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#48188 (Received by flhurricane at: 3:00 AM 24.Sep.2005)
TCPAT3
BULLETIN
HURRICANE RITA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 26B
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
2 AM CDT SAT SEP 24 2005

...CENTER OF MAJOR HURRICANE RITA ABOUT TO MAKE LANDFALL...NORTHERN
EYEWALL HAS SPREAD ONSHORE...

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM SARGENT 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 HAVE
ALREADY BEEN COMPLETED.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS 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 SARGENT TEXAS TO PORT ARANSAS
TEXAS. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24
HOURS.

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

AT 2 AM CDT...0700Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE RITA WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 29.6 NORTH... LONGITUDE 93.7 WEST OR ABOUT 10 MILES
SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF SABINE PASS ALONG THE GULF COAST AT THE
TEXAS/LOUISIANA BORDER.

RITA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 12 MPH. THIS MOTION SHOULD
BRING THE CENTER OF RITA ONTO THE COAST NEAR SABINE PASS IN THE
NEXT HOUR OR TWO. AFTER LANDFALL...A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE
NORTH-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED LATER TODAY.

REPORTS FROM AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 120 MPH...WITH HIGHER GUSTS.
RITA IS A DANGEROUS CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON
SCALE. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS EXPECTED PRIOR TO LANDFALL.
GRADUAL WEAKENING IS EXPECTED AFTER RITA MOVES INLAND.

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 AT SEA RIM STATE PARK TEXAS RECENTLY
REPORTED SUSTAINED WINDS OF 78 MPH WITH A GUST TO 101 MPH.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE JUST REPORTED BY THE HURRICANE HUNTERS
IS 937 MB...27.67 INCHES.

COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 15 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS...
LOCALLY UP TO 20 FEET AT HEAD OF BAYS AND NEARBY RIVERS...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 4 TO 6 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.

SINCE RITA IS EXPECTED TO SLOW DOWN DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS...
RAINFALL TOTALS OF 10 TO 15 INCHES ARE EXPECTED OVER EASTERN TEXAS
AND WESTERN LOUISIANA. MAXIMUM RAINFALL TOTALS IN EXCESS OF 25
INCHES COULD OCCUR OVER LOCALIZED AREAS. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 3 TO
5 INCHES WITH ISOLATED HEAVIER TOTALS ARE POSSIBLE OVER
SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA INCLUDING METROPOLITAN NEW ORLEANS.

ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE SATURDAY...AND SATURDAY NIGHT OVER
FAR EASTERN TEXAS...LOUISIANA...SOUTHERN ARKANSAS...AND
MISSISSIPPI.

REPEATING THE 2 AM CDT POSITION...29.6 N... 93.7 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...NORTHWEST NEAR 12 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED
WINDS...120 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE... 937 MB.

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
HURRICANE CENTER AT 4 AM CDT.

FORECASTER BEVEN