Hurricane Rita • Earth.com

Last update: June 25th, 2019 at 3:00 pm

After the immense devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina, all eyes were on Hurricane Rita as it passed over the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico. Rita formed from a tropical disturbance east of the Turks and Caicos Islands into a depression (TD #18) on September 17, 2005. The system moved west through the Caicos and strengthened into a tropical storm on the 18th before entering into the southern Bahamas.

Category 2 Hurricane Rita was passing between the Florida Keys and Cuba when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image at 2:35 p.m. Eastern time on September 20, 2005. At the time, Rita had peak sustained winds of 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour), with hurricane-strength winds extending well away from the storm’s center, including settlements in the Key Islands and in Cuba’s capital, Havana.

The large image provided above has a resolution of 250 meters per pixel. The image is available in additional resolutions from the MODIS Rapid Response Team.

Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.

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