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#47422 (Received by flhurricane at: 4:37 AM 21.Sep.2005)
TCPAT3
BULLETIN
HURRICANE RITA ADVISORY NUMBER 15
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 AM EDT WED SEP 21 2005

...MAJOR CATEGORY THREE RITA MOVING INTO THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF
MEXICO AND CONTINUING TO STRENGTHEN...

AT 5 AM EDT...0900Z...THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR PORTIONS OF THE
FLORIDA KEYS IS DISCONTINUED EAST OF THE MARQUESAS KEYS...INCLUDING
KEY WEST. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE
FLORIDA KEYS FROM THE MARQUESAS KEYS WESTWARD TO THE DRY TORTUGAS.

INTERESTS IN THE NORTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO SHOULD MONITOR THE
PROGRESS OF RITA.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

AT 5 AM EDT...0900Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE RITA WAS LOCATED NEAR
LATITUDE 24.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 84.6 WEST OR ABOUT 175 MILES...
285 KM...WEST OF KEY WEST FLORIDA AND ABOUT 160 MILES... 255 KM...
WEST-NORTHWEST OF HAVANA CUBA.

RITA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 14 MPH...22 KM/HR...AND THIS
GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS. THIS
MOTION SHOULD BRING THE CENTER OF RITA FARTHER AWAY FROM THE
FLORIDA KEYS OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO TODAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 120 MPH...195
KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. RITA IS A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE ON
THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE
NEXT 24 HOURS...AND RITA IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A CATEGORY FOUR
HURRICANE SOMETIME LATER TODAY.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 45 MILES... 75 KM...
FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP
TO 140 MILES...220 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 956 MB...28.23 INCHES.

COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 4 TO 6 FT ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS
IS POSSIBLE IN THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA. STORM SURGE
FLOODING ELSEWHERE IN THE FLORIDA KEYS AND SOUTH FLORIDA SHOULD
SUBSIDE TODAY.

RITA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 1
TO 3 INCHES OVER EXTREME SOUTHERN FLORIDA AND THE FLORIDA KEYS.
RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES...WITH MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 10
INCHES OVER THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS...ARE POSSIBLE OVER NORTHWEST
CUBA. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE
NORTHERN YUCATAN PENINSULA.

REPEATING THE 5 AM EDT POSITION...24.3 N... 84.6 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...WEST NEAR 14 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED
WINDS...120 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE... 956 MB.

AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
HURRICANE CENTER AT 8 AM EDT FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT
COMPLETE ADVISORY AT 11 AM EDT.

FORECASTER BEVEN