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.
An ice storm, which could be the worst to hit the United States in years, is unfolding across portions of the southern Plains late this week.
Despite the mild air through midweek, the city is experiencing a drastic temperature to end the week.
The city will see snow a few times in the coming days as temperatures plummet.
After the midweek system accompanied with snow exits the area, frigid air will pour into the area.
While balmy air and rain will affect State College and central Pennsylvania into Thursday night, a return of colder air will be accompanied by a change to snow and slippery travel late Friday.
While balmy air and rain will affect Pittsburgh into Thursday night, a return of colder air will be accompanied by a change to snow and slippery travel Friday.
Denver, CO (1913)
Snow cover reaches 32.6", maximum depth of snow.
Little Port Walter, AR (1964)
14.84" rainfall in 24 hours. Greatest 24 hour rainfall event in state's history.
Chardon, OH (1962)