Rita Update: Yeah, Another One

It is now 1am and it's unbelievably calm out there. The wind comes in occasional gusts and the rain is, for lack of a better term, "spitting." I just spent some time looking at the local news stations to see what's up with Rita, it's been non-stop since Wednesday, and it looks like Rita is really falling apart as it gets closer and closer to land. Land fall is expected within the hour and that should be somewhere in Louisiana or on the Texas/Louisiana border.
I also gained a bit of insight as to why I'm not seeing much action out there. Just to the west of me, or perhaps hovering over me, is a large mass of dry air that is just sucking up all the moisture in the system. This dry air mass is also what is causing Rita to lose its strength. As the winds are whipping around it, they are dragging some of that dry air back into the storm and having the same effect that I'm seeing here in Katy. The south side of the eye is not even visible on some of the radar shots that I've seen. I'd link to them, but by the time you click on it the whole thing would probably look different so you're just going to have to take my word for it.
I've spent a lot of time going out in the backyard and looking around, letting the gusts flow through my hair... and cape. It's eerily quite out there. If it weren't for the gusts rustling the leaves there would be dead silence out there. Some of the bands that are making it over my position that would be carrying rain if it weren't for all the dry air now consist of little more than sparsely distributed, little, fluffy, white clouds. It's much too dark out there for me to get a picture of it, otherwise I'd show you. These little guys are moving at quite a pace though. They just look so out of place scooting along through the sky when just a few miles away to the east their big, gray brothers are drenching those below.
So if the dry air mass leaves or disappears, things should start picking up again as the night/morning goes on. According to the Weather Channel's website, as I look at the hour-by-hour forecast, we should see the storm's peak winds and rain between 8 and 11am and then if Rita doesn't stall over Houston and moves on north things will calm down. The peak wind speeds are expected to be around 60 mph with maybe 4 inches of rain. Unless a branch snaps and takes out a power line I don't think I'll be losing power anymore. Hell, I might even sleep through the worst of this. So unless something really cool happens or some other event worth reporting I think I'll lay off the updates until after the storm. Maybe I'll even have some footage to show since the sun will have risen by the time the real show starts. We'll see.

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