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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.
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Showers and thunderstorms will congregate over the southeastern United States into the weekend, elevating the risk of flash flooding and outdoor disruptions.
Racers of the 2018 Tour de France will emerge from the mountains on Friday; however, new challenges await.
Prior to the arrival of much cooler and less humid air at midweek, thunderstorms packing torrential downpours and locally damaging winds will rattle the northeastern United States into Tuesday evening.
More than 1,450 emergency personnel are still working to contain the massive wildfire near California’s Yosemite National Park that took a deadly turn over the weekend.
Rounds of thunderstorms packing torrential rain and gusty winds will erupt along a temperature contrast zone across the Great Plains through the middle of this week.
A lightning strike can result in a cardiac arrest and death, and the most lightning strikes occur during warm summer months when people are outside enjoying the weather.
Saving the planet’s oceans from plastic pollution isn’t on the agenda of a typical sixth grader. However, Anna Du is working to achieve just that.
After passing over Hainan, Tropical Storm Son-tinh has its sights set on China and northern parts of Vietnam and Laos in the coming days.