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Hurricane RITA


ZCZC MIATCDAT3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
HURRICANE RITA DISCUSSION NUMBER  15
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 AM EDT WED SEP 21 2005
 
THE RECONNAISSANCE MISSION SCHEDULED FOR THIS MORNING WAS SCRUBBED
DUE TO ELECTRONICS PROBLEMS ON MULTIPLE AIRCRAFT.  HOWEVER...BEFORE
THE EYE WENT OUT OF RANGE OF THE VELOCITY DATA FROM THE KEY WEST
WSR-88D...WINDS OF 100-115 KT WERE SEEN AT BETWEEN 9000-13000 FT. 
ADDITIONALLY...SATELLITE INTENSITY ESTIMATES ARE 115 KT FROM ALL
AGENCIES.  BASED ON THIS AND EXTRAPOLATION OF TRENDS FROM THE LAST
AIRCRAFT MISSION...THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS INCREASED TO 105
KT...AND THIS MAY BE CONSERVATIVE GIVE THE SATELLITE APPEARANCE.

THE INITIAL MOTION IS 275-280 DEGREES AT 12 KT.  RITA SHOULD
CONTINUE TO MOVE GENERALLY WESTWARD FOR THE NEXT 36 HR OR SO ON THE
SOUTH SIDE OF THE STRONG DEEP-LAYER RIDGE OVER THE NORTHERN GULF
COAST.  BEYOND THAT TIME...THE LARGE-SCALE MODELS FORECAST THE
RIDGE TO WEAKEN AND SHIFT EASTWARD...ALLOWING A MORE NORTHWARD
MOTION.  THE MODELS HAVE COME INTO SOMEWHAT BETTER AGREEMENT ON
THIS RUN...AS THE GFS HAS SHIFTED WESTWARD FROM ITS PREVIOUS
FORECAST...WHILE THE NOGAPS AND GFDN HAVE SHIFTED NORTHWARD FROM
THEIR SOUTH TEXAS LANDFALL.  THE FORECAST TRACK IS CLOSE TO THE
CONSENSUS MODELS AND THE FSU SUPERENSEMBLE...BEING NUDGED SLIGHTLY
NORTH OF THE PREVIOUS TRACK DURING THE FIRST 48-72 HR AND SLIGHTLY
WESTWARD THEREAFTER WITH A LANDFALL ON THE MIDDLE TEXAS COAST IN
JUST OVER 72 HR.  HOWEVER...THESE CHANGES ARE IN THE NOISE LEVEL.
 
THE SATELLITE SIGNATURE OF RITA GIVES EVERY IMPRESSION THAT RAPID
INTENSIFICATION IS CONTINUING...AND WHILE THE EQUATORWARD OUTFLOW
CHANNEL MENTIONED EARLIER IS NOT AS APPARENT NOW THE POLEWARD
OUTFLOW CHANNEL IS STILL GOING STRONG.  THUS INTENSIFICATION COULD
CONTINUE UNTIL A CONCENTRIC EYEWALL CYCLE OCCURS OR UNTIL THE EYE
MOVES WEST OF THE LOOP CURRENT IN ABOUT 24 HR.  THE GFDL MODEL
PEAKS RITA AT ABOUT 120 KT IN 12-18 HR...THE SHIPS MODEL PEAKS IT
AT 122 KT IN 48 HR...AND THE SUPERENSEMBLE PEAKS IT AT 131 KT IN 48
HR.  THE INTENSITY FORECAST WILL BRING THE SYSTEM TO 125 KT IN 24
HR AS A BLEND OF THESE FORECASTS.  HOWEVER...IT WOULD NOT BE A
SURPRISE IF RITA BECAME A CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE IN THE NEXT 24 HR
BEFORE WEAKENING SOMEWHAT DUE TO A CONCENTRIC EYEWALL CYCLE OR THE
LOWER OCEAN HEAT CONTENT WEST OF THE LOOP CURRENT.  RITA SHOULD
MAINTAIN MAJOR HURRICANE STATUS UNTIL LANDFALL...THEN WEAKEN AFTER
LANDFALL.
 
FORECASTER BEVEN
 
 
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
INITIAL      21/0900Z 24.3N  84.6W   105 KT
 12HR VT     21/1800Z 24.4N  86.5W   115 KT
 24HR VT     22/0600Z 24.7N  88.7W   125 KT
 36HR VT     22/1800Z 25.2N  90.8W   125 KT
 48HR VT     23/0600Z 25.9N  92.8W   125 KT
 72HR VT     24/0600Z 28.0N  95.5W   120 KT
 96HR VT     25/0600Z 31.5N  97.0W    50 KT...INLAND
120HR VT     26/0600Z 35.5N  96.5W    25 KT...INLAND DISSIPATING
 
 
$$
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Page last modified: Wednesday, 21-Sep-2005 08:55:19 UTC