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#46941 (Received by flhurricane at: 11:08 AM 19.Sep.2005)
TCDAT3
TROPICAL STORM RITA DISCUSSION NUMBER 7
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT MON SEP 19 2005

SINCE THE LAST RECON FIX SHORTLY BEFORE 12Z...WHICH MEASURED A 997
MB CENTRAL PRESSURE...VERY DEEP CONVECTION HAS WRAPPED AROUND THE
LOW LEVEL CENTER...SO RITA IS DEVELOPING SUBSTANTIAL INNER CORE
CONVECTION FOR THE FIRST TIME. DVORAK INTENSITY ESTIMATES AT 12Z
WERE UNANIMOUSLY T3.5/55 KT...WHICH IS THE ADVISORY INTENSITY.
RECON IS SCHEDULED TO BE BACK INTO THE SYSTEM EARLY THIS AFTERNOON.

RITA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR 285 DEGREES AT ABOUT 10
KNOTS...TO THE SOUTH OF THE EASTERN EXTENSION OF A STRONG MID-LEVEL
RIDGE CENTERED OVER TEXAS. DYNAMICAL MODELS ARE IN VERY TIGHT
AGREEMENT THROUGH 36 HOURS ON BASICALLY THIS CONTINUED
HEADING...WITH PERHAPS A SLIGHT INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED AS THE
RIDGE TO THE NORTH STRENGTHENS AND THE TROPICAL CYCLONE DEEPENS.
MOST OF THE MODELS AND THEIR CONSENSUS HAVE SHIFTED NORTHWARD...AND
THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS ADJUSTED LIKEWISE...BRINGING THE TRACK
CLOSER TO THE FLORIDA KEYS THAN THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY.
ADDITIONALLY...MOST OF THE MODELS HAVE SHIFTED FARTHER NORTH LATE
IN THE FORECAST PERIOD OVER THE WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO...DUE TO A
WEAKENING RIDGE AS A TROUGH APPROACHES FROM THE WESTERN UNITED
STATES IN SEVERAL DAYS. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS ADJUSTED TO THE
NORTH OR RIGHT OVER THE GULF...BUT NOT AS FAR AS THE MODEL
CONSENSUS.

RECON DATA AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THE SIZE OF THE STORM
IS INCREASING...ESPECIALLY TO THE NORTH OF THE CENTER. THE
FORECAST WIND RADII ARE EXPANDED BASED ON THESE DATA...WIND RADII
CLIPER GUIDANCE...AND GLOBAL MODELS DEPICTING AN EXPANDING SYSTEM.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT RITA COULD AFFECT A LARGE AREA
AND ONE SHOULD NOT FOCUS ON THE EXACT TRACK.

ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS ARE CONTINUING TO BECOME MORE CONDUCIVE FOR
STRENGTHENING...AND ALL FORECAST GUIDANCE SUGGESTS RITA SHOULD
INTENSIFY SOME MORE...BEFORE AND AFTER IT REACHES THE GULF OF
MEXICO. THE NEW OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS ADJUSTED UPWARD AND
IS A BLEND BETWEEN THE SHIPS AND GFDL GUIDANCE THROUGH DAY 3...AND
SHOWS RITA REACHING CATEGORY TWO STATUS BEFORE REACHING THE GULF OF
MEXICO. THERE IS A SLIGHT POSSIBILITY IT COULD STRENGTHEN FASTER
THAN FORECAST. ALL INDICATIONS ARE THAT RITA WILL BECOME A MAJOR
HURRICANE OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO... WHERE A LARGE UPPER LEVEL
ANTICYCLONE IS FORECAST BY THE MODELS TO DOMINATE AND PROVIDE A
WEAK SHEAR ENVIRONMENT.


FORECASTER KNABB


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 19/1500Z 23.0N 75.2W 55 KT
12HR VT 20/0000Z 23.4N 76.9W 70 KT
24HR VT 20/1200Z 24.0N 79.4W 80 KT
36HR VT 21/0000Z 24.4N 81.9W 90 KT
48HR VT 21/1200Z 24.7N 84.5W 95 KT
72HR VT 22/1200Z 25.5N 88.5W 100 KT
96HR VT 23/1200Z 26.5N 92.5W 100 KT
120HR VT 24/1200Z 29.0N 95.0W 100 KT