Hurricane Rita, 23rd September 2005

Hurricane Rita, 23rd September 2005

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hurricane Rita making landfall on the Gulf of Mexico coast of the USA on 23rd September 2005. While it was over the sea, Rita developed the third lowest central atmospheric pressure ever measured in a North Atlantic hurricane, just 897 millibars. At this stage it packed winds of over 270 kilometres per hour, but it weakened before it made landfall. At one stage Rita looked to be heading for Houston, Texas, the fourth most populous city in the USA and one of its major oil centres. Fortunately Rita veered away from Houston, instead making landfall near the town of Sabine Pass. Photographed by the MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite.

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