Hurricane Rita went down in the record books as the strongest hurricane ever in the Gulf of Mexico, beating a record that Katrina had set about three weeks earlier.
While churning in the Gulf, the maximum sustained winds of Rita reached 180 mph with the central pressure dropping as low as 895 mb (26.43 inches Hg). Only Hurricane Wilma in 2005, Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and The Labor Day Hurricane in 1935 have been stronger hurricanes with lower pressures in the Atlantic Ocean.
Besides setting a record for being the strongest Gulf hurricane ever, this was the first time on record that two storms strengthened into Category 5 hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.
Rita crashed onshore along the Texas-Louisiana border as a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph on Sept. 24, 2005.
More than 3 million Texas and Louisiana residents were evacuated ahead of Rita, which caused severe flooding in coastal areas of Texas and Louisiana. NOAA reports that storm surge of 15 feet trapped residents who stayed behind in coastal Louisiana parishes of Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Terrebonne and Vermilion.
According to NOAA, more than a million people lost power due to Rita's lashing winds. Many were in the dark for several days and weeks. Meanwhile, dozens of tornadoes touched down across the Deep South from Sept. 24-25, while the storm plowed into the Gulf Coast.
This Oct. 2, 2005 file photo shows Miguel Del-Rosal surveying the remains of his home in Cameron, La. Little was spared in the town located near Hurricane Rita's landfall. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
This NOAA image shows the scope of destruction in Holly Beach, La., in the wake of Hurricane Rita.
A break from the wet weather is in the forecast for Minneapolis just in time for the end of the week.
As the sun begins to sink down beneath the horizon Thursday evening, the moon will partially eclipse the fiery star and cast a narrow shadow upon the Earth.
What was an already difficult ridge climb for accomplished ice climber Caroline George had suddenly turned scary and treacherous.
A storm will spin up along the New England coast at midweek and will take on characteristics of a nor'easter with drenching wind-swept rain and coastal flooding in some locations.
A new moon allowed for the perfect background for the Orionid Meteor Shower, which peaked on Tuesday Oct. 21 and into the morning of Oct. 22.
Storms, including Ana, are lining up over the northern Pacific, en route to the northwestern United States and British Columbia.
Temperature reached 104 degrees at San Diego (record for date). Record for date 100 degrees at Los Angeles (downtown). Climax of heat wave of record duration in Southern California.
Ottawa, Canada (1988)
Record October snowstorm brings 21 cm (just over 8 inches).
Hurricane Juan kills more than 200 and results in $1.5 billion in damages.