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Rita... Here We Go Again


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142 replies to this topic

#1 of 143 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted September 18 2005 - 03:37 PM

All of us on the Texas coast are now keeping a very wary eye on Tropical Storm Rita, which is now forecast to slip into the Gulf Of Mexico between Florida and Cuba and strengthen to a major hurricane by Wednesday. With the water in the Gulf at record high temperatures this one could get very bad indeed.

Current estimates put landfall early Saturday somewhere between Brownsville and Corpus Christi, and we should all hope this holds - there may be no better place in the US for a hurricane to hit, considering the majority population is the cattle that forage on the massive King Ranch. But each forecast shifts the track a little northward, and that's definitely not good for Corpus and the Houston area.

I live about halfway between Galveston & Houston, and even though I'm miles from the coast I'm in a zone that would flood from the storm surge if a Cat 5 hurricane came barreling up Galveston Bay. So you can bet I'm making my plans to get out if need be. Luckily I have a place to go - my parents and brother both live in Bossier City (across the river from Shreveport) and both have rooms ready.

Good luck to all my fellow Texicans, and let's hope this thing takes a less dangerous track than she now appears to be on.

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#2 of 143 OFFLINE   BrianW

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Posted September 18 2005 - 03:58 PM

Wow, we're already up to "Rita"?

We need a bigger alphabet.

Craig, I'm glad to hear that planning an evacuation is first and foremost in your mind as this approaches. Hopefully, it won't come to that, but it's good to know you're planning ahead, even to the extent of "reserving a room" well in advance of projected landfall.

I hope this won't be the monster Katrina was.
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#3 of 143 OFFLINE   Ravi K

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Posted September 18 2005 - 05:07 PM

Hopefully everyone in that area will evacuate, even if it doesn't end up being as bad as Katrina.
 

#4 of 143 OFFLINE   Scott Thomas

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Posted September 19 2005 - 02:30 AM

I love a little to the north of the path of Rita. I'm REALLY not in the mood for a hurricane

#5 of 143 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted September 19 2005 - 05:12 AM

Quote:
I love a little to the north of the path of Rita. I'm REALLY not in the mood for a hurricane
?? My map shows Brandon just to the east of Tampa. Rita projected path takes her very near Key West. The Tampa area's not even under a TS warning.

However, if your profile's out-of-date and you've moved south to the Keys, I hope you're planning to get out soon. I wouldn't want to be in the Keys during even a tropical storm.

The latest 5-day track has Rita making landfall just south of Galveston on Saturday morning. That almost makes me feel better; the end of the 5-day track is subject to large errors. The projected track has jumped north by several hundred miles in the past 24-hours. I guess the ridge that was suppose to keep Rita on a more southerly course through mid-week is either weakening or moving out earlier than expected. I hate to say it, but if this trend continues I fear our friends in Louisiana may be in harm's way again. Posted Image

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#6 of 143 OFFLINE   James St

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Posted September 19 2005 - 08:24 AM

With all the shelters filled to capacity from Katrina, Houston is a sitting duck if this storm stays on the current projected path. NHC is forcasting a Cat 3 storm by Thursday.

#7 of 143 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

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Posted September 19 2005 - 08:32 AM

Frightenting comments from Dr Master's weather blog:

Where will Rita hit?
Take your pick of today's models runs:

GFDL: Central Louisiana (Houma)
GFS: Western Louisiana (Lake Charles)
UKMET: Eastern Texas (Galveston)
NOGAPS: South Texas (Corpus Christi)

Each set of model runs has moved the track of Rita progressively further east. The official NHC forecast has been following along, but staying further back. What we've seen so far this hurricane season is that when the models start trending this way, that's where the storm eventually winds up going. So my best guess is that Rita will hit Louisiana Friday as a Category 3 hurricane. What's the average error for a 5-day forecast? 270 miles. So, everyone from the Florida Panhandle to the Mexican border is still at risk.

#8 of 143 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted September 19 2005 - 08:38 AM

Florida has leadership, so things are getting done in advance of the storm.

#9 of 143 OFFLINE   James St

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Posted September 19 2005 - 09:13 AM

The latest models have shifted westward to the Texas coast. NHC is now forcasting a Cat 2 into the Keys and a Cat 3 just west of Galveston around Daybreak Saturday.

#10 of 143 OFFLINE   Jack Fanning

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Posted September 19 2005 - 09:23 AM

Posted Image

#11 of 143 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted September 19 2005 - 09:46 AM

Quote:
With all the shelters filled to capacity from Katrina, Houston is a sitting duck if this storm stays on the current projected path.
Actually, the shelters have been emptying out as the Katrina evacuees have been moved into more permanent housing (apartments). But I'll say out loud what many of us have been thinking over the past few weeks - why leave one hurricane zone just to settle down in another, and possibly have to go through the same thing all over again??

Quote:
Frightenting comments from Dr Master's weather blog:
I've followed Jeff Masters' blog all season. Unfortunately, Weather Underground is blocked here at work. Posted Image I do have a feeling he's right, and it will probably end up in West Louisiana. That's not stopping my evacuation prep, however.

Quote:
Florida has leadership, so things are getting done in advance of the storm.
I understand the Galveston city government has already called for voluntary evacuations. If the track continues I would expect them to call for mandantory evacuations Wednesday morning (72 hours before projected landfall). That's about when I would expect to begin the lockdown/shutdown procedures here at work (which for me means taking final backups on the servers).

If the intensity forecast stays at a Cat 3 then mandantory evacuations for where I live would likely not be called. I'm still hauling butt no later than Thursday morning, however. As Dr. Masters likes to point out, you can't trust the intensity forecasts. They just don't know enough for them to be very accurate.

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#12 of 143 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted September 19 2005 - 03:24 PM

As James pointed out, the model trend has reversed. Here's Dr. Masters comment:

Quote:
So, the model trend that had taken Rita towards landfall in western Louisiana has now reversed, to Texas' detriment. Tune in tomorrow morning, the NOAA jet is flying its first mission in Rita, a high-altitude synoptic surveilance mission tonight that should greatly aid the model predictions that will be complete in the morning. I won't start believing the models until I see some runs with the NOAA jet data initializing them
The other forecaster at WU, Steve Gregory, is also saying the track forecasts should be improved with this new data coming in. So tomorrow morning we on the west Gulf coast should have a lot better idea of what's coming.

Hopefully everyone in the Keys that's leaving is out by now.

An update: the mayor of Galveston will call a voluntary evacuation tomorrow morning if the current track holds. They are also planning to start busing out folks who have no transportation on Wednesday morning. They're even making plans to drive those folks to the departure point, and have issued instructions on what to pack.

The city of Houston has made plans to fly the Katrina evacuees who remain in shelters (the Reliant center near the Astrodome and the convention center downtown) to Arkansas tomorrow morning. They say these buildings are not made to withstand a major storm and they're not taking any chances.

Stores are not too bad tonight, although Target was already wiped clean of bottled water, and running low on D batteries. Home Depot looked VERY busy.

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#13 of 143 OFFLINE   Dan Mc

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Posted September 20 2005 - 09:17 AM

From the Galveston County Daily News:

Officials have called for mandatory evacuations ahead of Hurricane Rita. The order is for every one living in Galveston County.


You got your bags packed Craig??? We're getting ready to leave tomorrow if this thing is still headed our way. Good luck to everyone.

#14 of 143 OFFLINE   Colton

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Posted September 20 2005 - 09:24 AM

Rita has moved from the Keys and there's absolutely NOTHING in its way to stop it or slow it down! Pray for Galveston!

- Colton

#15 of 143 OFFLINE   Robert_Z

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Posted September 20 2005 - 09:57 AM

Quote:
Rita has moved from the Keys and there's absolutely NOTHING in its way to stop it or slow it down! Pray for Galveston!


Emergency management officials here in Texas are forecasting "catastrophic flooding" throughout the hill country, so unless you live on one of those scenic hilltops along 360 in west Austin, you may want to start praying for yourself and your neighbors on lower ground too.

#16 of 143 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted September 20 2005 - 10:43 AM

Wow. Things have sure moved fast.

We're making final preparations at work. Backups will be run overnight, and I will be in very early to shut down my servers (these are the times it sucks to be IT). Then I'm going home, stuffing the cats into their carrier (the car will be otherwise packed tonight) and hitting the road.

At 6 PM tomorrow, the mandantory evacuation routes will go into effect. That means you have three and only three routes out of town. I want to go up 59 toward Shreveport (my parents live in Bossier City). But after the evac routes take effect they won't let me. I am supposed to go up 45 all the way to Huntsville. That's why I want to get out as early as possible tomorrow so I can go the way I want to go.

Unfortunately everyone else here is thinking the same thing. Tomorrow is going to be a VERY long day. I'm not looking forward to being stuck in the car for hours with two traumatized cats. Big time fun. Posted Image At least I have Sirius.

I feel very fortunate, however. I have a place to go where I can stay as long as I need to. I have full insurance on my home. I work for a company that is being very supportive, and I know the paychecks will keep coming. If I lose the house - well, big deal. It can be rebuilt.

To everyone else in the path of this thing - good luck and Godspeed. Get out as soon as you can. Pray something makes this bitch turn south to the King Ranch (sorry, cows).

I'll check in again when I'm safe in Bossier City at my parents.

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#17 of 143 OFFLINE   DustinLC

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Posted September 20 2005 - 11:08 AM

We seriously need funding in studying WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!

I know global warming is a touchy issue when we talk about it but seriously, whether you buy it or not, let's pour some funding into studying these waves of huge hurricanes and see what we can do to save lives in the future.

Think about it, if it's a pattern that we get cities wiped out regularly, let's consider rebuilding the city differently or not inhabit in certain areas. Let's look what role mankind has in this. Let's not wait until it's an annual event that a city get flooded like New Orlean.

#18 of 143 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

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Posted September 20 2005 - 11:12 AM

I will be in very early to shut down my servers (these are the times it sucks to be IT)


I work in IT for a global company that is 24x7 worldwide. When there is inclement weather, they actually call IT staff onsite in the middle of it to keep the systems running for 12 hr shifts. Driving TO work in a tropical storm really sucks !

Good Luck Craig - hope you have a BIG gas tank !

#19 of 143 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted September 20 2005 - 12:24 PM

This thing does look for real. Texas A&M will decide later tonight or early Wednesday to move it's home game to Thursday night instead of Saturday because of Rita. College Station is only 90 miles from Houston. Whatever direction it goes I certainly hope it will take the least destructive path and die out quickly.

#20 of 143 OFFLINE   James St

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Posted September 20 2005 - 03:29 PM

Rita is now a Cat 3 with winds at 110mph. Pressure is down to 965 mb.

A rather frightening shot that looks eerily similar to Katrina...

Rita

Good luck to all of you in its path.


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