WATCHING RITA - DAY 2
AT 5 AM EDT...0900Z...THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS HAS DISCONTINUEDALL WARNINGS FOR THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS...AND DOWNGRADED THE HURRICANE WARNING FOR ANDROS ISLAND TO A TROPICAL STORM WARNING. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT FOR THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS...INCLUDING THE ABACOS...ANDROS ISLAND...BERRY ISLANDS...BIMINI...ELEUTHERA...GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND...AND NEW PROVIDENCE.
A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF THE FLORIDA KEYS...AND FROM GOLDEN BEACH ON THE FLORIDA SOUTHEAST COAST SOUTHWARD TO EAST CAPE SABLE...THEN NORTHWARD TO CHOKOLOSKEE ON THE SOUTHWEST COAST.
A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCES OF VILLA CLARA...MATANZAS...CIUDAD DE HABANA...AND LA HABANA.
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING AND A HURRICANE WATCH ARE IN EFFECT FROM DEERFIELD BEACH FLORIDA SOUTHWARD TO NORTH OF GOLDEN BEACH.
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT ALONG THE FLORIDA WEST COAST NORTH OF CHOKOLOSKEE TO ENGLEWOOD.
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT ALONG THE FLORIDA EAST COAST FROM NORTH OF DEERFIELD BEACH NORTHWARD TO JUPITER INLET...AS WELL AS FOR LAKE OKEECHOBEE.
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCESOF CIEGO DE AVILA...SANCTI SPIRITUS...CIENFUEGOS...AND PINAR DELRIO.
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING ALSO REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE CENTRAL AND NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS.
It looks as though when Rita passes through the Keys, it will be a Catagory 1 hurricane instead of the Catagory 2 storm some had predicted. The long term forecast has it becoming a Catagory 3 (read: major) hurricane before it slaps the Texas Gulf Coast around Port Lavaca/Victoria. However, the steering currents are still weak, and the "bubble of probability" could see Rita making landfall anywhere from south of Brownsville in northern Mexico to west of New Orleans.