Catastrophe is imminent for parts of the west coast of Mexico. The rapid development of Hurricane Patricia as been incredible. El Nino warmed Pacific waters have helped this Category 5 storm become the strongest on record ever tracked by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in either the eastern Pacific or Atlantic Oceans. At 5 AM EDT on October 23, 2015 sustained winds have reached 200 mph! Gusts to 245 mph! The central pressure is 880 mb! This was first named Tuesday Oct 20, but only became a hurricane just yesterday. A mere 24 hours ago it had winds of 85 mph, so perhaps the most rapid development recorded as well. What’s even more crazy is that while the track curves it northwest for landfall later today, it could still get stronger.
The NHC is amazed as well:
“The minimum central pressure estimated from the aircraft data, 880 mb, is the lowest ever for our area of responsibility. It seems incredible that even more strengthening could occur before landfall later today, but recent microwave imagery shows hints of a concentric eyewall developing. If the trend toward an eyewall replacement continues, it would cause the intensity to at least level off later today. The official forecast shows only a little more strengthening before landfall. Given the very mountainous terrain that Patricia should encounter after landfall, the cyclone should weaken even faster over land than predicted by the normal inland decay rate.”
This remains of the storm will cross Mexico and head into Texas, part of the pattern and flooding rain I showed yesterday. Here is a quick look at the storm. Below are the warning areas, and sincerely best wishes for those in the path. I have received questions from locals vacationing in the Puerto Vallarta and fearful with little information. This will pass close, but they will be on the weaker side of the eye wall.
ABOUT 160 MI…255 KM SSW OF MANZANILLO MEXICO
ABOUT 235 MI…380 KM S OF CABO CORRIENTES MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…200 MPH…325 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NNW OR 340 DEGREES AT 12 MPH…19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...880 MB…25.99 INCHES
Hurricane Force Winds: Extend 30 miles from center
Tropical Storm Force Winds: Extend 175 miles from center
Rainfall in the path: 8 to 12 inches. Up to 20 inches in the mountains.
Storm Surge: Potential over 30 feet high! This is subjected to high or low tide. Also know the strongest surge will be right at the eye wall and to the right side of forward motion. This is where the wind and forward movement work together. To the left of the eye wall, the winds move out to sea, against the forward movement, lowering the water rise.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…
A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* SAN BLAS TO PUNTA SAN TELMO
A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* EAST OF PUNTA SAN TELMO TO LAZARO CARDENAS
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
EAST OF PUNTA SAN TELMO TO LAZARO CARDENAS
Forecast Model Tracks
Rainfall: Texas Flooding Spreading Across Southern US
Pattern Setting Game Changer?
This is the type of storm to watch for hints at what could happen with the next season’s storm track. The forecast does bring the storm up the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys, well west of central Maryland. That keeps the worst of this storm away from us. But the strength of what is left from this storm could set the stage for atmospheric memory for future storms. However, I want to point out that in this El Nino year, there have been plenty of storms that have ended up farther east of the original forecast. Just look back at Joaquin that was once forecast to hit us, but actually west east of the Bahamas as one example.
Still plenty to observe and consider with potential implications on our winter storm pattern. Stay tuned…
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