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OCT 19, 2005 / 12:55AM UPDATE #5 NHC 'ONLY' UPGRADES TO CAT 4- BUT WILMA IS A DEVASTATING CAT 5 HURRICANE PRESSURE FALL OF OVER 50mb IN 5 HOURS PERSONALLY ADVISE ALL FLORIDA KEYS RESIDENTS TO EVACUATE Air Force RECON recently found the central pressure had fallen to 901mb -- just a few MB above RITA record, and 1mb lower than Katrina - at their Peak Intensity. The maximum Flight level winds were 162KTs in the NE quadrant, and being conservative, this is 160mph sustained surface winds. However -- as politics would dictate -- NHC has only upgraded the hurricane to a CAT 4, with 150mph sustained winds - 5mph below that of a CAT 5. In the Atlantic basin, pressures below 920mb are normally associated with a CAT 5 hurricane. The storm is located at at 16.9N/82.0W and is moving NW at 5Kts. Cloud top temps are near -87°C As cold as the temps ever get -- or at least as cold as the scale permits....
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SEPT 28, 2005 /1:30AM - SPECIAL UPDATE

         STRONG WAVE WITH CLOSED CIRCULATION SOUTH OF JAMAICA BUT TIME MAY BE RUNNING OUT

Latest imagery shows that the strong wave in the Caribbean south of Jamaica does have a low level circulation,
but the convection associated with it has diminished -- more than the typical diurnal cycle would produce.
The intense convection of earlier today has weakened, but this is a typical diurnal variation.

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SEP 26, 2005 / 11:45 AM

                    REMNANTS OF RITA HEAD FOR GULF COAST
 TROPICAL WAVE  CARIBBEAN MAY BECOME DEPRESSION WITHIN NEXT 24 HOURS
            AND STORM INTO GULF OF MEXICO BY END OF WEEK

Though still showing only a weak reflection in the mandatory level charts, the remnants of RITA, currently
embedded within a much larger upper level TROF are clearly moving southeast towards the Florida Panhandle
as evidenced on Radar. (see Below)

The GFS shows the system moving into the Gulf and developing some -- but there does not yet seem to be the
type of upper level support it would need to truly re-generate into a tropical storm.  However, what isn't in Rita's favor
is quickly becoming in favor for a strong Tropical wave moving fairly quickly  through the central Caribbean now,
and is showing some signs of better organization, with some slight but significant surface pressure falls in the
central Caribbean.

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SEPT 23 , 2005 / 12 :05 AM CDT

      VERY DANGEROUS CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE TO HIT PORT ARTHUR
      CATASTROPHIC DAMAGE LIKELY NEAR AND UP TO 30 MILES EAST OF LANDFALL POINT
      STORM WINDS EXPAND WHILE INNER MAX WINDS EASE OFF - FOR NOW
      GALE FORCE WIND GUSTS ALREADY ALONG SOUTH COAST OF LOUISIANA
          AND THE STORM AFTER THE STORM....

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SEP 21 2005 - 12:37PM CDT

            RITA EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE
        MAJOR THREAT TO COASTAL TEXAS FROM NEAR
 PORT O'CONNOR NORTHWARD TO PORT ARTHUR -     LANDFALL IN 68 HOURS


The latest RECON reports confirm RITA is now a CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY 5 Hurricane.

Center Pressure is down to 923mb, and MAX sustained winds of 142KTs at Flight level --
 implying 155mph surface winds. with gusts to 175mph.

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SEPT 9:30 PM CDT

   HURRICANE RITA TO REACH CATEGORY 3 WITHIN 6 HOURS

      MAJOR THREAT TO UPPER TEXAS COAST INCREASING

   CAT 3 AT LANDFALL - POTENTIAL CAT 4 'STORM SURGE'

The latest RECON and Satellite data indicates that Hurricane Rita continues to intensify,
and the eyewall is now closed off.

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OIL INDUSTRY INFRASTRUCTURE IN SHAMBLES

The following was just recently posted in RIGZONE - an industry oil industry service & information center.  The estimate of damage - some 3 times hat of Ivan is exactly what I told my clients was coming last week.  Normally, this would have led to $80/bbl oil.  But through the magic of having 2 very influential oilmen in the Whitehouse -- about the only really smart thing they did was listen and act immediately to what Oil industry execs told them to do.  Had they not waived a number of legal restrictions immediately -- many U.S. cities east of the Rockies would be running out of gasoline completely this week.

The list of completely off-line refineries is Staggering. Another 'moderate storm' could easily push us into a major energy crisis unlike anything seen in our history -- with the economic impact to the national too obvious.

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I was introduced to this community by DarkSyde yesterday. I just became a member 2 days ago.  I am a professional Meteorologist and post to the  Weather Underground on a regular basis.

I followed this storm from day one and knew since the Friday before Katrina struck we were facing a monumental storm of historic proportions -- as did most EVERY other Professional forecaster in the country!

DarkSyde helped me post my 'rant' on the extremely poor emergency response to what was the ultimate Disaster in U.S. history - something I try to avoid since it is the 'political' side of my field.  But I couldn't NOT say something. DarkSyde's original thread on my behalf speaks for itself.

I will be posting more on the  'science side' of this storm later this week, but for my first DKos Diary entry,  I've chosen to discuss what I believe is wrong with the current 'Warning System' which rates the intensity of a storm using the all to familiar 'CAT 1 to CAT 5' designation.

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