From the NWS

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Published on: September 21, 2005

WTNT63 KNHC 212351
TCUAT3
HURRICANE RITA TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
650 PM CDT WED SEP 21 2005

...RITA BECOMES THE THIRD MOST INTENSE HURRICANE ON RECORD...

DROPSONDE DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE UNIT RECONNAISSANCE
AIRCRAFT AT 623 PM CDT...2323Z...INDICATED THE CENTRAL PRESSURE HAS
FALLEN TO BELOW 899 MB...OR 26.55 INCHES. THE DROPSONDE INSTRUMENT
MEASURED 32 KT/35 MPH WINDS AT THE SURFACE...WHICH MEANS IT LIKELY
DID NOT RECORD THE LOWEST PRESSURE IN THE EYE OF RITA. THE CENTRAL
PRESSURE IS PROBABLY AT LEAST AS LOW AS 898 MB...AND PERHAPS EVEN
LOWER. FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES... A PRESSURE OF 898 MB IS ASSUMED...
WHICH NOW MAKES RITA THE THIRD MOST INTENSE HURRICANE IN TERMS OF
PRESSURE IN THE ATLANTIC BASIN. SOME ADDITIONAL DEEPENING AND
INTENSIFICATION IS POSSIBLE FOR THE NEXT 12 HOURS OR SO.

RITA CURRENTLY RANKS BEHIND HURRICANE GILBERT IN 1988 WITH 888 MB
AND THE 1935 LABOR DAY HURRICANE WITH 892 MB.

FORECASTER STEWART


They are also saying wind speeds of up to 175 MPH. Wow this one is looking worse then Katrina lets all hope and pray that it does not turn out to be as bad as Katrina was with damages and loss of life.

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