Update [2005-9-21 18:1:28 by susanhu]: MSNBC just announced that Rita, now a Category 5 hurricane, is being called the “fifth most destructive storm in history.”

First: I heard that Rita is actually — no, no, she’s not that gassy, not-a-FOXie-ho’-anymo’ host for MSNBC — but is actually Barbara Bush’s illegitimate, twisted grandchild who hates the Bushes and wants to give them another reallllly big demo of what blowback means in physical terms since, heh, they don’t get it in political terms.

Seriously, Yahoo has a very good page listing the latest wire stories, photos, and video. (Note: The image TOP LEFT is from the Nat’l Hurricane Center, and shows the “strike zone” of Rita. A LARGER version is below the fold.) From a Yahoo/AP story:

Meteorologist Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Rita could strengthen to a Category 5 with wind over 155 mph as it moves over the warm waters of the gulf, or it could ease to a Category 3, with wind of less than 130 mph.

And, Amy Goodman offers this summary:

Hurricane Rita Upgraded to Category 4 Storm
The Gulf Coast region is preparing for another major hurricane making its way across the Gulf of Mexico. Earlier today Hurricane Rita strengthened into a Category 4 storm. If Rita stays on course, the storm will likely hit Texas by the end of the week and possibly dump large amounts of rain on New Orleans. This is already forcing thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees staying in Texas to evacuate from their temporary homes. Rita is the fifth major hurricane of the 2005 season.

— From the Nat’l Hurricane Center. This image shows the “strike zone” of Rita. If you CLICK on the image at the Center, you can zoom in or out to see specific areas.

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