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#47642 (Received by flhurricane at: 4:34 AM 22.Sep.2005)
TCPAT3
BULLETIN
HURRICANE RITA ADVISORY NUMBER 19
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
4 AM CDT THU SEP 22 2005

...POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY FIVE RITA MOVING
WEST-NORTHWESTWARD ACROSS THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO...

AT 4 AM CDT...0900Z...THE HURRICANE WATCH IS EXTENDED EASTWARD ALONG
THE LOUISIANA COAST TO INTRACOASTAL CITY. A HURRICANE WATCH IS NOW
IN EFFECT FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO COAST FROM PORT MANSFIELD TEXAS TO
INTRACOASTAL CITY LOUISIANA. A HURRICANE WARNING WILL LIKELY BE
REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE HURRICANE WATCH AREA LATER TODAY.

AT 4 AM CDT...A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE
SOUTHEASTERN COAST OF LOUISIANA EAST OF MORGAN CITY TO THE MOUTH OF
THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT
TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED IN THE WARNING AREA DURING
THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT ON EITHER SIDE OF THE
HURRICANE WATCH AREA... FROM EAST OF CAMERON TO MORGAN CITY
LOUISIANA...AND FROM SOUTH OF PORT MANSFIELD TO BROWNSVILLE TEXAS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE NORTHEASTERN COAST
OF MEXICO FROM RIO SAN FERNANDO NORTHWARD TO THE RIO GRANDE.

A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE
WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS. A TROPICAL STORM
WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE
WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.

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

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

AT 4 AM CDT...0900Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE RITA WAS LOCATED NEAR
LATITUDE 24.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 88.0 WEST OR ABOUT 515 MILES...
830 KM...SOUTHEAST OF GALVESTON TEXAS AND ABOUT 615 MILES... 990
KM...EAST-SOUTHEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI TEXAS.

RITA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 9 MPH...15 KM/HR...
AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24
HOURS.

REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE
THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 175 MPH...280 KM/HR...WITH
HIGHER GUSTS. THIS MAKES RITA A POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY
FIVE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN
INTENSITY ARE LIKELY DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM...
FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP
TO 185 MILES...295 KM.

THE LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE ESTIMATED FROM REPORTS BY THE
HURRICANE HUNTER IS 897 MB...26.49 INCHES. THIS MEANS RITA IS THE
THIRD MOST INTENSE HURRICANE IN TERMS OF PRESSURE IN THE ATLANTIC
BASIN.

TIDES ARE CURRENTLY RUNNING NEAR NORMAL ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI AND
LOUISIANA COASTS IN THE AREAS AFFECTED BY KATRINA. TIDES IN THOSE
AREAS WILL INCREASE UP TO 3 TO 4 FEET AND BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE
WAVES OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS... AND RESIDENTS THERE COULD
EXPERIENCE SOME COASTAL FLOODING.

HEAVY RAINS ASSOCIATED WITH RITA ARE FORECAST TO BEGIN TO AFFECT THE
WESTERN AND CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO COASTAL AREAS THURSDAY NIGHT
INTO FRIDAY. RITA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL
ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 12 INCHES WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF
15 INCHES FROM THE CENTRAL TEXAS COAST TO SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA.
RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE ELSEWHERE ACROSS
SOUTHERN LOUISIANA...INCLUDING THE NEW ORLEANS METROPOLITAN AREA.
AFTER RITA MOVES INLAND...TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 10
INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE OVER EASTERN TEXAS... AND CENTRAL AND
EASTERN OKLAHOMA DURING SATURDAY AND SUNDAY.

REPEATING THE 4 AM CDT POSITION...24.9 N... 88.0 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 9 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED
WINDS...175 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE... 897 MB.

AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
HURRICANE CENTER AT 7 AM CDT FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT
COMPLETE ADVISORY AT 10 AM CDT.

FORECASTER BEVEN