wobble or trend of sort.

NHC has been fairlty conservative with the track changes, probably because they don't want to show wild swings back and forth - gets people panicky. What they *have* been saying is don't rely on the main track - if you're in the cone then best be prepared or bug out to be safe.
nhs forcast strengthenong thru the next 12-24 hours after the ewrc and as she passes a warm eddy of the gulf loop.
Jilly, have any of the FM roads around there been shut down? Is it still possible to get to the beach where you are at?
do yall see the large eyewall taking shape now....look at the inner eyewall deteorating on the water vapor loop...i think there might be a doughnut when the sat comes back overnight...
ok every one. this is what i have been saying all night and might help some people undderstand what will happen the enxt 24-36 hours

flight level wind data and radar observations from the Air Force
hurricane hunter aircraft indicate that the concentric eyewall
cycle might be nearing completion. There is now only a single
flight level wind maximum at a radius of about 20 N mi...associated
with the outer eyewall that the aircraft radar indicate is slowly
contracting... while the inner eyewall continues to deteriorate.
Recent GOES infrared imagery also indicates that a complete ring of
very cold convective tops...colder than -70c... now surrounds the
eye. The central pressure has only risen slightly to 917 mb as
measured by the most recent dropsonde. Recent flight level and
dropsonde wind data do not support an intensity greater than about
110 kt...but given the very low pressure...the initial intensity is
adjusted only slightly downward to 120 kt. Rita is about to pass
over another eddy of high ocean heat content. Combining this with
the possible contraction of the outer eyewall during the next
several hours...some restrengthening is forecast in the short term.
Gradual weakening is possible later on Friday before landfall due
to lesser ocean heat content closer to the coast...and to the
possibility of some increase in the wind shear. The bottom line is
that the intensity will likely fluctuate during the next 36
hours...and Rita is expected to make landfall as a major
hurricane...at least category three.
Although Rita has wobbled westward during the past couple of
hours...the overall motion during the past several hours has
remained west-northwestward...about 300/9. There are no changes to
the official track forecast...since the various dynamical models
straddle the previous advisory track. Rita is expected to
gradually turn northwestward and eventually northward as the high
to its north slides eastward. Rita is forecast to then essentially
stall in about three days in the area of northeastern Texas where
steering currents are forecast to become very weak. This scenario
poses a great risk of very heavy rainfall well inland and for many
days after landfall.

Forecaster Knabb
11 PM EDT THU SEP 22 2005





INITIAL 23/0300Z 26.2N 90.3W 120 KT
12HR VT 23/1200Z 27.0N 91.5W 125 KT
24HR VT 24/0000Z 28.4N 93.0W 120 KT
36HR VT 24/1200Z 29.8N 94.2W 115 KT...INLAND
48HR VT 25/0000Z 31.1N 94.7W 65 KT...INLAND
72HR VT 26/0000Z 33.0N 95.0W 35 KT...INLAND
96HR VT 27/0000Z 33.0N 95.0W 25 KT...INLAND
120HR VT 28/0000Z 33.0N 95.0W 25 KT...INLAND

where people are going with global warming is not whether it is warming but how much is caused by human agency.

there have been warmer episodes before, even in the (relatively)near past: in the middle ages, greenland was warm enough and the glacer coverage had retreated enough, so that it was habitable and crops would be cultivated. the vikings had a settlement or two there. then the climate cooled and the glaciers advanced and greenalnd was less hospitable and the settlements failed.

global warming cause the glacial retreat and then it cooled and the glaciers came back. how much was due to human agency?
Check the latest floater--just a hint she might be swinging to the NW again....
Beach? Which beach? The only beach anyone should be headed to is in Florida. Galveston will be completely under water regaurdless of where she makes landfall
Have friends going to Perdido beach from Lafayette. Remember, the eye doesnt have to pass over you to feel effects. Odds are, if you are in the cone, you will feel effects.
must be just me but i think it will weaken overnight according to the satelite imagery and then again reappear to strengthen tomorrow at 7am and throughout the day. Anyone have any good ideas at the time of landfall? Not so much where, but the time this thing will hit land?

It looks like they're calling for a 5-6 am landfall.
792. Spoon
Hey guys. I don't have cable so I kind of depend on those local feeds for video. I put together a simple page so I could watch several at once. It's KHOU (Houston), KPRC (Houston?), and WWL (NO). Are there any other good feeds out there?

Here's the page if you're interested.
hecker, i'm not seeing the NW movement..

I hate to say this but I think we might be looking at anouther Allison situation here in Houston. Pretty good chance she's going to stall!
Holy Crap!!
I think one of us should just create a link to a web page with the title:

"Questions that have already been answered"

WAFB.com Baton Rouge, LA...Jay Grimes is our state Climatologist and works in the LSU Hurricane Center.
wind she will stregthen over night or not at all. by tomm she will be entering cooler waters.

Greatest Hits
number 5
click on play
799. Remek
Very nice, Spoon! Thx.
Spoon, thanks, this is sweet!
801. Manny
I'm going to just come out and flat say it. I don't think many people will believe me, but I'm going with it.

The NHC is wrong, and they're just being slow to admit it.

I'm tending to favor the NAM/ETA right about now. It has verified quite well for several runs, and it continues to do so. I don't know what the GFS is about to spit out in an hour and a half, but I think it will be a lot closer to this line of thinking.

Rita is going to slow imensley as she comes ashore. She probably won't make landfall for over 48 hours. Hopefully this will lead to weakening as she is in the shallow waters over the coast. By contrast, it will dump a lot more rain over Houston. I think landfall just east of Freeport is where she'll come ashore.

Then, when she does make landfall, she's not going very far north of Houston. She'll sit there for days, dumping rain. Tropical Storm Allison anyone?

Once the trof digs in from the west, she'll be pushed to the southwest along the high pressure that will develop over Arizona and untill the trof comes and lifts her out.

Take it for what its worth. I'm not trained, but this scenairo makes the most sense by looking at the 500mb winds and how the NAM has played out. I think the GFS will definetly catch onto it on the next few runs. We'll see, but I'm sticking to this.

I have been watching a feed from KSLA Shreveport. I wonder how high the Red river will get? Do you think Rita will stall in this area?
ty johnson, btw enjoyed your earlier post on the global warming thing, impressed me.

the track and strength of Rita is told fairly well with this Link
folks as a newcomer I humbly apologize for adding fuel to the global warming fire, and hereby pledge to NEVER post another such comment - now if others can take the pledge (no need to post!) then this site can get back to its real purpose.

Re Rita, the NHC discussion and the track/cone (look at the track!) indicate that Rita will make landfall and then STOP. She will just sit there and rain and rain. The ultimate volume of water is unimagineable. Has there been a precedent for this?
the northwest movement is very subtle, and shows up better on the black and white Dvorak


Doesn't look to be a wild hard turn though.
The worst part is the feed's about to go down and we'll have to wait 3 hours to see how that pans out.
is the eye wall back yet it is makeing me lol
One ref. is Floyd. 22 inches of rain in 20 hours here in NC.
manny if urgoing to argue with me thats one thing but ur sayign the experts are rong is just ignorance.

back to lurk mode
Sorry if I missed something directed at me...I was updating my GoogleEarth link to include Rita Radar that some kind gentleman contributed. The link is here if you're interested. The link is KMZ, open it up in Google Earth.
the sat pictures they use on this site, do they go out as well in a few minutes?
That's what I said earlier---ALLISON!
This is going to seriously suck for us
812. Manny

Fair enough, but you remember than if the NHC adjusts their forcast. Just remember it. If I'm wrong, feel free to let me know, and I'll gladly admit it.


Its nothing to do with this site or anything else. Quite simply, the sattellite can't take or send any pictures back when it has no power. They are all solar powered, and when the pass in the earth's shadow, they have no power!

(add to the QTHABA list)

manny i am not an ahole like you. i won;t throw things in ur face for the sake of it but i woul also neevr go against the nhc as they have been doing this longer than i have been alive. but good luck on ur prediction

back to lurk mode
I am new here. I have been reading and watching tv stations all day and I am still confused. I am in SE La. A neighbor said she heard the storm would do a North turn. Anybody guesstimates when? I am not sure if I should evacuate. Thanks for all the info.
thanks valence...

i take it besides recon and some buoy observations we are kinda helpless for the next few hours...no radar yet right?
817. Remek
The long range NOLA radar is just barely picking up the north outer area near the center.
Anywho, somewhere between Galv. area and Port Arthur with high Cat 3/low Cat 4 winds and a Cat 5 surge. Folks better look out!!
Katrina (first image) meet Rita (second image), Rite, Katrina. Which looks like the meaner bitch? My money is on Rita - what do you think?


Now for Rita

You know, when CNN interviews these people riding out the storm in Galveston, they really should put 'Joe Smith, Going to Die Soon' as the caption under him so that maybe relatives can talk some goddman sense into them.

Also suggested that water is already coming over Seawall Ave. west of where the actual wall is. That's not good...
(he posted a new entry.)
Some of ya'll take the NHC to literally.

Their job is not to predict the exact landfall of a hurricane. Its to track the storms path, measure its intensity, and calculate the probability of its forecsated track. Hence, the "Cone of Terror". They are never exactly right, and they are never so wrong where the guys in the center are going "WTF just happened?"

I have seen that are a little conservative, some would say slow, to change the forecasted track or intensity. But i rmemeber hearing some type of quote on "erring on the side of caution" or something like that . . . so i'll excuse that.

Talk about a pressure packed job! How many of have a job where hunreds if not thousands of lives could be lost if you off by about 3%?

Hey Lefty,
I wanted to thank you for all the info you gave when Katrina was coming on shore. I never got a chance to after she hit.
Those are both images of Rita. At least by looking at the timestamps eh?
Gator mom...I'm SE LA too...we've boarded up our windows as our local meteoroligist says we should expect more rain than Katrina and more wind for a longer period of time. He's not convinced that she won't stall and head further East meaning more of everything above. Just be prepared if ur going to stay and make sure ur not in a flood zone.

We're not exactly helpless. There's a recon flight sometime soon (ask lefty when - i swear to god he tracks the guys on his own radar).

But for those of you that tend to watch the loops (for every wobble 2in to the N), its probably bedtime.

OK my last one then off to bed.



The Very Best of Evis Costello and the Attraction
Check out last few frames on water vapor loop at rap.ucar.edu. Eye has become enlongated to the NW.
829. Remek
fresh wunder blog entry
830. iyou
Dr. Masters has posted a new blog.
Rita will be much more powerful than Katrina i think. Katrina just made landfall in a very destructive spot where New Orleans is concerned. But if Rita makes landfall anywhere near Galveston, with this much storm organization, expect to see things you haven't yet. At least, hopefully, people won't be there!
One of science's goals is to eliminate ignorance. I don't think we are doing very good job. Global warming, darwinism and other science issues shouldn't be political issues. These are based on reliable scientific data. It boils down to beliefs not data if you go agains't these theories. They are theories for sure, but a hypothesis has to have very good evidence for it to be regarded as a theory.

Currently, I am involved with antimicrobial therapy research and development. Ignorance of people wanting antibiotics for the common cold has resulted in a nearly disasterous bacteria antibiotic resistance. Vancomycin resistant Staph. aureus has recently emerged. If this organism becomes untreatable you wouldn't even want to walk into a hospital much less be stuck in one. Fortunately, there are only 4 cases of VRSA but like other drug resistant bacteria, it is only a matter of time before these organisms will be an common as less pathogenic drug resistant bacteria.

I know that was off topic, but ignorance of people and the fear that doctors will lose their patients if they don't prescribe an antibiotic has resulted in a large mess that drug companies are spending tremedous amounts of money to develop new drugs. Which, I'm afraid to say is not happening nearly as fast as 20 years ago.


LOL @ your last comment.

I'd actually like to see the news guys get the names and address of the people who stay. Go back after the storm and see if there still is an address to find. Or just a tombstone! (Im not making light of people's deaths, just the ones who have the knowledge and means to evacuate, and stubbornly choose not to)

spoon, thanks for the video feeds, they are coming in handy over here :)
new vortex. eye wall cycle now done

A. 23/03:24:50Z
B. 26 deg 10 min N
090 deg 19 min W
C. 700 mb 2406 m
D. NA kt
E. NA deg nm
F. 311 deg 107 kt
G. 219 deg 018 nm
H. 919 mb
I. 11 C/ 3050 m
J. 17 C/ 3044 m
K. 15 C/ NA
M. C30
N. 12345/ 7
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF309 2018A RITA OB 17
MAX FL WIND 125 KT NW QUAD 01:50:40 Z

gatormom, it would be pretty hard for this thing to hit Southeast LA dead-on right now. Earlier today, that was much more of a possibility than it is now. (I'm here too and it frightened the hell out of me when I woke up) The storm moved NW all day but took enough temporary jogs to the West so that it is now under somewhere around Terrebonne and still too south to come straight for us. It would take almost a 90-degree north turn for it to do that. however, we can still get in on heavy rain and winds as the storm is so huge. As of now on the current track southeast LA from Morgan City eastward will only get TS-force winds with hurricane winds west of that point. Alot depends now on the exact landfall. My gut says that if new tracks came out at 1am instead of 4, we'd see a slight shift west in the track thanks to a 2-hour jog west that the models wouldn't have picked up yet, BUT, before everyone on here jumps down my throat, I AM NOT AN EXPERT. I just see what I see. And I think it's not too far off to assume that a 2-hour jog to the west would affect the next computer models that come in. Who knows what it'll do between now and 4 when the next track comes out.
I would say if you CAN evacuate, do so just to be safe. But if you can't, as many of us down here can't, I wouldn't exactly write my will, as it's passing WNW well south of Terrebonne and Lafourche right now. Just be prepared for possible wind damage and have all your batteries and food supplies ready.

but of course, if you CAN get somewhere safer without too much hassle, why not?
One of the big differences between Rita and Katrina is how large and "sprawling" Rita is compared to Katrina. On the EC FL coast, with Katrina we got into the subsidence rather quickly, with Rita, a long feeder band still stretches over the Florida peninsula, we have had squally weather all day, and we currently have thunder and rain coming in from the SE.

Kind of shows up the problem with the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Charlie was a Cat 4, and although it passed 60 miles north of here, all we got we some brief breezy tropical downpours.
Another example would be Tip and its height and Camille. Not really even in the same catagory, although both ranked as Cat 5 by Saffir-Simpson.

I would like to see some sort of scale that includes the size of the storm, like integrating total energy dissipation over the areal coverage of the storm. Maybe a scale that include moisture content of the airmass as well, since, if Rita stalls inland, the real catastrophe may well turn out to be the massive flooding rather than surge and wind damage (as bad as the latter may be).

The trick would be to find some weighting in the integration that would properly assess the "damage potential" of the eyewall winds, since some big sprawling non-tropical system (like a strong baroclinic low pressure system) might well dissipate more energy than a very small but strong hurricane that has much more "damage potential".

Anyone know of any research in this direction or have some links regarding this topic?
see - I told you lefty tracks the recon planes. He could probably give us the Lat/Long if we asked.

Also, there is a new blog, so im confused? Are we just saying here, or moving? Is there a computer model out there to plot our forecasted move to the new blog? Who has the link?

Im getting punchy again - too many late nights watching hurricane news coverage!

Just decided to post this...

I created a blog that people can argue all about global warming or politics all they want.

Let's just keep these boards free from animosity. There are people out there wanting to know exactly what they need to do. Let's give them the best info possible and keep this blog clean, 'k?
guygee, thats right. This is a multi-dimenstional swirl of destruction. Wind, rain and storm surge. I don't know if she will be worse than Katrina, only time will tell but...regardless that is moot point. If it lands in a relativly unpopulated area, less lives will be lost. If in very populated area, both the loss of many lives and mass destruction will occur. Since it is so large though the probabilty is that she will be bad news no matter where land fall occurs. The flooding after may occur from the coast all the way up to the mid-Mississippi valley.
yeah, that NW swing on the satellite is more apparent now. Hate to wait three hours to see what that does....
weatherwonderer - I used to live in Houston, first around Westheimer (sp?) then moved west into the sprawl. Worked a lot of contruction jobs back in the '70's boom, so I have a good idea of the building codes back then, which was "look the other way" for all of the cheap apartment buildings we were tossing together. If Rita comes in worst case the detruction from the wind of all those flimsy structures will be horrific, but if she stalls the flooding may well take more lives.

I don't have the stats in front of me, but isn't it true that a large proportion (majority?) of total hurricane fatalities come from inland flooding? I just hope she doesn't stall around the beautiful hill country near Austin, some of my best memories were camping and partying with friends on our periodic trips to Lake Travis area.
We are hunkering down. There is no way out. I'll post in the morning if I can. Hope it misses us.
Weather deteriating rapidly over the last hour in coastal area south of NOLA. Winds steady out of the ene 25 to 35 mph, gust over TS force. Trash and debrie from Katrina that was left by side of roadways is now beginning to blow into the roadways. Cloud deck has lowered, but hardly any rain yet.

there are already some scattered power outages, and some tranformers flashes can be seen in night sky.