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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: 42 (Irma) Major: 42 (Irma)
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#47708 (Received by flhurricane at: 11:01 AM 22.Sep.2005)
TCDAT3
HURRICANE RITA DISCUSSION NUMBER 20
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT THU SEP 22 2005

RITA APPEARS TO HAVE REACHED ITS PEAK INTENSITY DURING THE PAST
12 HOURS. HURRICANES TYPICALLY DO NOT MAINTAIN SUCH HIGH INTENSITY
FOR A LONG TIME. INITIAL INTENSITY ESTIMATE IS 145 KNOTS. ALTHOUGH
SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE LIKELY DURING THE NEXT DAY OR
TWO...DUE TO EYEWALL REPLACEMENT CYCLES...AN OVERALL GRADUAL
WEAKENING TREND SHOULD TAKE PLACE. THIS WEAKENING TREND IS BASED ON
LOWER OCEANIC HEAT CONTENT ALONG THE FORECAST TRACK AND INCREASING
SHEAR. NEVERTHERELESS...RITA IS EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL AS A
DANGEROUS HURRICANE OF AT LEAST A CATEGORY THREE INTENSITY.

RITA HAS BEEN MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR 295 DEGREES AT 8
KNOTS. A STRONG HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM CURRENTLY CENTERED OVER
NORTHERN TEXAS/OKLAHOMA IS EXPECTED TO SHIFT EASTWARD ALLOWING RITA
TO TAKE A MORE NORTHWESTERLY AND NORTHERLY TRACK. THE EASTWARD
SHIFT OF THE HIGH IS FORECAST BY ALL GLOBAL MODELS...RESULTING IN
TRACK GUIDANCE CONSISTENTLY TURNING THE HURRICANE TOWARD THE
NORTHWEST AND NORTH TOWARD THE UPPER-TEXAS OR THE WESTERN LOUISIANA
COASTS. AFTER LANDFALL...STEERING CURRENTS ARE EXPECTED TO WEAKEN
AND THE CYCLONE COULD MEANDER FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS IN THE VICINITY
OF NORTHEASTERN TEXAS...PRODUCING HEAVY RAINS.

BASED ON THE FORECAST TRACK AND WIND RADII...HURRICANE WARNINGS HAVE
BEEN ISSUED AT THIS TIME FROM PORT O'CONNOR TEXAS TO MORGAN CITY
LOUISIANA. TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT ON EITHER SIDE OF
THE HURRICANE WARNING.

FORECASTER AVILA

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 22/1500Z 25.4N 88.7W 145 KT
12HR VT 23/0000Z 25.8N 89.9W 140 KT
24HR VT 23/1200Z 26.9N 91.6W 130 KT
36HR VT 24/0000Z 28.2N 93.0W 125 KT
48HR VT 24/1200Z 30.0N 94.5W 100 KT...INLAND
72HR VT 25/1200Z 33.0N 95.0W 45 KT...INLAND
96HR VT 26/1200Z 34.0N 95.0W 30 KT...INLAND
120HR VT 27/1200Z 34.5N 94.5W 25 KT...INLAND