Patricia Spares Major Mexico Cities
By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
October 26, 2015, 9:23:32 AM EDT
Patricia has moved into the northwest Gulf of Mexico as a tropical rainstorm after barreling onshore with catastrophic force, which the major cities in southwestern Mexico escaped.
The rugged terrain of Mexico forced Patricia to rapidly weaken after it made landfall on Friday evening.
Despite weakening, the danger of life-threatening flooding expanded into the United States as a combination of Patricia's moisture and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico surged northward.
Patricia made landfall at approximately 6:15 p.m. CDT on Friday along the coast of southwestern Mexico near Cuixmala, Mexico, around 55 miles west-northwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, as a Category 5 hurricane.
Maximum-sustained winds were estimated to be 270 km/h (165 mph), making Patricia only the second Category 5 hurricane to originate in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and make landfall in Mexico. The other was an unnamed hurricane in 1959 that also made landfall near Manzanillo.
Earlier Friday, Patricia became the strongest hurricane on record, passing both Linda in the eastern Pacific and Wilma in the Atlantic.
Despite the catastrophic force that Patricia slammed onshore with, the Associated Press reports there is no word of deaths or major damage as of Saturday afternoon. The President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, reported that around 3,000 to 3,500 homes were damaged and over 8,500 acres of farmland.The President later said that about 235,000 people lost power from the storm, with about half of the power restored on Saturday.
There were reports of some flooding and landslides.
Widespread tree damage and waves crashing into resort hotels were reported in Barra de Navidad, located just south of where Patricia came onshore.
The worst of the dangerous hurricane bypassed the major cities of Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara. The most destructive winds of Patricia extended only 56 km (35 miles) away from its center, which passed in between these cities.
Heavy rain still targeted Manzanillo as 201 mm (nearly 8 inches) poured down in the 24 hours ending Saturday morning.
— 28storms.com (@28storms) October 24, 2015
Patricia became the strongest hurricane on record on Friday morning. The estimated central pressure of Patricia dropped to 879 mb, breaking the record of 894 mb from Hurricane Linda in the eastern Pacific set in 1997 and also surpassing the 882 mb pressure of Hurricane Wilma in the Atlantic from 2005.
Mapa de lluvias acumuladas pic.twitter.com/LlH3kJ4bum
— CONAGUA Clima (@conagua_clima) October 24, 2015
The maximum sustained winds of 200 mph (175 knots) breaks the previous wind speed record of 185 mph (160 knots) from Linda and Wilma for the strongest surface winds ever in the area of responsibility of the National Hurricane Center.
While Patricia is the strongest hurricane and tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere, Typhoon Tip and several other Western Pacific typhoons obtained a lower central pressure.
AccuWeather.com Meteorologists Courtney Spamer, Alex Sosnowski, Brett Rathbun and Kristina Pydynowski contributed content to this story.
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