NOW: Hurricane Rita

Yeah. However, Cameron Parish has a total population of less than 10,000 and, hopefully, more than the regional average of 95% chose to evacuate, thus leaving less than 500 people. That being said, Cameron Parish is almost literally flat, so roughly 500 inhabitants of that area are going to be having to endure a rough night that, unfortunately, many may not survive.
 
Southern eyewall starting to build back up as seen on the KLCH 3.5 degree scans. Motion appears to be very slowly just to the west of due north -- nuthin but bad news for the Cameron - Lake Charles area.

Also...according to the FCMP T0 tower, winds are just shy of hurricane strength in Port Arthur with a pressure of 982mb.
 

Anonymous

The outer-eyewall appears to be wrapping back up and the inner eyewall has also improved a little bit. Latest vortex is also out and still shows CAT 3 winds.
 
Yeah. However, Cameron Parish has a total population of less than 10,000 and, hopefully, more than the regional average of 95% chose to evacuate, thus leaving less than 500 people. That being said, Cameron Parish is almost literally flat, so roughly 500 inhabitants of that area are going to be having to endure a rough night that, unfortunately, many may not survive.
The City of Cameron is about to get dominated by major winds and surge - given the topography, anyone who didn't leave very well may not make it through this one. Cameron is right on the coast and this surge is going to be overwhelming; this city is going to need to be completely rebuilt. I expect that we will be seeing images similar to the Katrina Biloxi-Gulfport damage coming out of this area once helicopters can get in there sometime later today or sunday.

These pictures say it all....
0541UTC-------------------0547UTC-------------------0553UTC
 

Anonymous

Just a note Cameron, LA has only 2,000 residents and I heard it is very largely evacuated. I would think that perhaps only dozens remain in such a small town on the coast and with a river running through it.
 
Dec 18, 2003
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daviddrummond.com
Jay and I still hold up in the hospital parking garage in Beaumont. We have no way to measure the wind right now, but we both agree it has to be sustained over 100mph at this point. The eye is about to come ashore about 15 miles or so to our SE and if it doesn't wobble any more should pass right over us.

There have been HUNDREDS of transformer explosions. We watched the power go out from area to area. The power here was on generator backup and now that is off except just in the main hospital building.

It's very strange and unsettling. The only light is from our vehicle and oddly enough we are still seeing transformers explode and power flashes. The wind/rain noise is near deafening at times. Occassionally we here something near by rip apart, but we have no idea what it was. There are metal signs hanging under the roof of the garage here that are making loud clanging noises and threating to fly off. 3 of them already did.

And through all this, oddly enough, Sprint service is still working. Experience of a lifetime is what this was!
 
Dec 9, 2003
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Well, Rita is just about to officially make landfall, though the northern eyewall is on land over extreme sw LA. I do find it interesting that the first images after the nightly GOES ecplipse shows VERY cold cloud tops, much like I was expecting earlier today (that didn't pan out). I imagine that the recent cooling of cloud tops may be attributed to enhanced surface convergence from differential friction as winds move onshore. The outflow looks beautiful to the west though northeast of the storm. It's tough to see exactly what's going on since the Lake Charles radar is down again. I've heard of some wind gusts in the 90s, but not much higher. I think I saw a wind gust to 112mph somewhere, but I can't find that source. Stations T0, T3, and T5 from FCMP all indicate central pressures near 960mb, so they are nearing the center, and they are recording 0.1s gusts near 100mph. The very intense convection that has developed in the past hour, as evidenced by the rapidly cooling cloud tops, may allow for the advisories winds to be met, similar to how the strong convective burst in Katrina as it made landfall help make it at least believable that the storm had winds near the advisories indicated.

 

Anonymous

It appears to the untrained eye that the main internet backbone to Lake Charles has failed. KPLC's web stream went offline and the LCH 88D both stopped updating at exactly the same time 2:45am CT. Also, a number of local websites, apparently hosted in the area are not reachable.

The NWS in their forecast discussion issued at 2:47 mentioned a comms failure, and that they were on dial-up.
 
Dec 9, 2003
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Originally posted by Anonymous

The NWS in their forecast discussion issued at 2:47 mentioned a comms failure, and that they were on dial-up.
From the 3am Lake Charles NWSFO Forecast Discussion:

"FIRST EXPERIENCE IN A HURRICANE FOR THIS ILLINOIS BOY.
PARTICULARLY MISSING HOME RIGHT NOW. SOUNDS AS IF A 747 IS SITTING UPON THE ROOF REVVING ITS ENGINES. WIND EQUIPMENT HAS FAILED HERE BUT BELIEVE WE ARE NOW SEEING WINDS POSSIBLY IN A 70 TO 90 KNOT RANGE HERE AT LAKE CHARLES. NOS GAUGE AT CALCASIEU PASS REPORTED A GUST TO 112 MPH...AND THEN FAILED. ANTICIPATING A 15 TO 20 FOOT STORM SURGE AND UNSURE AT THIS TIME IF THIS WILL IMPACT US. WAS JUST INFORMED THAT AIRPORT TERMINAL NEXT TO OFFICE HAS COLLAPSED. JUST HAD A BRIEF COMMS FAILURE BUT NOW BACK UP. UNFORTUNATELY...SINCE WE ARE NOW IN A DIAL BACKUP MODE...WILL BE UNABLE TO UPDATE GRIDS AND WILL TURN THIS RESPONSIBILITY OVER TO OUR CURRENT BACKUP OFFICE SAN ANTONIO. WE WILL MAINTAIN SHORT-TERM RESPONSIBILITY...NOWCASTS...HLS'S...TAFS...WARNINGS...AS LONG AS WE HOLD TOGETHER. "

I don't think I've ever read a discussion with that sort of tone -- which has a hint of fear. It does look like the inner eyewall will miss Lake Charles to the west, but I know the NWSFO is actually southwest of the city, so I'm not sure where they will be relative to the eyewall.
 
I guess for formality's sake, the landfall information should be posted so here it is.

Originally posted by The NHC 0800z Position Update
THE CENTER OF RITA MADE LANDFALL AT 230 AM CDT ON THE EXTREME SOUTHWEST COAST OF LOUISIANA BETWEEN SABINE PASS AND JOHNSON'S BAYOU.
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index.shtml

Here are the last three radar image from KLCH before it went down.
All times UTC: 0731 -- 0737 --- 0742


The radar site, which I presume is near the actual NWS office, is in the upper right hand side of these images and is represented by a small red diamond.
 
Originally posted by Jeff Snyder
...I do find it interesting that the first images after the nightly GOES ecplipse shows VERY cold cloud tops, much like I was expecting earlier today (that didn't pan out). I imagine that the recent cooling of cloud tops may be attributed to enhanced surface convergence from differential friction as winds move onshore....
Tropical cyclones have a tendency to get a little hemorrhoid flare-up overnight. The tropical folks call it the diurnal max. During the day the sun warms the tops, killing the lapse rate... though your logic may also apply here.
 
Yikes. as of 0823z, the KHGX radar is showing that the intense right-front eyewall moved within 3 miles of the KLCH radar site. This would mean a very strong southerly wind occurred that there has been likely been a significant/catastrophic surge flooding event from the waters of Calcasieu Lake being pushed northward into the city of Lake Charles. This could be quite bad. Not saying this happened here, but has an NWS forecaster ever been injured by severe weather while on duty?

EDIT: I just Google Earth-ed the address listed on the NWSFO LCH website, 500 Airport Boulevard Lake Charles, and saw that it is six miles from the lake. That is some good news, however, that statement mentioned buildings being destroyed on the airport grounds? That seems to be getting pretty serious; I'm sure they'll have quite a story to tell tomorrow.
 
Dec 9, 2003
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Just in case someone is only following this thread, I suggest checking out the FCMP at http://grove.ufl.edu/~fcmp/Rita/ ... There are 3 stations near and east of Port Arthur, including one that may provide a very nice sample of the eye (either T3 or T5). Certainly no cat 4 winds, but it does appear that the cat 3 winds are likely verifying.
 
Beaumont ASOS measured sustained at 64 with a 99 mph gust at 0818z. SLP was 956-mb and the eye was still a little ways off at the time. The storm is the real deal.

Edit: Beaumont ASOS still surviving with a 105 mph gust at 0853z.
 
Dec 9, 2003
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This storm seems that it may have done the same thing as Katrina did near landfall... IIRC, there was a decent convective flare-up right as Katrina was making landfall. I think this flare-up likely helped potential surface winds be realized (e.g the 138mph wind gust at NWSO Slidell). Most storms weaken on landfall, but it seems as though the convective flare-up right at landfall has helped Rita maintain intensity despite being inland now. In fact, the new 4am advisory indicates that max sustained winds remain in the 120mph range, which is unusual given that the center of the eye has been officially over land for nearly and hour and half. The radar representation of the northern eyewall became considerably stronger immediately at and after landfall, and I hightly suspect this is the cause for the Cat 3 winds being measured/reported/etc.

Some of the anecdotal accounts from reporters in Rita are pretty impressive... One of the reports said that, in his many years of covering hurricanes at landfall, this is probably the worst he's covered in terms of winds. Sure, there's some sensationalism likely invovled, but I'm not sure there'd be much reason to lie in cases such as that.

EDIT: FCMP site T0 is now reporting 3s winds of 113.3mph with a 0.1s gust of 123.9mph. http://grove.ufl.edu/~fcmp/Rita/T0/NOAA-Ri...24-08-24-00.txt This station should be in the southwestern eyewall currently.
 
Originally posted by Jeff Snyder
In fact, the new 4am advisory indicates that max sustained winds remain in the 120mph range, which is unusual given that the center of the eye has been officially over land for nearly and hour and half. The radar representation of the northern eyewall became considerably stronger immediately at and after landfall, and I hightly suspect this is the cause for the Cat 3 winds being measured/reported/etc.

Some of the anecdotal accounts from reporters in Rita are pretty impressive... One of the reports said that, in his many years of covering hurricanes at landfall, this is probably the worst he's covered in terms of winds. Sure, there's some sensationalism likely invovled, but I'm not sure there'd be much reason to lie in cases such as that.
The eye passed directly over seven miles of Sabine Lake at 12mph, so that prob had something to do with it. I also agree that there are some pretty significant damage reports coming from the media in the Lake Charles area. A hotel is "splittling in half" according to FOX and there is significant damage to most of the hangars at the Regional Airport (location of NWSFO). This was, without a doubt, a legitimate category three hurricane at landfall according to the data from towers T0, T3 and T5 -- by the way -- props to the FCMP people for their perfect location selections

EDIT: Wow. FCMP tower T5 is reporting a pressure of 941mb as of 0902z. Excellent placement.
 
Jun 15, 2005
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Originally posted by Benjamin Sipprell
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.

I wrote that on Tuesday! Wow! Models didn't do all that bad ... and I kept my prediction on TX/LA border ... sweet.

Anyway, looks like Galveston/Houston really dodged the worst. Everyone on this board speaking with regards to the storm restrengthening was wrong, and thank God. America is lucky this morning ... now everyone must learn and learn hopefully we shall ...

Low tide, little storm surge, the western side of the storm undergoing a lot of de-intensification. Refineries will be alright ...

Now let's pray for those around the TX/LA border and in addition the flooding rains aren't bad and the storm moves faster than anticipated.
 
Apr 13, 2005
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Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:03 am Post subject:

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Quote:
Brandon...I respectfully disagree with everything you said. The big wobble occurred yesterday which sifted the track a bit north. Satellite imagery shows a due west track for the past 1-2 hours (at 10am). Even if it were on a NW track now...I would not expect it to be over Lousiana. I DO expect Houston/Galveston to see huge winds and huge surge. In fact, I forecast a direct hit based on almost all of the the latest models and consensus. Further, I would expect Riat to be a CAT 4 when she makes landfall..Cat 2 seems way too weak especially given the models intensity forecasts.
I have pretty much based my forecast (guess) with the trends in most of the models as of now, if she continues on her current path with no turn to the north then it would hit just on the east side of Galveston. I know I am the only one saying this and I am going against just about every model and the NHC, but looking at it on Satellite (to me) looks like it is going to hit south of Lake Charles. After watching Isodore, Lili, Dennis, Ivan and just about every other major hurricane come rolling into shallow water and with the large amounts of dry air to the west and northwest of the storm combined with the weakening this morning and being due for an eye wall replacement my best guess would be strong 2 weak 3 at landfall. Oh well, we will see. The model forecasted for Lili to be a borderline 4/5 instead she was a borderline 1/2. If I am wrong I will be the first to tell say so, but I don't think I will .

Check out the archive of the path for Rita from NHC. Just keeps going north and east, I just think the trend will continue.
Like I said, I will be the first to admit I was wrong. Since it was not a strong 2 or weak 3 I was wrong. Close, but still wrong.