10PM Update Rita has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression. At 10PM CDT, Rita was located about 40 miles north of Shreveport.LA. Moving north at 10 mph.
3PM Update Rita has become a tropical storm while inland and is located near Jasper, TX. Further weakening is expected, though the storm will likely produce localized flooding inland across the ArkLaTex region over the next few days.
11:30 AM Update Rita continues to weaken this morning. Storm surge effects in Beaumont and Port Arthur were minimal, but there aren't too many reports east of there yet.
Otherwise in the tropics, Philippe has fallen apart, but another area near Philippe has a chance to develop over the next day or so. This will likely head out to sea.
Off to the east Atlantic an wave crossing to the west has a chance to develop over the next week.
8:30 AM Update Hurricane Rita has made landfall just east of the Sabine Pass (southeast of Port Arthur Texas) at about 2:30AM EDT, 1;30AM CDT. It will be hours before we know the extent of damage. The direct area of landfall along the Gulf coast beach was sparsely populated but Port Arthur and Beaumont are not all that far inland, but the surge area was rather large. More to come later.
Original Update Rita is 55 Miles southeast of Sabine Pass and still a category 3 storm, with 930mb of pressure and 125MPH winds.
Storm surge is beginning to be reported in a few areas.
Good luck and God Bless the landfall zone.
Friday - 9PM CDT UPDATE From the NHC: THE 8 PM CDT POSITION...28.7 N... 93.0 W. MOVEMENT TOWARD...NORTHWEST NEAR 11 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...120 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE... 931 MB.
Hurricane Rita still a Category III Hurricane and she should make landfall - probably in extreme southwest Louisiana (Cameron Parish) at about 5am CDT - as a Category III Hurricane with sustained winds of at least 115mph. Rita's forward motion now appears to be shifting toward the north northwest since the 8PM CDT bulletin. Hurricane force winds will soon batter the northeast Texas and southwest Louisiana coast with extreme conditions likely in the early morning hours from High Island, Texas, to Garden City, Louisiana, and hurricane force conditions west and east of those points. High storm surge at and east of the landfall point could easily exceed 16 feet since Rita will be approaching almost perpendicular to the coast. Expected isolated wind gusts up to 140mph. Embedded fast moving tornadoes are likely over all of Louisiana and portions of southeastern Texas. Rainfall along east Texas and west Louisiana could easily exceed 15 inches as Rita slows in her northward movement after landfall and creates widespread flooding.
Tropical Depression Philippe is dissipating and NHC has issued its last Advisory on this system. ED
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