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Tropical Storm RITA


ZCZC MIATCDAT3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL STORM RITA DISCUSSION NUMBER   5
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 PM EDT SUN SEP 18 2005
 
THE LAST RECON REPORT AT 17/2324Z INDICATED MAXIMUM RELIABLE 850 MB
FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS OF ABOUT 55 KT...OR ROUGHLY 44 KT SURFACE WINDS.
THERE WAS ONE FLIGHT-LEVEL REPORT OF 67 KT...BUT THIS OCCURRED
DURING CLIMBOUT TO A HIGHER ALTITUDE TO AVOID TURBULENCE...AND IS
THEREFORE NOT DEEMED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ACTUAL WIND FIELD. SINCE
THE LAST RECON FLIGHT...CLOUD TOPS HAVE WARMED NEAR THE CIRCULATION
CENTER...SO THE INTENSITY IS BEING HELD AT 45 KT.
 
THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 300/09. RITA HAS ACTUALLY BEEN MOVING
OR PROPAGATING NORTHWESTWARD THE PAST 6 TO 9 HOURS. THIS MOTION MAY
BE DUE TO THE CENTER REFORMING CLOSER TO THE DEEP CONVECTION...OR
ACTUAL MOVEMENT TOWARD A WEAKER BREAK IN THE MID-LEVEL RIDGE
LOCATED ALONG 75W LONGITUDE. ALSO...AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW PREVIOUSLY
LOCATED NEAR JAMAICA HAS MOVED NORTHWESTWARD TO NEAR CAYMAN BRAC
AND HAS NOT WEAKENED LIKE THE GLOBAL MODELS HAVE BEEN FORECASTING.
THE COMBINATION OF THE SOUTHEASTERLY FLOW ON THE EAST SIDE OF UPPER
LOW...COMBINED WITH THE SOUTHEASTERLY FLOW ON THE SOUTHWEST SIDE OF
A LARGE MID-LEVEL RIDGE LOCATED EAST OF BERMUDA...SHOULD STEER RITA
IN A GENERAL WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION FOR THE NEXT 12 TO PERHAPS
24 HOURS. AFTER THAT...ALL OF THE GLOBAL AND REGIONAL MODELS AGREE
THAT THE LARGE MID-LEVEL RIDGE THAT EXTENDS ALONG THE GULF COAST
FROM A HIGH CENTER OVER LOUISIANA WILL GRADUALLY BUILD EASTWARD AND
TURN RITA WESTWARD. HOWEVER...THE SAME MODELS ALSO AGREE THAT THE
HEIGHTS WILL NOT INCREASE ACROSS SOUTHERN FLORIDA AND...IN FACT...
HEIGHTS FROM 700 MB TO 400 MB HAVE NOT INCREASED ACROSS SOUTH
FLORIDA DURING THE PAST 24 HOURS...BUT THE WIND SPEEDS HAVE
DECREASED. THIS ALL SUGGESTS THAT THE EASTERN EXTENT OF THE RIDGE
EAST OF FLORIDA MAY NOT BE AS STRONG AS INDICATED IN THE MODEL
FIELDS. AS SUCH...THERE MAY A NORTHWARD SHIFT IN THE MODEL GUIDANCE
TRACKS IN THE 00Z MODEL RUNS. HOWEVER...WITH SUCH A LARGE AND
STRONG RIDGE IN PLACE ACROSS THE GULF COAST...RITA SHOULD GRADUALLY
EVENTUALLY MOVE WESTWARD ACROSS THE CENTRAL GULF AND INTO THE
WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO BY THE END OF THE PERIOD. THE OFFICIAL TRACK
WAS SHIFTED TO THE RIGHT OF THE PREVIOUS FORECAST TO ACCOUNT FOR
THE MORE NORTHWARD INITIAL POSITION. THIS NORTHWARD SHIFT HAS
REQUIRED THE PREVIOUS WATCHES FOR THE FLORIDA KEYS AND SOUTH
FLORIDA TO BE UPGRADED TO HURRICANE AND TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS.
 
THE VERTICAL SHEAR IS NOW FORECAST BY ALL OF THE MODELS TO GRADUALLY
DECREASE FROM THE CURRENT 15 KT DOWN TO LESS THAN 5 KT BY 36-72
HOURS. THIS SHOULD ALLOW FOR SOME SIGNIFICANT STRENGTHENING TO
COCUR...ESPECIALLY SINCE RITA WILL BE OVER 30C SSTS AND IMPRESSIVE
POLEWARD OUTFLOW PATTERN WILL BE MAINTAINED. THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY
FORECAST FOLLOWS THE TREND OF THE SHIPS...GFDL...AND FSU SUPER
ENSEMBLE MODELS...WHICH ALL BRING THE CYCLONE TO MAJOR HURRICANE
STRENGTH...AT LEAST 100 KT...BY 72 HOURS. 
 
FORECASTER STEWART
 
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
INITIAL      19/0300Z 22.9N  73.3W    45 KT
 12HR VT     19/1200Z 23.4N  75.1W    50 KT
 24HR VT     20/0000Z 24.1N  77.5W    60 KT
 36HR VT     20/1200Z 24.3N  80.1W    75 KT
 48HR VT     21/0000Z 24.2N  83.0W    90 KT
 72HR VT     22/0000Z 24.1N  88.5W   100 KT
 96HR VT     23/0000Z 24.5N  92.0W   100 KT
120HR VT     24/0000Z 26.5N  95.5W   100 KT
 
$$
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Page last modified: Monday, 19-Sep-2005 20:55:11 UTC