Based on nothing more than pure hunch, I hereby leave myself open to whatever insults anyone might hurl my way by announcing my prediction for Hurricane Rita's impact on the Gulf. In a word, anti-climax. Before making landfall 6 hours earlier than currently projected, the hurricane will pick up speed to > 20 mph, weaken to < cat. 3 and make landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border as a mid-category 2.
In the meantime, I'll continue to pray that my hunch turns out to be pessimistic.
UPDATE: Is it possible that these hurricanes are coming after someone in particular? I mean, they move people from New Orleans to various parts of Texas, then another Category 5 flares up and heads for Texas. If there are any evacuees from NO in the city where Rita hits, let's send a third to California, a third to Kansas, and a third to North Carolina. If an earthquake hits California, the target is in that third. If a tornado hits Kansas, the target's there. If Kentucky wins the 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball championship, the target is in North Carolina.
UPDATE: Rita weakened to Category 4 overnight, and changed directions. It is now predicted to make landfall at the Texas-Louisiana border. Michelle Malkin has a nice round-up. Michelle also links to A Certain Slant of Light, also tracking Rita carefully.