as of 12:20 pm:

Hurricane Rita continues to grow stronger over the Gulf of Mexico. Top winds are estimated to be 140 mph, a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale [...]

Rita is forecast to continue on a westward track into the Gulf of Mexico and may grow even stronger. It has already reached Category 4 status. Later in the week, Rita is expected to shift to a more northwesterly course. Residents along the Texas Gulf Coast should be prepared for a significant hurricane on Friday night or Saturday.