Hurricane Rita makes landfall in the United States, devastating portions of southwestern Louisiana and extreme southeastern Texas.

Hurricane Rita was the most intense tropical cyclone on record in the Gulf of Mexico and the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. Part of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, which included three of the top ten most intense Atlantic hurricanes in terms of barometric pressure ever recorded, Rita was the seventeenth named storm, tenth hurricane, and fifth major hurricane of the 2005 season. It was also the earliest-forming 17th named storm in the Atlantic until Tropical Storm Rene in 2020. Rita formed near The Bahamas from a tropical wave on September 18, 2005 that originally developed off the coast of West Africa. It moved westward, and after passing through the Florida Straits, Rita entered an environment of abnormally warm waters. Moving west-northwest, it rapidly intensified to reach peak winds of 180 mph (285 km/h), achieving Category 5 status on September 21. However, it weakened to a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall in Johnson's Bayou, Louisiana, between Sabine Pass, Texas and Holly Beach, Louisiana, with winds of 115 mph (185 km/h). Rapidly weakening over land, Rita degenerated into a large low-pressure area over the lower Mississippi Valley by September 26th.

Hurricane Rita makes landfall in the United States, devastating portions of southwestern Louisiana and extreme southeastern Texas.

September 24, 2005

Hurricane Rita makes landfall in the United States, devastating portions of southwestern Louisiana and extreme southeastern Texas.

Hurricane Rita was the most intense tropical cyclone on record in the Gulf of Mexico and the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. Part of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, which included three of the top ten most intense Atlantic hurricanes in terms of barometric pressure ever recorded, Rita was the seventeenth named storm, tenth hurricane, and fifth major hurricane of the 2005 season. It was also the earliest-forming 17th named storm in the Atlantic until Tropical Storm Rene in 2020. Rita formed near The Bahamas from a tropical wave on September 18, 2005 that originally developed off the coast of West Africa. It moved westward, and after passing through the Florida Straits, Rita entered an environment of abnormally warm waters. Moving west-northwest, it rapidly intensified to reach peak winds of 180 mph (285 km/h), achieving Category 5 status on September 21. However, it weakened to a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall in Johnson's Bayou, Louisiana, between Sabine Pass, Texas and Holly Beach, Louisiana, with winds of 115 mph (185 km/h). Rapidly weakening over land, Rita degenerated into a large low-pressure area over the lower Mississippi Valley by September 26th.

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