WeatherA Record-Breaking Season?
By Michael J. Ring
There is no respite from the active tropical season this week as two named systems currently occupy the Atlantic basin. While Hurricane Philippe drifts northward far off the U.S. east coast, Hurricane Rita is approaching the Florida Keys and should brush just south of the islands today. While currently much weaker than Hurricane Katrina at its maximum, Rita will move into the warm Gulf waters and is expected to strengthen further as it moves toward land. While the forecast still contains a great deal of uncertainty, Texas appears to be the most likely point of landfall at this time.
Rita is the 17th named storm of the hurricane season in the Atlantic basin. The most active season recorded in the Atlantic basin was 1933, when 21 tropical cyclones were observed, and with over two months left in hurricane season this record could be in danger. The list of names used each year for Atlantic hurricanes, in fact, contains only 21 names — should additional storms form in a given year, they will be named after the letters of the Greek alphabet.
Today: Cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Warm with a high near 79�F (26�C).
Tonight: Showers ending, then clearing. Low near 63�F (17�C).
Wednesday: Clear and warm. High again near 79�F (26�C).
Wednesday night: Clear and mild. Low near 64�F (18�C).
Thursday: Clear but somewhat cooler. High near 75�F (24�C); low near 61�F (16�C).
Friday: Cloudy with a chance of showers. High near 79�F (26�C).