As of 10:00am CDT, Rita officially became a Category 1 hurricane. Her northern eyewall will cross directly over the Florida Keys over the next few hours. Winds are currently at 85MPH and with SST's at 86-88F and a few other contributing factors, she should do nothing but build.
Current NOAA thinking is that Rita could be a cat 3 by landfall. Some private meteorologists are calling for a cat 4. Scary.
As of right now, I will be chasing Rita. This cane is just too close to home to ignore and arrives on a weekend which is a bonus considering how many svr wx days I have been taking off this year.
I am in the process of obtaining sponsors and so far, things are looking good.
For any TV folks who might be reading this and would be interested in video, phoners, pics, etc., please contact me via wxreel.