Friday, September 23, 2005

Severity of local forecast downgraded

Hurricane Rita’s apparent muster is slightly dwindling, and that’s added a hint of a positive note for the weekend forecast for Shreveport-Bossier City.

According to the National Weather Service in Shreveport, it’s anticipated the two-city area could see rainfall of 6 to 8 inches beginning tonight through Sunday. That’s as much as a 2- to 4-inch decline in Thursday’s initial weekend outlook, based on Rita’s then-Category 5 status. Rita is now a Category 3 with sustained winds of 125 mph.

Mark Frazier, warning coordination meteorologist, said higher amounts of rain could be generated by the hurricane south of Caddo-Bossier parishes, and particularly along the state line between Texas and Louisiana.

Rita is anticipated to make landfall at about 7 a.m. Saturday. Frazier said if the hurricane stalls over northeast Texas, it would generate heavier rain for northwest Louisiana.

Winds this weekend in Shreveport-Bossier are anticipated at 20 to 30 mph on Saturday, with lighter winds on Sunday. It was initially forecast that winds could be as high as 50 to 80 mph.

“The hurricane winds have come down, so it has decreased,” Frazier said.

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