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Hurricane RITA


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HURRICANE RITA DISCUSSION NUMBER  24
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT FRI SEP 23 2005
 
RITA HAS WEAKENED SINCE YESTERDAY. THE EYE IS NOT AS DISTINCT AND
THE CONVECTION IS NOT AS INTENSE AS 24 HOURS AGO. THIS IS CONSISTENT
WITH THE CENTRAL PRESSURE WHICH HAS RISEN TO AROUND 927 MB AND
WINDS HAVE DECREASED. THE INITIAL INTENSITY HAS BEEN ADJUSTED DOWN
TO 115 KNOTS. UNLESS ANOTHER EYEWALL CYCLE OCCURS THAT COULD BRING
THE WINDS TEMPORARILY UP A LITTLE BIT...THE OVERALL TENDENCY IS FOR
RITA TO WEAKEN GRADUALLY. SO FAR THE PASSAGE OF RITA OVER THE WARM
EDDY IN THE GULF OF MEXICO HAS NOT RESULTED IN INTENSIFICATION.
HOWEVER...RESEARCH SUGGESTS THERE IS A LAG IN THE ATMOSPHERIC
RESPONSE.  NEVERTHERLESS...RITA IS EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL AS
CATEGORY 3 OR...A LITTLE LESS LIKELY...CATEGORY 4 INTENSITY.
 
UPPER-AIR DATA SHOWS THAT THE HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM CONTROLLING THE
MOTION OF THE HURRICANE IS ALREADY NORTH AND EAST OF RITA AND IS
CENTERED OVER ARKANSAS AND TENNESSEE. CONSEQUENTLY...RITA HAS TURNED
MORE TO THE NORTHWEST AND IS NOW MOVING 310 DEGREES AT 9 KNOTS. NO
SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN TRACK IS ANTICIPATED BEFORE LANDFALL NEAR THE
UPPER TEXAS OR SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA COAST EARLY SATURDAY. ONCE
INLAND...THE STEERING CURRENTS ARE FORECAST TO COLLAPSE AND RITA IS
EXPECTED TO MOVE LITTLE OVER NORTHEASTERN TEXAS AND SOUTHWESTERN
ARKANSAS. RITA BY THEN WILL LIKELY PRODUCE TORRENTIAL RAINS. THE
OFFICIAL FORECAST FOLLOWS VERY CLOSELY THE MODEL CONSENSUS.
 
RITA IS A LARGE HURRICANE AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND
OUTWARD A GREAT DISTANCE. A SOND DROPPED FROM A RECONNAISSANCE
PLANE MEASURED 56 KNOTS SURFACE WINDS ABOUT 120 N MI WEST OF THE
EYE.
 
FORECASTER AVILA
 
 
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
 
INITIAL      23/1500Z 27.4N  91.9W   115 KT
 12HR VT     24/0000Z 28.3N  93.1W   115 KT
 24HR VT     24/1200Z 30.0N  94.2W   100 KT...INLAND
 36HR VT     25/0000Z 31.5N  95.0W    45 KT...INLAND
 48HR VT     25/1200Z 33.0N  94.5W    30 KT...INLAND
 72HR VT     26/1200Z 33.5N  94.0W    25 KT...INLAND
 96HR VT     27/1200Z 33.5N  94.0W    25 KT...INLAND
120HR VT     28/1200Z 33.5N  94.0W    25 KT...INLAND
 
 
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