23 October 2015

Cat 5 Hurricane Patricia Heads To Mexico with Winds Near 200 MPH. Strongest East Pacific Storm On Record!

Posted by Dan Satterfield

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Mexico’s Pacific Coast has rarely, if ever, been hit by a Cat 5 severe hurricane, but that is exactly what will happen tomorrow between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. A hurricane hunter dropsonde report showed winds reaching 179 knots or 206 mph at flight level near the eye and surface winds are now near 185 mph. This truly is a monster storm. It will produce a catastrophic storm surge where it makes landfall, and life threatening floods inland over Mexico. In October 1959 a severe hurricane hit near Manzanillo, with winds of 155 mph, which would make it a cat 5, but the pressure was recorded at 958 mb and this seems to high for a Cat 5. Patricia now has a pressure of 892 mb, making it far stronger.

Patricia will cross Mexico, and may dump torrential rains across Texas, beginning this coming weekend. The water off Mexico is just under 90 degrees F., and water vapor imagery shows a large plume of high level moisture from Patricia is already approaching Texas. Some numerical guidance is strongly hinting at tropical storm redevelopment off of Texas but either way, we have the potential for flooding rains. 

Below is a list of the strongest East Pacific hurricanes on record. Patricia is now the strongest.

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This special bulletin from the Hurricane Center has been issued:

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Wondering if El Nino is involved?? Is the fact that the oceans are record warm globally a factor? Almost certainly.