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Tracking a Caribbean Wave and keeping an eye on the potential for new Caribbean Gyre/Trough development next week
Days since last H. Landfall - US: Any 15 (Nate) , Major: 33 (Maria) Florida - Any: 43 (Irma) Major: 43 (Irma)
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#47001 (Received by flhurricane at: 5:00 PM 19.Sep.2005)
TCDAT3
TROPICAL STORM RITA DISCUSSION NUMBER 8
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 PM EDT MON SEP 19 2005

RITA IS CLOSE TO HURRICANE STATUS... BUT IT IS NOT QUITE THERE YET.
THE STORM IS PRODUCING SOME VERY DEEP CONVECTION NEAR THE CENTER...
BANDING FEATURES IN THE NORTHERN AND EASTERN QUADRANTS...AND
INCREASINGLY WELL-ESTABLISHED OUTFLOW INDICATING LESSENING SHEAR.
THE OVERALL EXTENT OF DEEP CONVECTION HAS DECREASED SOMEWHAT DURING
THE PAST COUPLE OF HOURS...BUT THIS OFTEN OCCURS DURING THE
AFTERNOON CONVECTIVE MINIMUM PERIOD. DATA FROM THE STEPPED
FREQUENCY MICROWAVE RADIOMETER...SFMR...ONBOARD A NOAA HURRICANE
HUNTER AIRCRAFT...RECENTLY INDICATED SURFACE WINDS AS STRONG AS 62
KT ABOUT 25 N MI SOUTHEAST OF THE CENTER. THE MINIMUM CENTRAL
PRESSURE MEASURED BY DROPSONDE HAS BEEN HOLDING AT 994-995 MB...
AND THE ADVISORY INTENSITY IS MAINTAINED AT 60 KT.

RITA IS ON TRACK... AND AS ANTICIPATED IS MOVING A LITTLE FASTER
TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST...NOW AT 285/12. MODELS REMAIN IN TIGHT
AGREEMENT THAT THIS MOTION WILL CHANGE LITTLE DURING THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS...EXCEPT FOR A SLIGHT BEND TO THE WEST INTO THE GULF
OF MEXICO TO THE SOUTH OF THE MID LEVEL RIDGE ALONG ABOUT 30N. THE
DYNAMICAL MODELS HAVE GENERALLY SHIFTED SLIGHTLY BACK TO THE LEFT
OR WEST AT DAYS 3 THROUGH 5...BRINGING THE CONSENSUS INTO GOOD
AGREEMENT WITH THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY. OVERALL THE NEW SUITE OF
GUIDANCE PROVIDES LITTLE REASON TO MAKE ANY CHANGES TO THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST TRACK... EXCEPT TO SPEED IT UP JUST SLIGHTLY. HOWEVER...
THE SPREAD IN THE MODELS OVER THE GULF REMAINS SIGNIFICANT...SINCE
IT IS NOT CLEAR IF THE RIDGE OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN U.S. WILL
MIGRATE FAR ENOUGH EASTWARD LATE IN THE FORECAST PERIOD TO CURVE
RITA NORTHWARD AROUND ITS WESTERN PERIPHERY. THE NOGAPS AND GFDN
FORECAST A STRAIGHT WESTWARD TRACK INTO SOUTHERN TEXAS...WHILE THE
GFS AND GFDL FORECAST A NORTHWARD BEND TOWARD THE TEXAS/LOUSIANA
BORDER REGION. GIVEN THIS UNCERTAINTY...IT MUST AGAIN BE EMPHASIZED
THAT FORECAST ERRORS CAN BE QUITE LARGE AT THESE LONGER LEAD TIMES.

EVEN THOUGH RITA IS NOT YET A HURRICANE...CONDITIONS APPEAR
CONDUCIVE FOR IT TO BECOME ONE SOON...PRIOR TO REACHING THE GULF OF
MEXICO. INTENSIFICATION TO MAJOR HURRICANE STATUS OVER THE GULF OF
MEXICO APPEARS PROBABLE...GIVEN THAT THE DYNAMICAL MODELS ARE
FORECASTING A LARGE UPPER LEVEL ANTICYCLONE TO DOMINATE THE AREA
AND PROVIDE AN ENVIRONMENT OF WEAK WIND SHEAR. ADDITIONALLY...OCEAN
TEMPERATURES ARE QUITE WARM IN THE GULF...AND NOT JUST AT THE
SURFACE. THE NEW OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS BASICALLY AN UPDATE
OF THE PREVIOUS ONE THROUGH DAY 3...THEN CALLING FOR A PEAK AT 105
KT OVER THE GULF IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LATEST SHIPS GUIDANCE. THE
GFDL AND FSU SUPERENSEMBLE FORECAST AN EVEN STRONGER HURRICANE OVER
THE GULF...AND THIS IS CERTAINLY POSSIBLE.


FORECASTER KNABB


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 19/2100Z 23.3N 76.5W 60 KT
12HR VT 20/0600Z 23.7N 78.4W 75 KT
24HR VT 20/1800Z 24.2N 80.9W 85 KT
36HR VT 21/0600Z 24.6N 83.5W 95 KT
48HR VT 21/1800Z 24.9N 85.9W 100 KT
72HR VT 22/1800Z 25.5N 90.0W 105 KT
96HR VT 23/1800Z 27.5N 93.5W 105 KT
120HR VT 24/1800Z 30.0N 96.0W 70 KT...INLAND