...Extremely dangerous category four Hurricane Rita continues west-northwestward toward the southwestern Louisiana and Upper Texas coasts... A Hurricane Warning is in effect from Port O'Connor Texas to Morgan City Louisiana. A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the southeastern coast of Louisiana east of Morgan City to the mouth of the Pearl River including metropolitan New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain....and from south of Port O'Connor to Port Mansfield Texas. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours.
A tropical storm watch remains in effect from south of Port Mansfield to Brownsville Texas...and for the northeastern coast of Mexico from Rio San Fernando northward to the Rio Grande. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area...generally within 36 hours.
For storm information specific to your area...including possible inland watches and warnings...please monitor products issued by your local weather office.
At 10 PM CDT...0300z...the center of Hurricane Rita was located near latitude 26.2 north... longitude 90.3 west or about 350 miles... 560 km... southeast of Galveston Texas and about 310 miles... 495 km...southeast of Cameron Louisiana.
Rita is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph...17 km/hr. A gradual turn toward the northwest is expected during the next 24 hours. On this track...the core of Rita will be approaching the southwest Louisiana and Upper Texas coasts late Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 140 mph...220 km/hr...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.
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