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Hurricane RITA


ZCZC MIATCDAT3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
HURRICANE RITA DISCUSSION NUMBER  20
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT THU SEP 22 2005
 
RITA APPEARS TO HAVE REACHED ITS PEAK INTENSITY DURING THE PAST
12 HOURS. HURRICANES TYPICALLY DO NOT MAINTAIN SUCH HIGH INTENSITY
FOR A LONG TIME. INITIAL INTENSITY ESTIMATE IS 145 KNOTS. ALTHOUGH
SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE LIKELY DURING THE NEXT DAY OR
TWO...DUE TO EYEWALL REPLACEMENT CYCLES...AN OVERALL GRADUAL
WEAKENING TREND SHOULD TAKE PLACE. THIS WEAKENING TREND IS BASED ON
LOWER OCEANIC HEAT CONTENT ALONG THE FORECAST TRACK AND INCREASING
SHEAR. NEVERTHERELESS...RITA IS EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL AS A
DANGEROUS HURRICANE OF AT LEAST A CATEGORY THREE INTENSITY.  

RITA HAS BEEN MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR 295 DEGREES AT 8
KNOTS. A STRONG HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM CURRENTLY CENTERED OVER
NORTHERN TEXAS/OKLAHOMA IS EXPECTED TO SHIFT EASTWARD ALLOWING RITA
TO TAKE A MORE NORTHWESTERLY AND NORTHERLY TRACK. THE EASTWARD
SHIFT OF THE HIGH IS FORECAST BY ALL GLOBAL MODELS...RESULTING IN
TRACK GUIDANCE CONSISTENTLY TURNING THE HURRICANE TOWARD THE
NORTHWEST AND NORTH TOWARD THE UPPER-TEXAS OR THE WESTERN LOUISIANA
COASTS. AFTER LANDFALL...STEERING CURRENTS ARE EXPECTED TO WEAKEN
AND THE CYCLONE COULD MEANDER FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS IN THE VICINITY
OF NORTHEASTERN TEXAS...PRODUCING HEAVY RAINS. 

BASED ON THE FORECAST TRACK AND WIND RADII...HURRICANE WARNINGS HAVE
BEEN ISSUED AT THIS TIME FROM PORT O'CONNOR TEXAS TO MORGAN CITY
LOUISIANA. TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT ON EITHER SIDE OF
THE HURRICANE WARNING.  
 
FORECASTER AVILA
  
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
INITIAL      22/1500Z 25.4N  88.7W   145 KT
 12HR VT     23/0000Z 25.8N  89.9W   140 KT
 24HR VT     23/1200Z 26.9N  91.6W   130 KT
 36HR VT     24/0000Z 28.2N  93.0W   125 KT
 48HR VT     24/1200Z 30.0N  94.5W   100 KT...INLAND
 72HR VT     25/1200Z 33.0N  95.0W    45 KT...INLAND
 96HR VT     26/1200Z 34.0N  95.0W    30 KT...INLAND
120HR VT     27/1200Z 34.5N  94.5W    25 KT...INLAND
 
 
$$
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Page last modified: Thursday, 22-Sep-2005 15:10:10 UTC