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#47883 (Received by flhurricane at: 4:55 AM 23.Sep.2005)
TCPAT3
BULLETIN
HURRICANE RITA ADVISORY NUMBER 23
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
4 AM CDT FRI SEP 23 2005

...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY FOUR RITA MOVING NORTHWESTWARD INTO
THE NORTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO...

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. SOME PORTIONS OF
THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING IN TEXAS COULD BE DISCONTINUED LATER
TODAY.

AT 4 AM CDT...0900Z...THE TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS DISCONTINUED FOR
THE TEXAS COAST SOUTH OF PORT MANSFIELD AND FOR NORTHEASTERN
MEXICO.

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 26.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE 91.0 WEST OR ABOUT 290 MILES
SOUTHEAST OF GALVESTON TEXAS AND ABOUT 250 MILES SOUTHEAST OF
CAMERON LOUISIANA.

RITA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 9 MPH...AND THIS GENERAL
MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS. ON THIS
TRACK...THE CORE OF RITA WILL BE APPROACHING THE SOUTHWEST
LOUISIANA AND UPPER TEXAS COASTS LATE TODAY OR TONIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 140 MPH...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.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 85 MILES FROM THE
CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP
TO 205 MILES. AN AUTOMATED STATION OPERATED BY LOUISIANA STATE
UNIVERSITY NEAR THE SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA COAST RECENTLY REPORTED
SUSTAINED WINDS OF 55 MPH WITH A GUST OF 65 MPH AT AN ELEVATION OF
130 FT.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE JUST REPORTED BY AN AIR FORCE RESERVE
HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS 927 MB...27.37 INCHES.

COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 15 TO 20 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE
LEVELS...ALONG WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES...CAN BE
EXPECTED NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF WHERE THE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL.
TIDES ARE CURRENTLY RUNNING ABOUT 2 FEET ABOVE NORMAL ALONG THE
LOUISIANA...MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA COASTS IN THE AREAS AFFECTED BY
KATRINA. TIDES IN THOSE AREAS WILL INCREASE TO 3 TO 5 FEET AND BE
ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE WAVES...AND RESIDENTS THERE COULD EXPERIENCE
COASTAL FLOODING. LARGE SWELLS GENERATED BY RITA WILL LIKELY AFFECT
MOST PORTIONS OF THE GULF COAST.

RITA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 12
INCHES...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 15 INCHES OVER
SOUTHEASTERN TEXAS AND SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA AS IT MOVES INLAND.
SINCE RITA IS FORECAST TO SLOW DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY AFTER MAKING
LANDFALL...TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS IN EXCESS OF 25 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE
OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS ACROSS EASTERN TEXAS AND WESTERN
LOUISIANA. IN ADDITION...RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES ARE
POSSIBLE OVER SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA INCLUDING METROPOLITAN NEW
ORLEANS.

ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE TODAY OVER PORTIONS OF SOUTHEASTERN
TEXAS AND SOUTHERN LOUISIANA.

REPEATING THE 4 AM CDT POSITION...26.8 N... 91.0 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...NORTHWEST NEAR 10 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED
WINDS...140 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE... 927 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