The first phase of record setting Hurricane Patricia is taking place this evening as it makes landfall on the west coast of Mexico. The US State Department has been busy with thousands of Americans on vacation in the region. The US Embassy in Mexico has not had much more insight than to stay away from windows and listen to hotel management in resorts. At least according to a few vacationers reporting back home. A lot has been said about this storm in El Nino warmed waters, and there is a lot more to go. At 2 PM EDT The National Hurricane Center did measure the central pressure at 879mb, the second strongest on global records beating it’s earlier record recoding. Note that this is in a small window of history. So stronger storms are likely to have occurred and not been documented. The 5 PM EDT report lost a little steam, with winds of 190 mph and pressure up to 900 mb, still remarkable.
In addition to the devastation from the wind, wall of water, and embedded tornadoes, the storm may appear to fall apart quickly over the mountains of Mexico on Saturday. However it will be identifiable and interact with the Gulf of Mexico for phase 2, leading to more flooding in Texas. Over 10 inches of rain is expected. Then as the upper level circulation and warm core drags in tropical moisture, phase 3 will be the potential severe weather outbreak across the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys during the week.
October 23- Catastrophic destruction is a certainty, but note that the entire hurricane wind field extends only 35 miles from the center. The strongest winds and storm surge will be on the right side of the center eye, but within that 35 miles the winds go from 190 miles down to 75. It is a very tightly packed area. Tropical Storm force winds reach out 175 miles from the center.
Puerto Villarta ill be on the edge of the hurricane force winds on the weaker side of the storm. Manzanillo however will be on the strongest side and just up the coast is a town named Manzanilla (with an ‘a’ at the end) that may bear the brunt of impact.
This visible satellite loop shows the eye wobble a little. Tight storms like this interact with land before they reach land. Sometimes the weakening on the edge can allow a storm like this to shift a little, so precise landfall is tough to pin down. Puerto Villarta should stay on the weaker ‘left’ side of landfall.
Latest update at 5 PM EDT:
No change in strength. The movement has turned north and it will continue to curve to the right for a landfall by tonight.
LOCATION… 18.9N 105.2W
ABOUT 60 MI…95 KM W OF MANZANILLO MEXICO
ABOUT 110 MI…175 KM SSE OF CABO CORRIENTES MEXICOMAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS… 190 MPH…305 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT… NNE OR 15 DEGREES AT 14 MPH…22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE… 900 MB…26.58 INCHES
Rainfall: 8-12 inches. Up to 20 in the mountains
Storm Surge: This is subjected to time of high or low tide. The wall of water could easily be 40 feet or higher. Note that Katrina had a 27.8 foot storm surge in Pass Christian, MS and that was a weakening category 3 storm.
This chart of the Saffir-Simpson Scale shows the expected storm surge, or wall of water pushed on shore just ahead of the eye wall. Hurricane Patricia is well off the chart, so anything 18 Ft or high (or much higher in this case) would be utterly catastrophic.
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
* North of San Blas to El Roblito
Phase 2- Flooding in Texas and the Deep South
Model Tracks take this along the rugged mountains of Mexico, which will initially weaken the storm, but it will emerge over Texas. This may get more energy from the Gulf moisture. Should the center reach the Gulf, it could get rather interesting… But it would be brief. There have been a handful of storms that crossed from one ocean to another and got renamed with re-intensification. But will this have enough time, if it trends east? Hmmm….
The track beyond Texas, takes the circulation into the US where the severe weather potential will be.
The rainfall expectation will fall on some of the same areas that are still flooded from this week’s heavy rain. An addition 5 to 10 inches with spots over 12 inches are possible. The bulls eye of close to 15 inches is possible in and around Houston.
Phase 3 – Severe Weather Outbreak
Please share your thoughts, best weather pics/video, or just keep in touch via social media
Get the award winning Kid Weather App I made with my oldest son and support our love for science, weather, and technology. Our 3 year anniversary of the release and our contribution to STEM education is this November. It has been downloaded in 60 countries, and works in both temperature scales. With your support we can expand on the fun introduction to science and real weather.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]