The following imformation is from the wikipedia
Hurricane Rita as of Sept. 21th
at time of posting
As of 4 pm CDT September 21 (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Rita was located about 600 miles east-southeast of Galveston, Texas and about 700 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas. Rita is a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph (265 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 26.518 inches (898 mbar). Rita is moving west at 13 mph (21 km/h). An Air Force Reserve Unit Reconnaissance Aircraft reported at 6:50 CDT (2350 UTC) that Rita's central pressure was 26.518 inches (898 mbar), making it the 3rd most intense Atlantic hurricane on record, behind Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935.
Rita is forecasted to maintain Category 4 or 5 intensity before a possible final landfall, most likely on the Texas or Louisiana coast as a major hurricane. This has prompted New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin to suspend re-entry to the city. However, the hurricane is now expected to miss the city. The forecast models are clustered tightly, with landfall expected along the Texas coast. Should Rita make landfall in Texas, it could rival Hurricane Carla and the Indianola Hurricane of 1886 as the most intense storm ever to strike Texas.Other Information
Hurricane Rita is the seventeenth named storm, ninth hurricane, fifth major hurricane, and second Category 5 hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm has already struck Florida and Cuba, and currently threatens Texas and Louisiana. The system reached Category 5 strength on the afternoon of September 21, 2005, the second storm of the season to do so (the other being Hurricane Katrina) and is expected to make landfall sometime on September 24, between Galveston and Corpus Christi in Texas. Rita is already the third most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, as it currently has a central pressure of 26.518 inches (898 mbar), and further strengthening is possible. If Rita maintains its current intensity, it will be the second most intense storm to make landfall in the U.S. (only the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, which struck Florida, was more intense at 26.340 inches (892 mbar)).
This is only the second time since 1953 (when alphabetical naming of hurricanes began) that as many as seventeen storms have been recorded in an Atlantic hurricane season, reaching the letter "R" in the naming sequence. The only prior seventeenth storm since 1953 was Hurricane Roxanne in 1995.
It also marks only the third time in recorded history that there have been two Category 5 hurricanes in a single season; it had previously only happened in the 1960 and 1961 seasons. If Rita makes landfall in the United States as a Category 5 hurricane it will become one of only five Category 5 hurricanes to have hit the United States; the others being the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, Hurricane Camille in 1969, Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, and most recently Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Rita was slow to become a hurricane; discussions early on September 20 showed that wind translations to surface level were indeed at 75 mph (120 km/h), however, the lack of a complete eyewall meant that the National Hurricane Center kept Rita as a tropical storm with 70 mph (110 km/h) winds overnight. Aerial reconnaissance data released at 9:45 am EDT that morning showed that Rita had closed the eyewall and winds clearly reached hurricane strength. Four hours later, another special update stated that Rita had reached Category 2 strength with 100 mph (160 km/h) maximum sustained winds. By September 21st, the storm had strengthened rapidly; the National Hurricane Center's official advisories, issued every three hours, showed strengthening at every single advisory from 5 p.m. EDT on September 20th to 11 a.m. EDT on September 21st. At that advisory, Rita's maximum sustained winds had increased to 140mph. Strengthening continued; an update issued at 2:15 pm EDT (1815 UTC) said that Rita's maximum winds had increased to 150 mph (240 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 920 mb.The following information is from NOAA.
Click the above to see the five day forcast for the hurricane.
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