Quote: The satellite and radar both suggest a growing and strenghtening system...Looks like de ja vu.
No, no...well except for the keys, sort of.
When Kat came out of FL going SW, she did pound the Keys with her bands and got pretty close. She had a hard time with dry air for the next couple days, although I seem to remember no shear. She kept trying to intensify but no luck with the winds, but every little mb she was able to drop she hung onto it, growing little by little the first couple days into the GOM, back to a Cat 1 when several folks thought she'd blow up right away into a Cat 3. It took awhile for her to get to Cat 2. It wasn't until she turned a little more N and hit the loop current that she first immediately got up to a Cat 3, and then just kept going.
The little bit of the loop current in place since Kat went through, is a spherical area south of LA which is going to be too far N for Rita, and then a little finger of warm water coming up from the western end of Cuba, which she'll get to sometime Wed. Now outside of the favorable conditions right now, that is it for Rita. So if she gets to strong Cat 2 / even weak Cat 3 later today, not necessarily going to hold onto that before she gets to the end of Cuba. There, probably Cat 3, depending on the shear, since that seems to really be a factor for Rita, but again not going to hold onto that intensity by the time she gets to the TX coast.
But...as NHC stated, too soon to be completely certain about landfall in the GOM. But by Wed night there will be a much higher degree of certainty.
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