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Hurricane RITA


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HURRICANE RITA DISCUSSION NUMBER  11
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT TUE SEP 20 2005
 
RITA HAS BECOME THE NINTH HURRICANE OF THE 2005 SEASON. DATA FROM
DOPPLER RADAR FROM KEY WEST...SATELLITE AND RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT
INDICATE THAT RITA HAS BECOME A HURRICANE. DOPPLER RADAR PEAK
WINDS AT 5 TO 10 THOUSAND FEET HAVE BEEN OSCILLATING BETWEEN 90 AND
95 KNOTS WITH AN ISOLATED PEAK OF 100 KNOTS...AND DROPSONDES IN THE
EYEWALL SUPPORT AN INITIAL INTENSITY OF 75 KNOTS. THE PRESSURE HAS
DECREASED TO 982 MB...AND THE SATELLITE PRESENTATION HAS IMPROVED
WITH VERY DEEP CONVECTION AND WELL-ESTABLISHED OUTFLOW. BOTH THE
UPPER-LEVEL ENVIRONMENT AND THE OCEAN BELOW RITA ARE CONDUCIVE FOR
ADDITIONAL INTENSIFICATION. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST GRADUALLY BRINGS
THE WINDS UP BUT...IT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE DISTINCT POSSIBILITY OF
RAPID INTENSIFICATION IN THE GULF OF MEXICO SINCE IT IS DIFFICULT
TO FORECAST. RITA WILL HAVE PLENTY OF TIME OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO
TO GO UP AND DOWN IN INTENSITY DUE TO EYEWALL REPLACEMENT CYCLES.
 
RITA IS MOVING WESTWARD OR 270 DEGREES AT 13 KNOTS SINCE IT IS
ALREADY SOUTH OF A DEEP LAYER MEAN RIDGE.  THIS PATTERN IS FORECAST
TO PERSIST FOR THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS. THERAFTER...THE HIGH IS
EXPECTED TO MOVE EASTWARD LEAVING A WEAKNESS OVER THE WESTERN GULF
OF MEXICO. THIS FORECAST PATTERN SHOULD EVENTUALLY FORCE RITA
TOWARD THE NORTHWEST TOWARD THE TEXAS COAST. THIS IS ONE THE CASES
OF RELATIVELY HIGH CONFIDENCE IN THE TRACK FORECAST SINCE MOST OF
THE RELIABLE GUIDANCE ARE TIGHTLY CLUSTERED. FOR THOSE WHO FOLLOW
JUST THE SKINNY BLACK LINE...IT IS ALWAYS GOOD TO REMIND THEM THAT
3 TO 5 DAY FORECAST ERRORS CAN BE LARGE.
 
FORECASTER AVILA
 
 
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
INITIAL      20/1500Z 23.8N  81.0W    75 KT
 12HR VT     21/0000Z 24.0N  83.1W    80 KT
 24HR VT     21/1200Z 24.3N  85.8W    85 KT
 36HR VT     22/0000Z 24.5N  88.3W    90 KT
 48HR VT     22/1200Z 24.5N  90.5W    95 KT
 72HR VT     23/1200Z 26.0N  94.0W   100 KT
 96HR VT     24/1200Z 29.5N  96.4W    65 KT...INLAND
120HR VT     25/1200Z 33.5N  97.5W    30 KT...INLAND
 
 
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