The threshold value of 60 kJ/cm^2 is denoted with the black outline. While conditions around Katrina were highly favorable in terms of energy, they aren't as much with Rita. However, they are still above the threshold values for significant storms and except for in pockets extend across the entire Gulf. The surface temperatures have recovered but the sub-surface ones haven't. Ultimately, we have tools such as the one above, but we aren't certain what is going to happen. I'd put it about equally likely that Rita maintains as a minimal cat. 3 all the way to landfall or that Rita deepens to a minimal category 5 storm over the central Gulf, with the most likely scenario lying somewhere between there.
Ultimately, the NHC is generally conservative with their intensity forecasts. Storms of high-end category 4 or low-end category 5 intensity are rare in all basins; it is somewhat like predicting record temperatures over land -- tough to do because, after all, they are records. You'll see them mention the possibility while keeping the intensity forecast more conservative. They may well be doing that here, though I think the landfall intensity of 115kt sounds about right (this is in the range I noted last night, toward the high end).
You cannot start new topics
You cannot reply to topics
HTML is disabled
UBBCode is enabled
Thread views: 34639
Note: This is NOT an official page. It is run by weather hobbyists and should not be used as a replacement for official sources.
CFHC's main servers are currently located at Hostdime.com in Orlando, FL.
Image Server Network thanks to Mike Potts and Amazon Web Services. If you have static file hosting space that allows dns aliasing contact us to help out! Some Maps Provided by:
Great thanks to all who donated and everyone who uses the site as well.
Site designed for 800x600+ resolution
When in doubt, take the word of the National Hurricane Center