NOW: Hurricane Rita

Feb 26, 2004
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www.stormdriven.com
Originally posted by Jay Cazel+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Jay Cazel)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Dan Dawson
It appears it's back, or maybe it never did go down. I was just going off what the blog said, and what looked like a couple missing volume scans
It just updated again, might have gone down for a few but seems to be okay now.[/b]
They are on generator now
 

Anonymous

Looks like Rita is still pretty leveled off intensity wise and effects are now being felt. Im concerned about flooding over the next several days as the GFS and GFDL indicate tons of precipitation to fall into TX/LA. HPC indicates 11 inches in TX/LA which is probably locally higher in SW LA. With almost ten inches expected over nearly the same area as steering currents collapse. With 99% of the Gulf refining/oil operations shut-down it's pretty reasonable to expect some increase in prices or even some shortages well into next week around the affected regions. It does appear that Galveston and Houston will be spared a catastrophic hit and instead be 30-40mi away from the western eye-wall winds and more extreme storm surge.

18z Model data favors Port Arthur with NOGAPS, SHIP, GFDI and AVNI.
The ETAI and GFNI take Rita over or very close to Galveston-Houston but their forecast tracks were about 10 degrees off in the last four hours.

I don't think the surge will be high enough to overcome the Galveston barrier but Port Arthur looks like it's a good candidate for being
 
The deep convection is making an attempt at wrapping completely around the center as of 0045z. I personally would be shocked if this came ashore as a category two; I'm thinking somewhere on the order of 130-135mph landfall intensity.



EDIT: Brandon, I think you may be dead-on with your landfall location -- if this happens, the FCMP towers will be in the western eyewall.
 

Dante

Hey,

Here in The Woodlands, just north of Houston. Getting gusts of around 35-40 mph.

Hoping we'll be spared.
 

Kurt Wayne

Wow...that site says the NWS calls for 20 ft. storm surge at BEAUMONT and Orange, and 10 feet in downtown Lake Charles.

There's LOTS of petrochemicals there, folks...you can see lots of refinery towers and flares in both Beaumont and Lake Charles, and in Port Arthur they say they're as far as the eye can see. A couple of refineries have their biggest operations in America right there, a Port Arthur native and announcer on a Tulsa AM station said today.
 

Anonymous

The Inner and outer Eyewall don't look that great. It looks like dry air is starting to entrain into Rita and shear is also having some effect. The eyewall appears to be almost 50% open and is very ragged and even slightly obsecured. Winds are starting to increase with some buoys reporting Hurricane force gusts.
 
Dec 9, 2003
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It sounds like the 23z VORTEX message will be the last one for (EDIT) RITA. The current recon trip just ended, and I heard a met on TV say he knew there would not be another one due to proximity to land. Latest IR shows very cold cloud tops wrapping around the eye. However, as has been the case since the prolonger ERC ended this morning, the eye has not stabilized. Since this morning, it looks like there have been a couple more attemps at ERCs, as there were 3 concentric eyewalls around Rita most of the day. Latest radar from Lake Charles indicates that the inner eyewall may be falling apart. If this is indeed the case, there are two possibilities I see... First, the outter eyewall will contract and we will see slight strengthening. The second possibility is that there will not be enough time for the outer eyewall to contract, and the storm will make landfall with a very large eye. If this happens, I don't think they'll see mid-range Cat 3 winds given the lack of strong reflectivity currently in the outer eyewall. If there is enough time to organize a bit more, we could see high-end cat 3 winds I believe. Who knows... perhaps the lack of reflectivity in the inner eyewall is just temporary and not indicative of inner eyewall degradation as expected in an ERC.
 

Mike Johnson

I don't think a real ERC has been a viable part of this storm for over 12 hours, maybe more. The storm has been ingesting drier air, is encountering friction of land masses, is being hit by shear and is no longer venting at an acceptable rate -- to name a few things. It's over. Thank God.

Mike
 

Anonymous

Originally posted by Mike Johnson
I don't think a real ERC has been a viable part of this storm for over 12 hours, maybe more. The storm has been ingesting drier air, is encountering friction of land masses, is being hit by shear and is no longer venting at an acceptable rate -- to name a few things. It's over. Thank God.

Mike
I agree. I don't think the weakening trend has had as much to do with Internal dynamics as it is drier air, increasing shear and significantly less depth to the warmer waters.
 
As of 11pm EDT, it's looking like this is going to be an ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING event for Lake Charles. The eye looks to come ashore within 10 to 20 miles to the west of Cameron, which will push Lake Charles (the body of water) up the river and into Lake Charles (the city); storm surge in this area will likely approach 20 feet.

EDIT: Eyewall "tornado" warning issued for Cameron Parish, LA and Jefferson County, TX. This is where the northern eyewall is going to be moving onshore very shortly, with F2-like winds over a ~40 mile diameter area.
 
Apr 16, 2004
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www.TornadoXtreme.com
Looking at it right now on Weathertap's Enhanced Infrared and Water Vapor it looks pretty strong. I don't see the low temped cloud tops all the way around the eye as Mike was mentioning at -71 but it appears much of it is now near that temperature. I also don't see the open eye anymore so maybe it is stabilizing. What do you think?
 
Apr 13, 2005
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Jackson, Ms
Unless it crumbles down again it looks like I may miss my projection of 110mph. It actually does look quite a bit better than it did an hour ago. Looks almost like the eyewall has closed in and the storm has stabilized. Luckily it is about to run out of room or it could start to gain strength again.

I was just looking at Google Earth and there are a ton of houses all along the Large Lake south of Lake Charles some of them very large houses in very nice neighborhoods. If you check Google earth be sure to click on the water tab in the layers key so you can get a true idea of just how much of that area is water. I'm not too sure much of this area will make it through tonight. I hope most of these people did indeed evacuate or we could be looking at another significant death toll.

It is a good time to say some prayers.



On a lighter note, you guys think Jim Cantore choose to be a little farther away from this storm after his experiences in Katrina?
 
11:25pm EDT

Questions/Comments:

1. Where did all of the rainfall go on the Southeastern Quarter of the storm? VERY STRANGE.

2. Did you see the 11:00-11:25pm EDT doppler images show what appears to be complete 45 degree turn to due west? Maybe Houston/Galveston is in bigger trouble than everyone thinks?

3. 88D indeed showing some weakening and disorganization of the eye. Maybe a good sign for the folks down there...relatively speaking. All of this may be related due dry air entrainment south or southeast of the storm. Will check H2O loop to look for answers.

Forget the models...nowcasting these things are more fun and challenge your memory of synoptic meteorology I. :D
 
Originally posted by HAltschule
1. Where did all of the rainfall go on the Southeastern Quarter of the storm? VERY STRANGE.
I may be completely wrong, but isn't this due to intense echoes that 'block' the radar beam's view of these areas?

EDIT: and, yes, I definitely did notice that hard left turn...we'll just have to wait and see how long it lasts...
 
Dec 9, 2003
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Sam, some of it may be attenuation, but the WSR-88D, since it's a 10cm (s-band) radar, usually only experiences minor attenuation that close to the radar (only 70 miles from the radar). I think there is just a lack of precipitation in that area.
 
That's what I was thinking. It makes sense but I have never seen that happen personally.

Anyway...2.5 degree doppler shows the real eye the best and also now shows that Rita seems to be stalling as it approaches land. This may be temporary but these are the kind of things that can precede movement in a different direction or cause MAJOR prolongment of bad weather. More to come...

Anyone else see this?
 
NWS in Lousiana has many flood warnings out calling for catastrophic flooding. This one caught my attention especially...WHOA:

FOR THE CALCASIEU RIVER NEAR SALT WATER BARRIER, THE LATEST STAGE WAS 2.9 FEET AT 8 PM FRIDAY. FLOOD STAGE IS 4.0 FEET. THE RIVER IS FORECAST TO RISE ABOVE FLOOD STAGE THIS EVENING, WITH A CREST NEAR 16.0 FEET SATURDAY MORNING DUE TO STORM SURGE. AT STAGES NEAR 13.0 FEET, THE RIVER IS AT ITS FLOOD OF RECORD. OVER HALF OF THE CITY OF LAKE CHARLES IS FLOODED.
 
Yep the last few frames almost look like it has slowed. Lets hope that isn't the case. I had read some time ago that hurricanes don't like to come onshore sometimes and have a tendancy to bounce a little? A base velocity run almost makes it look like the eye is heading right for Beaumont also, which is where Shep is with foxnews. Should make for some great video coming up providing he doesn't get blown away.
 
Originally posted by Gary Stofer
A base velocity run almost makes it look like the eye is heading right for Beaumont also, which is where Shep is with foxnews. Should make for some great video coming up providing he doesn't get blown away.
LMAO, I saw him get blown over an hour or so ago and that was pretty entertaining. Anyways... yeah, Howie, I am really concerned about the situation in Lake Charles; the population of the city is over 100k and with a rough estimate that 95% evacuated, that still leaves more than 5,000 people in a city that has only just the 'tip of the iceberg' so to speak. The surge is already being pushed up from Lake Charles into the city, and this is only going continue until it peaks about three - four hours from now. Not to mention the petrochemical refineries...
 
That's corportate america (refineries)...always preplanning for the unexpected. DOH...lets put these plants right along the waterfront.

PS: Station 42047 earlier this evening recorded sustained winds of 140mph. Not bad. Nothing even close to that on the live Buoy reports now.
 

Kurt Wayne

WWL's Lake Charles reporter said a Harrah's gambling barge had broken from its moorings and was floating down the river.

(An amazing story pre-Rita...fisherman in Cameron Parish, straight south of Lake Charles, were saying that they were "catching" ATM machines in their nets, "bounty" from Katrina.)

Lake Charles, also, has some major petrochemical plants.
 

Kurt Wayne

BTW, Cameron Parish is to Lake Charles what Plaquemines Parish is to New Orleans...hate to see what will happen there.