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Forecast: Hurricane Rita

As with any hurricane I have considered chasing, I am riding the fence. When considering the chasing of a hurricane it is kinda like watching your favorite college or professional sports team. On the one hand, it would be cool to be at the game and see, smell and hear the action. On the other hand watching it on TV will get you closer to the action.
Rita is a very strong Category Five storm with 170mph winds. She has estimated storm surges well over 20 ft. She is at 907mb of pressure which is a little higher than the past few fly-throughs which indicates a slight weakening. She IS a very dangerous storm – no doubt about it.
Some saving grace for the Gulf coast is that the dry air now filtering up in to Rita is likely going to take a little off of her ability to continue to strengthen as she moves west. Also, SST’s are lower to the west of Rita. This is good news for those in the path… I hope it pans out the way it appears it will in some models.I am sticking with a target landfall of Freeport, TX. Will I be there for it? – No.
Since I will not be departing Tulsa today and storm surges would require me to remain inland far enough that there will be no real reason to travel all the way to the coast when I can film similar wind and resulting damage 300 miles inland.
As of right now, I will be somewhere between Dallas and Longview awaiting wind, possible tornadoes and flooding. There is some good hurricane experience to be had in this area and is within reachable distance.
One concern I have is where the 10:00am 9/22 NHC track puts Rita by Sunday/Monday…
I need to go figure out what the steering mechanisms are for this eastward turn. Maybe I’m underestimating the power of the heat ridge that is over us right now?
More later…

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