NOW: Hurricane Rita

The latest SR Velocity from Key West shows that the max winds with Rita are around 125mph. This is a huge jump from only 2 1/2 hours ago. It will be interesting to see if the 5pm NHC advisory bumps the winds up this much. Either way, Rita is developing rapidly.

EDIT: It also looks as if there is an increasing tornado potential with the bands across South Florida...although that area does not appear to be in the exact RF quadrant.
 
Yeah, the surface pressure continues to drop like a rock and is now down to 973mb. Just a reminder that 24 hours ago (the 21z advisory) the pressure was 995mb! Satellite presentation is looking consistent with the 125mph estimate and wouldn't be surprised to see that be the initial intensity in the upcoming advisory.
 
Sep 17, 2004
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This is also evident with Dvorak intensity estimates and of course IR also has shown considerably improvement this morning/afternoon and all of this is consistent with the GFDL forecast of strengthning during this period.
 
Dec 9, 2003
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Sam,

Just a note that 973mb would be quite high for a 125mph hurricane. I'd think that a 125mph storm would have a central pressure more in the range of 950-960mb.
 
I forgot to mention in my original post that if you look closely, there appears to be some sort of eye replacement going on to the southwest of the center. That said, it is hard to distinguish for certain given the ragged eye and deep convection...but it is something I thought I noticed.
 
Jun 22, 2005
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Reports in key west of 58 mph. There is a segment of the storm with 11.00+ inches of rain all together. Three hour rainfall, has ascended up to 5.00 inches, per the latest scan. Key Colony Beach is getting 39 MPH Winds. There are now two tornado warnings because of the outerbands. What is peak wind speed in this thing now? What cetegory is it? This may be a dumb query but, what does the pressure drop indicate to us?
 
Dec 9, 2003
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Regarding wind speed and central pressure , just check it out at www.nhc.noaa.gov ... or http://kamala.cod.edu/TPC/ , which updates a little faster than the NHC website. OK, I'll make it easy -- max winds still 85kts, with central pressure is 973mb.

Pressure fluctuations tend to lead wind changes by several hours. In other words, an increase in wind speed usually lags a drop in pressure by several hours (and a decrease in wind speed usually lags a rise in pressure). The latest forecast brings Rita to 115kt near landfall, though it's nearly certain that the storm won't stay 115kt between 48hours and landfall. As we've seen with other storms, there will be fluctuations before landfall, although whether the fluctuations are up and down is difficult to forecast this far out in time.

EDIT: I think this rather rapid intensification was a long time in the making... I thought we'd see a <990mb pressure yesterday, given the very cold cloud tops and very nice dvorak IR imagery yesterday. It seems it just took quite some time to get a solid inner core wind field.
 
Jun 15, 2005
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As with the residents of the Gulf Coast, I as well am trying to learn from previous catastrophic events.

Interestingly enough I found an interesting discussion about Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential during the time of Katrina:

http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/altimetry/katrina1.pdf

It has been nearly been over four weeks since Katrina struck and the GOM seems to be back in the similar pattern prior to Katrina with the anticyclonic loop current within the GOM. Latest data from Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory would suggest a similar set up.

http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/cyclone/data/go.html

I would be very interested to see when Rita passes over the region of sustainable Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential what will be the outcome.

Latest SST's from the Gulf as inferred via NOAA AVHRR:

http://www.esl.lsu.edu/webpics/poes/SST/20...20%2E0404%2Egif

Keep in mind, and I discovered this due to my own curiousity, that the stable waters of the GOM mask the movement of the Anticyclonic Loop current which resides in slighly deeper waters below the surface.
 
As I reported my previous post:

"Report from Wires at 6:00pm EDT: THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER RECEIVED AN UNOFFICIAL REPORT OF SUSTAINED WINDS OF 75 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 102 MPH IN THE KEY WEST AREA."

This Ham Radio report is NOT an official report, but rather an unofficial report. So, it cannot technically be confirmed.
 

B Ozanne

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May 3, 2004
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Near the time of full and new moons the tides are higher than normal. Also, during certain times of the year the sun and moon gang up and make the tides even higher.

In case you are wondering the moon is responsible for our tides. The sun also exerts a force on the earth that effects the tides. So anytime you hear a reference to astronomical tides it means the sun or moon or both are aligned in such a way to exert a greater than normal tidal force.
 
Sep 12, 2005
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Looking at the latest water vapor images, the ridge of high pressure not begun to shift east or breakdown at all. I will agree with the computer model that keeps Rita on a due west track and not more of a northwest track.
 
Mar 21, 2005
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The ridge really won't start breaking down until that next trough in the NW moves in to weaken the ridge. How much the ridge weakens will determine how far north Rita will make landfall. So time will tell.
 
Wow. Have you seen the eye on the EYW radar? It has developed rapidly and looks extremely well organized. Likely starting the process to become a "Major" Hurricane.

http://weather.cod.edu/analysis/paulradar.pl?BYX

Edit: I agree. The models forecast the western movement quite well. They also don't forecast the NW track until later on. So, it seems that the models are doing an excellent job on the track of the storm. I don't see any reason to deviate from the model consensus.
 
Jun 15, 2005
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Originally posted by BrandonWhittington
Looking at the latest water vapor images, the ridge of high pressure not begun to shift east or breakdown at all. I will agree with the computer model that keeps Rita on a due west track and not more of a northwest track.


Latest GFS (18Z) would suggest that the strength of the hurricane collides through a weakening section of the upper level high pressure that is to build over the southern Gulf states over the next few days. WV imagery surely shows one high pressure center over TX and another behind the exiting front along the east coast.

The latest GFS suggests the TX/LA border, but again I would side with Mr. Walker. Also there is a deepening trough behind the hurricane over the intermountain west as the hurricane makes landfall. Will that play a role? Surely ... but newer model runs, less error ... etc.
 
As of the latest vortex data message from the NHC (0205z), the minimum central pressure has continued to fall and is now down to 965, and the max FL winds have risen to 103kts; standard surface conversion puts the top surface winds at around 105mph.
 
Mar 21, 2005
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I'm still waiting on the rest of the NAM to come in on RAP, but it is not weakening the ridge much at all. It looks like it could keep Rita right near the TX/Mexico border. I know it's just one model run...but man, interesting!! :?

EDIT: I checked at ncep and the nam does carry Rita on into Mexico!! :shock:
 
11pm: Sustained winds of 110mph. Forecast by NHC to reach 145mph sustained.

EDIT: New tropical model consensus track has a path a little further north than earlier this afternoon. The models look like their fluctuating a little to the right once again. The earlier GFDL and 18z AVN really slam Houston with a fierce direct hit. Will be interesting to see what happens with the next runs. All the models I have seen now bring Rita to 100-120kt sutained winds over the next 72 hours or so. (Interestingly...the way out there CLIPER model has landfall about 30 miles west of New Orleans).
 
GIVEN THE DUAL OUTFLOW PATTERN THAT IS EXPECTED TO PERSIST FOR THE NEXT 36-48 HOURS...STRENGTHENING INTO A CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE IS A DISTINCT POSSIBILITY.
Having the NHC to put that out there in a discussion, which means that the national media will be all over it in a second, should make the red flags fly for people not planning or preparing for possible evacuations.

EDIT: At the rate it has been deepening/strengthening, Rita will likely attain category four status by 21/1500 or 21/2100 at the latest.