Rita hits Category Five

National Hurricane Center Miami Fl
255 PM CDT Wed Sep 21 2005

Data from
reconnaissance aircraft indicate that Rita has reached Category Five
intensity with estimated maximum sustained surface winds of 165 mph.

For those of you with XML/RSS readers, here’s the NOAA feed for Rita.

Also, the Houston Chronicle has a Rita blog. (The website for the Galveston County Daily News is already melting down under the gigantic pounding its servers are taking.)


NOAA hurricane hunters found a central pressure of 934 mb at 11:17 am,
and the Air Force hurricane hunters found a central pressure of 923 mb
at 1:02pm. This incredible drop of 11 mb in 105 minutes is the fastest
pressure fall I can ever recall seeing in a hurricane.

Update 2

416 PM CDT
Rita becomes the fifth most intense hurricane on record…
Central pressure has fallen to 904 MB

And still growing.

5:00 PM PDT. NPR is reporting Rita is now the third biggest ever, bigger than Katrina.