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.
After a period of above-average temperatures across most of the Midwest and Northeast last week, a complete reversal in the weather pattern will move in this week.
Following drenching rain, part of the Eastern states will experience strong to locally severe thunderstorms into Monday night.
Global warming and climate change, two terms that are treated synonymously in most media coverage and casual debate, have been shown to spark different reactions from the American public.
A new round of thunderstorms will bring the risk of severe weather across parts of central Texas and Oklahoma at middle to late week.
An 84-year-old man died after an electrical transformer exploded due to the earthquake and caused a house fire in Xinzhuang, a Taipei suburb, The Associated Press reported.
After a string of days with temperatures in the 70s, much cooler air is set to move into the Minneapolis area for the new week with temperatures tumbling back into the 40s.
Southeastern VA (1991)
Torrential rain; 5.89" at Norfolk broke the 24-hour record for April (5.19" set in 1883). This was the most rain in one event since Hurricane Cleo dumped 11.40" from August 31 to September 1, 1964.
Omaha, NE (1992)
Snowfall of 9.3" -- only the 6th time in 100 years that over 1.5" of snow has fallen after April 15th. Only 13.3 inches fell for the entire season before this storm. Other snow totals: Brownsville, NE 14.0" Blair, NE 12.5" Offutt AFB, NE 12.0" Eppley, NE 10.0" Kansas City, MO 2.7"
Sacramento, CA (1880)
7.24" of rain, heaviest in 24 hours.