Well, looks can be deceiving...while it did move 305deg for over two hours, I went back and looked at the forecast points and actually 12 hours ago NHC did predict lat 24.4deg for 5pm EDT. It was the westward movement they were short on, predicting 86.5 when Rita moved to 86.8.
So if Rita had stayed true to the forecast point for 12 hours ago I guess we would have been seeing what would have looked like even more of a northward movement, but it would have been even more true to the NHC forecast from 12 hours ago.
24 hours ago they had predicted 24.2N, 87.0W. So there is a more northward component to that forecast point over time, but apparently not enough to result in a significant track change at landfall.
Also - going with the 914mb reading at 19:36Z, from noon that is a most extraordinary rate of intensification; between 9 and 10 mb per hour.
Pressure dropped 6mb in one hour between 11am and noon (CDT), and then 24mb more between noon and 2:30pm (approx).
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