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#47284 (Received by flhurricane at: 4:49 PM 20.Sep.2005)
TCDAT3
HURRICANE RITA DISCUSSION NUMBER 13
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 PM EDT TUE SEP 20 2005

THERE ARE NO NEW DATA WHICH SUPPORT STRONGER WINDS SINCE THE 87-KNOT
PEAK SURFACE WIND MEASURED BY THE STEPPED FREQUENCY RADIOMETER...
THE 93-KNOT SURFACE WIND FROM A DROPSONDE IN THE EYEWALL...AND
ABOUT 100 KNOTS ON THE DOPPLER RADAR. THE CLOUD PATTERN REMAINS
WELL-ORGANIZED WITH AN INTERMITTENT RAGGED EYE AND AN IMPROVING
OUTFLOW. INITIAL INTENSITY REMAINS AT 85 KNOTS. GLOBAL MODELS
CONTINUE TO HAVE RITA WITH A DEEP CIRCULATION UP TO 200 MB
SURROUNDED BY A LARGE-SCALE UPPER-LEVEL ANTICYLONE. THIS PATTERN
SUGGESTS STRENGTHENING AND SO DOES THE OFFICIAL FORECAST.
THE INTENSITY FORECAST IS IN BETWEEN THE GFDL AND SHIPS MODELS BUT
NOT AS AGGRESSIVE AS THE LATTER WHICH BRINGS RITA TO 125 KNOTS.
HOWEVER SUCH INTENSIFICATION IS POSSIBLE.

RITA CONTINUES TO BE STEERED WESTWARD AT ABOUT 13 KNOTS...BY A LARGE
RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE ORIENTED EAST-WEST OVER THE SOUTHERN UNITED
STATES. THE RIDGE IS FORECAST TO MOVE EASTWARD LEAVING A WEAKNESS
IN THE WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO. THIS PATTERN SHOULD FORCE RITA TO
TURN GRADUALLY TO THE WEST-NORTHWEST AND NORTHWEST BEYOND 48 HOURS
TOWARD THE TEXAS COAST. THE OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST CONTINUES TO BE
OF RELATIVELY HIGH CONFIDENCE SINCE GUIDANCE IS TIGHTLY CLUSTERED...
MAINLY DURING THE FIRST 72 HOURS. THEREAFTER...THE GUIDANCE SPREAD
IS LARGER BUT MOST OF THE MODELS STILL BRING RITA TO THE TEXAS
COAST.

ALL INDICATIONS ARE THAT RITA AS AN INTENSE HURRICANE WILL BE
APPROACHING THE TEXAS COAST IN ABOUT 3 DAYS.

FORECASTER AVILA


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 20/2100Z 24.0N 82.2W 85 KT
12HR VT 21/0600Z 24.1N 84.5W 100 KT
24HR VT 21/1800Z 24.2N 87.0W 115 KT
36HR VT 22/0600Z 24.5N 89.5W 115 KT
48HR VT 22/1800Z 25.0N 91.5W 115 KT
72HR VT 23/1800Z 27.0N 94.5W 115 KT
96HR VT 24/1800Z 30.0N 97.0W 60 KT...INLAND
120HR VT 25/1800Z 34.1N 97.5W 30 KT...INLAND