, °F

Personalized Forecasts

Featured Forecast

My Favorite Forecasts

    My Recent Locations

    Rita Photos: Anniversary of the Strongest Gulf Hurricane Ever

    By By Meghan Evans, meteorologist
    September 26, 2013, 1:32:49 AM EDT

    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.

    RELATED:
    Six Notorious Hurricane Names You'll Never Hear Again
    AccuWeather Hurricane Center
    Incredible Technology: How to Track Hurricanes

    Rita crashed onshore along the Texas-Louisiana border as a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph on Sept. 24, 2005.


    590x449_09251355_250115_10151236449847889_1520116842_n


    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.


    590x463_09231319_ap051002028267


    590x592_09231517_rita-holly-beach-la-09-25-2005


    Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Meghan Evans at evansm@accuweather.com or follow her on Twitter @Accu_Meghan. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook and Google+.

    Report a Typo

    Comments

    Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

    More Weather News