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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 16 (Nate) , Major: 33 (Maria) Florida - Any: 43 (Irma) Major: 43 (Irma)
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#48143 (Received by flhurricane at: 11:00 PM 23.Sep.2005)
TCDAT3
HURRICANE RITA DISCUSSION NUMBER 26
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 PM EDT FRI SEP 23 2005

DATA FROM A NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT THROUGH ABOUT 00Z
INDICATED THE CENTRAL PRESSURE WAS HOVERING NEAR 930 MB THROUGHOUT
THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING. MAXIMUM 700 MB FLIGHT LEVEL WINDS HAD
STILL BEEN 120-125 KT. WSR-88D RADAR IMAGERY FROM SLIDELL
LOUISIANA...LAKE CHARLES LOUISIANA...AND HOUSTON TEXAS STILL DEPICT
A WELL-DEFINED EYE THAT IS JUST A FEW HOURS FROM REACHING THE
COASTLINE NEAR THE TEXAS/LOUISIANA BORDER. THE EYEWALL REMAINS
INTACT AND INTENSE... ESPECIALLY IN THE NORTHERN SEMICIRCLE... WITH
A RADIUS OF MAXIMUM WINDS OF ABOUT 20 N MI... SURROUNDED BY DENSE
AND WELL-DEVELOPED SPIRAL BANDING. VELOCITIES FROM THE RADARS
SUGGEST THAT THE SURFACE WINDS HAVE NOT FALLEN OFF MUCH AND SUPPORT
THE ADVISORY INTENSITY OF 105 KT. RITA REMAINS A FORMIDABLE MAJOR
HURRICANE... AND LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS EXPECTED DURING THE
LAST FEW HOURS IT HAS OVER WATER... SO RITA IS EXPECTED TO MAKE
LANDFALL AT CATEGORY THREE INTENSITY. AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE
HUNTER AIRCRAFT WILL BE BACK IN THE SYSTEM SHORTLY.

RITA IS APPROACHING THE COAST ALONG A SLIGHTLY WOBBLY HEADING OF 325
DEGREES AT ABOUT 10 KNOTS... JUST SLIGHTLY TO THE EAST OF THE
PREVIOUS ADVISORY TRACK. ASIDE FROM THE COMMONLY OBSERVED
WOBBLES... THIS MOTION SHOULD CONTINUE UNTIL LANDFALL... FOLLOWED
BY A GRADUAL TURN MORE TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST AND EVENTUALLY
NORTH DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS... WITH A DECREASE IN FORWARD
SPEED. BEYOND THEN... THERE IS NO CHANGE TO THE FORECAST OF A
STALL OVER NORTHEASTERN TEXAS AND SOUTHWESTERN ARKANSAS... AS RITA
WILL LIKELY BECOME TRAPPED BETWEEN HIGH PRESSURE CELLS TO ITS EAST
AND WEST. THIS SCENARIO COULD PRODUCE VERY HEAVY RAINFALL TOTALS
WELL INLAND AND FOR SEVERAL DAYS AFTER LANDFALL.

FORECASTER KNABB


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 24/0300Z 29.1N 93.2W 105 KT
12HR VT 24/1200Z 30.1N 94.0W 85 KT...INLAND
24HR VT 25/0000Z 31.4N 94.5W 50 KT...INLAND
36HR VT 25/1200Z 32.8N 94.5W 30 KT...INLAND
48HR VT 26/0000Z 33.5N 94.5W 25 KT...INLAND
72HR VT 27/0000Z 33.5N 94.5W 25 KT...INLAND
96HR VT 28/0000Z 33.5N 94.5W 25 KT...INLAND
120HR VT 29/0000Z 33.5N 94.5W 25 KT...DISSIPATING