Hurricane Patricia, a monster Category 5 storm, is barreling its way toward Southwestern Mexico and is expected to make landfall this afternoon or evening. Its maximum sustained winds at 200 miles per hour, Patricia is registering as the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. Its winds are only 15 mph less than the all-time strongest cyclone, Typhoon Nancy, which got the world record in 1961. The National Hurricane Center released its most recent advisory announcement at 10 a.m. Central Time, warning that Patricia is moving north at 10 mph.
This storm is a bona fide freak.
There’s a hurricane warning for San Blas to Punta San Telmo, and then east of Punta San Telmo to Lazaro Cardenas. The NHC is forecasting Patricia’s landfall to be “catastrophic,” and will likely continue into Saturday, causing life-threatening mudslides and flash floods in the Mexican states of Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan, and Guerrero.
The Associated Press is reporting that Mexico’s Interior Minister, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, is particularly concerned about the safety of the people in Puerto Vallarta, a tourist resort, and the community of Bahía de Banderas. He stated that the government has deployed soldiers and federal police to help, but did not give any numbers.
“We need people to understand the magnitude of the hurricane,” said Osorio. “It is a devastating hurricane, the biggest one ever registered.”
It’s predicted that the effects of Hurricane Patricia will reach Texas within days. There is a flash flood warning in effect for Dallas-Forth Worth and Austin until Sunday, while there is a coastal flood warning for Galveston until Saturday night. Corpus Christi is under a coastal flood warning.
The Associated Press is reporting that Hurricane Patricia is expected to hit land with the same force that Typhoon Haiyan crashed into the Philippines two years ago. That storm resulted in 7,300 dead or missing. Besides registering as the strongest hurricane ever to hit the Western Hemisphere, NASA has stated that Patricia has also hit their lowest ever minimum central pressure at 880 millibars. NASA-NOAA’s Suomi PPR satellite found that the cloud temperatures of the thunderstorm surrounding the eyewall of Hurricane Patricia are at minus-130 degrees Fahrenheit.