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Friday, September 23, 2005

Rita: Soon to Make Landfall



From NOAA:
7 AM CDT FRI SEP 23 2005 ...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE RITA CONTINUES TOWARD THE SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA AND UPPER TEXAS COASTS... A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM PORT O'CONNOR TEXAS TO MORGANCITY LOUISIANA. A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONSARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TOCOMPLETION. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE SOUTHEASTERN COAST OFLOUISIANA EAST OF MORGAN CITY TO THE MOUTH OF THE PEARL RIVERINCLUDING METROPOLITAN NEW ORLEANS AND LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN...AND FROM SOUTH OF PORT O'CONNOR TO PORT MANSFIELD TEXAS. A TROPICALSTORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTEDWITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. SOME PORTIONS OFTHE TROPICAL STORM WARNING IN TEXAS COULD BE DISCONTINUED LATERTODAY. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLEINLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS......THE CENTER OF HURRICANE RITA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 27.1 NORTH...LONGITUDE 91.5 WEST OR ABOUT 260 MILES SOUTHEAST OF GALVESTON TEXAS AND ABOUT 220 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OFCAMERON LOUISIANA. RITA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 9 MPH...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS. ON THIS TRACK...THE CORE OF RITA WILL BE APPROACHING THE SOUTHWESTLOUISIANA AND UPPER TEXAS COASTS LATE TODAY OR TONIGHT. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 140 MPH...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. RITA IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN STRENGTH ARE EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 85 MILES FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 205 MILES. THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE JUST ESTIMATED FROM AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT DATA WAS 930 MB...27.46 INCHES. COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 15 TO 20 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS...ALONG WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES...CAN BEEXPECTED NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF WHERE THE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL.TIDES ARE CURRENTLY RUNNING ABOUT 2 FEET ABOVE NORMAL ALONG THEL OUISIANA...MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA COASTS IN THE AREAS AFFECTED BY KATRINA. TIDES IN THOSE AREAS WILL INCREASE TO 3 TO 5 FEET AND BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE WAVES...AND RESIDENTS THERE COULD EXPERIENCE COASTAL FLOODING. LARGE SWELLS GENERATED BY RITA WILL LIKELY AFFECTMOST PORTIONS OF THE GULF COAST. RITA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 12 INCHES...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 15 INCHES OVER SOUTHEASTERN TEXAS AND SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA AS IT MOVES INLAND.SINCE RITA IS FORECAST TO SLOW DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY AFTER MAKING LANDFALL...TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS IN EXCESS OF 25 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS AND WESTERN LOUISIANA. IN ADDITION...RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA INCLUDING METROPOLITAN NEW ORLEANS. ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE TODAY OVER PORTIONS OF SOUTHEASTERN TEXAS AND SOUTHERN LOUISIANA. REPEATING THE 7 AM CDT POSITION...27.1 N... 91.5 W. MOVEMENTTOWARD...NORTHWEST NEAR 10 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...140 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE... 930 MB. THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT10 AM CDT. FORECASTER
AVILA

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