Friday, September 23

LATEST LANDFALL PREDICTION FOR RITA: CAMERON, LA

No, I've not been drinking alcohol. I promise you that, although I may have a glass of red wine after publishing this.

Frank Billingsley, the meteorologist for Local 2 News, just announced that Rita will now likely make landfall at Cameron, Louisiana -- on the edge of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast border.

That should pretty much relieve the Houston area of hurricane force winds (we'll instead see winds in the 50-65 mph range, with some higher gusts) and place Harris County squarely on what is termed the "clean" or "dry side" of the hurricane, meaning less severe wind and rain.

That's bad news, of course, for Louisiana, and particularly for those towns and cities, Lake Charles, Lafayette, and New Orleans among them, that will be on the "dirty side" of the storm system and its counter-clockwise rotation. This blogger takes no joy in the peril these folks will be in, but it's only human nature to be relieved on this end and I do not apologize for those feelings.

FOLLOW-UP:The online edition (registration required) of the "Houston Chronicle" has on its front page (at 7:40pm CDT) a good graphic of the projected path of Rita, showing landfall of the eye just to the east of Port Arthur and Sabine Pass, Texas, in Cameron, Lousiana. Cameron, LA, is about a 50 mile drive from Port Arthur, TX.