A hurricane begins innocently enough in the ocean, in water so warm that it clocks in warmer than 80 degrees up to 150 feet down. Add in a warm breeze that skims the top of the water and begins to transform it into water vapor. That vapor rises into the air, carried by tropical winds. A tropical disturbance occurs when that water vapor condenses into a cyclical cloud. From there, a complicated process of heating and cooling forces these clouds and the wind carrying them to spawn thunderstorms and fierce winds. If the conditions are right, that simple patch of warm ocean water can hit land as the most powerful storm on Earth, a hurricane. Though hurricanes can only form in a select area of the planet, the Southeastern United States is right in that path. These massive tropical storms have been ravaging the east coast of the US since the country’s creation. Here, for your consideration, are some of the most destructive hurricane that have made landfall in the United States of America.
15. Hurricane Rita
At first, meteorologists weren’t expecting Hurricane Rita to make much noise. When it hit land in 2005, it only clocked in as a Category 2 hurricane. In a short, destructive 24 hours, however, Rita transformed into a devastating Category 5 hurricane. The rivers and lakes in Texas rose more than 10 feet. Parts of New Orleans were completely flooded (and that just a month after Hurricane Katrina).