startin' with rita. pressure has been falling about 1-1.5mb hr all day. that's steady intensification... nothing outlandish. at 967mb the storm is nearing the traditional cat 3 threshold. track is over post-katrina waters.. at the speed it's moving the thinned warm layer will probably be enough to support a cat 4. it'll probably be there around tomorrow night, then go through eyewall cycles as it moves into the western gulf. the western gulf isn't stirred up, so friday the storm should be moving over deep mid 80s waters. the storm should be oscillating between dennis and.. say, hugo levels of intensity as it will probably be sucking down a little subsidence here and there and be revving up and down. it could hit anywhere in this range, really no way to tell what stage it will be in. lot of the models are showing a harder turn near the coast on saturday... weakening the ridge even further than before... so my gentle curvature/earlier landfall idea may be toast. still not going to go later than saturday morning, going to keep it near sargent, tx. the official is further down the coast near palacios, but that's probably just due to the nogaps/ukmet that keep sending it into south tx. the rest of the consensus keeps painting the area from matagorda bay up to high island, and i'm staying put in the middle. worst case scenario is that it hits brazoria county directly and the inner core/right quad moves over the greater houston area... that's in the window, but most of the guidance is hanging west of there. that's still quite a lick, though. worth noting that the inland flood threat to western la, east tx, arkansas is increasing as a lot of guidance is either taking the storm sharply eastward or slowing it down in this region... should train a good deal of persistent rainfall over the region. rest of basin: philippe can't get west thanks to that trough weakness/strong upper low in the central atlantic.. keeping the storm weaker and even further east than earlier predicted. 97L has fed into the eastern side and lost definition. some of the energy is getting pivoted around and up under that upper low... should keep an unsettled area associated with it that migrates toward the bahamas and perhaps tries to flare over the weekend as high pressure builds over the eastern u.s./western atlantic. it'll be in a shear zone and will take time to evolve, if anything. persistent storm signature showing up near the eastern caribbean near the end of the month as part of the same pattern-pulse that joe b spotted. gfs is showing a couple of wannabe features in the east atlantic as well, but it's getting kinda late in the season for those to do much. HF 0056z21september
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