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    22 September 2005

    Rita - good news, bad news

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    Rita is weakening fast and is in a re organization stage. She will level off as she travels over cooler water and other conditions change around her in our favor. This is good in terms of wind which is a minor aspect in hurricanes. That is the good news. The bad news is this will have very little effect on her storm surge. Basically TX will get a strong cat 3 storm in terms of wind but a 4 or 5 in terms of surge; which is the real danger on a large scale in hurricane events. This is all much like Katrina which was average as a wind storm but with a disaster of a storm surge. Furthermore, the storm track continues to shift to the east, and is about to begin bearing down the rigs in that part of the gulf. This will be a main part of the story next week if the storm stays together and delivers the expected punch to the oil industry. But who really cares about them? It looks like the storm will fizzle as it rides over cool, shallow coastal water of the Gulf, but still be a major hurricane. Steve Gregory forecasts "complete devastation within 1-3 miles of the coastline near the point of landfall" which appears to be between Galveston and the LA-TX boarder.

    Posted by Geoff

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