On August 23 - 31, 2005 Hurricane Katrina caused devastation on the Gulf Coast region of the USA.  Here are some facts about Hurricane Katrina.

In September 2005 Hurricane Rita because, the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone observed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Katrina was the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. It was the eleventh named storm, fifth hurricane, third major hurricane, and second Category 5 hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, and was the sixth-strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded.

 Katrina formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005, and crossed southern Florida as a moderate Category 1 hurricane before strengthening rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico and becoming one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded in the Gulf. The storm weakened considerably before making its second landfall as a Category 3 storm on the morning of August 29 in southeast Louisiana.

 It is possible that Katrina was the largest hurricane of its strength to approach the United States in recorded history; its sheer size caused devastation over 100 miles from the center. The storm surge caused major or catastrophic damage along the coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, including the cities of Mobile, Alabama, Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi, and Slidell, Louisiana. Levees separating Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, Louisiana were breached by the surge, ultimately flooding roughly 80% of the city and many areas of neighboring parishes. Severe wind damage was reported well inland, and hurricane force wind gusts were reported from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Dothan, Alabama. Katrina is estimated to be responsible for over $115 billion (2005 US dollars) in damages, making it the costliest disaster in U.S. history. The storm has killed at least 1,604 people, making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane.

 Storm History -  Hurricane Katrina formed as Tropical Depression Twelve over the southeastern Bahamas at 5:00 PM EDT on August 23, 2005, partially from the remains of Tropical Depression Ten. The system was upgraded to Tropical Storm Katrina on the morning of August 24, and became a hurricane only two hours before it made landfall around 6:30 PM EDT on August 25 between Hallandale Beach and Aventura, Florida. Katrina had a well-defined eye on doppler radar which remained intact throughout its passage over Florida. The storm weakened over land, but it regained hurricane status at 2:00 AM EDT about one hour after entering the Gulf of Mexico. Parts of the Florida Keys experienced tropical storm winds throughout August 26, with the Dry Tortugas briefly experiencing hurricane-force winds.

The storm rapidly intensified during its first 24 hours after entering the Gulf, due in part to the storm's movement over the warm sea surface temperatures of the Loop Current. On August 27, the storm reached Category 3 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, becoming the third major hurricane of the season. An eyewall replacement cycle disrupted the intensification, but nearly doubled the size in the process. Katrina again rapidly intensified, attaining Category 5 status by 7:00 AM CDT on August 28 and its peak at 1:00 PM CDT with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph (280 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 902 mbar. The pressure made Katrina the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record, though it would be surpassed by Hurricanes Rita and Wilma later in the season; it was also the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Gulf (later also broken by Rita).

Katrina made its second landfall at 6:10 AM CDT on August 29 as a Category 3 Hurricane with sustained winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana. At landfall, hurricane-force winds extended outward 120 mi (190 km) from the center and the storm's central pressure was 920 mbar. A few hours later, after weakening slightly, it made its third landfall near the Louisiana/Mississippi border with 120 mph (195 km/h) sustained winds, or Category 3 intensity, and producing record storm surges along the entire Mississippi and Alabama coastlines which ranged from 12 to as high as 37 feet.

Katrina maintained hurricane strength well into Mississippi, but weakened thereafter, finally losing hurricane strength more than 150 mi (240 km) inland, near Jackson, Mississippi. It was downgraded further to a tropical depression near Clarksville, Tennessee and literally broke in half. One half continued to race northward, and was last distinguishable in the eastern Great Lakes region on August 31, while the other half slowly dissipated over the Southeast, producing a significant tornado outbreak from Georgia to Pennsylvania. On August 31, Katrina was absorbed by a frontal boundary and became a powerful extratropical low, causing moderate rain and gale-force winds in southeastern Quebec. By 11:00 PM EDT August 31 (0300 UTC September 1), no discernible circulation remained of the former major hurricane, at which point Katrina was dead.


Hurricane Rita is the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Rita caused $10 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005. Rita was the seventeenth named storm, tenth hurricane, fifth major hurricane, and third Category 5 hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.

Rita made landfall on September 24 near the Texas-Louisiana border as a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. It continued on through parts of southeast Texas. The storm surge caused extensive damage along the Louisiana and extreme southeastern Texas coasts and completely destroyed some coastal communities. The storm killed seven people directly; many others died in evacuations and from indirect effects.

Storm History - The storm system that became Rita formed at the tail of an old frontal boundary, where convection and low-level circulation around an upper-level low developed steadily for over two days. A surface low formed near the disturbance, and the season's 18th tropical depression soon formed east of the Turks and Caicos. Less than a day after forming, the depression became the 17th tropical storm of the season on September 18 and was named Rita. A mandatory evacuation was ordered for the entire Florida Keys.

Hurricane Rita at its peak.Rita was slow to become a hurricane; National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports early on September 20 estimated the storm's sustained surface winds at hurricane force (75 mph or 120 km/h). However, Rita lacked a complete eyewall; forecasters identified Rita as a tropical storm with 70 mph (110 km/h) winds overnight. Aircraft observations released at 9:45 a.m. EDT showed a closed eyewall and winds clearly at hurricane strength. Four hours later, the NHC reported that Rita had reached Category 2 hurricane strength, with 100 mph (160 km/h) maximum sustained winds.

Hurricane Rita making its final landfallWarm water in the Gulf of Mexico, 1° F (0.5 °C) above average, favored storm intensification. As Rita entered the Gulf, rapid intensification began. National Hurricane Center advisories issued every three hours each showed strengthening from 5 p.m. EDT on September 20 to 11 a.m. EDT on September 21, when Rita's maximum sustained winds increased to 140 mph (225 km/h). Rita continued to gain strength unabated. An update at 2:15 p.m. CDT (1815 UTC) said maximum winds had increased to 150 mph (240 km/h) and Rita's minimum pressure was 920 mbar (hPa). Less than two hours later, at 3:55 p.m. CDT, another update reported that Rita had strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane, with maximum wind speeds of 165 mph (265 km/h). At 6:50 p.m. CDT, a reconnaissance aircraft recorded pressure of 899 mbar (hPa) away from the storm's center; the actual central pressure was thought to be lower still. At 10 p.m. CDT, Rita reached its maximum intensity, with sustained winds of 180 mph (290 km/h) and an estimated minimum pressure of 895 mbar (hPa), (26.43 in Hg).

Hurricane Rita encountering the Gulf Loop Current and Eddy Vortex.Hurricane Rita's rapid intensification may in part be attributed to its passage over the Gulf Loop Current and Eddy Vortex.           Lt. Col. Warren Madden, a Hurricane Hunter and meteorologist for The Weather Channel, recorded a peak wind gust of 235 mph (380 km/h) while flying in the eye of the storm, and called Rita "the strongest storm that I've ever been in." Rita's intense winds destroyed or disabled several buoy-based weather stations.  

Rita made landfall between Sabine Pass, Texas, and Johnson's Bayou, Louisiana, at 02:38 CDT (07:38 UTC) on September 24, 2005 as a category 3 Hurricane with winds at 115mph. Rita lost both hurricane and tropical storm status the day of landfall. Rita's remnants — technically an extensive low pressure area — moved quickly out of the lower Mississippi Valley and were absorbed by a cold front. The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center ceased monitoring Tropical Depression Rita early on September 26.

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