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 10-month-old girl died after being left in a hot car in Kansas Thursday night, according to the Associated Press, as high heat gripped the area.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists are monitoring an area of thunderstorms near Palau for potential tropical development.
Stormy weather will be the theme for the weekend across the Midwest and Ohio Valley with several chances for severe thunderstorms.
A thick, massive band of mayflies traveling along the Mississippi River created a swarm so intense it became visible on National Weather Service radars on July 20, 2014.
Minneapolis will see a significant shift in temperatures this weekend.
As thousands flock to Los Angeles for the 2014 Vans US Open of Surfing this weekend, the weather will cooperate with plenty of sunshine and slightly higher-than-average temperatures.
Off New England (1956)
The Andrea Doria, weighing 29,000 tons was rammed by Swedish liner Stockholm, weighing 12,644 tons, near Nantucket Lightship, MA. Andrea Doria was moving westward through fog while the Stockholm moving eastward in clear weather. Andrea Doria emerged from the fog across bow of Stockholm. Andrea Doria sank 12 hours later; 51 killed by impact or drowned before or during rescue attempts.
St. Bonaventure, Quebec (1975)
A tornado struck in the early morning hours wiping out 65 percent of the town, killing 3 persons and injuring 45. 300 persons were left homeless, and at least 100 buildings were destroyed.
Lawton, OK (1990)
A thunderstorm cluster brought 11" of rain.