THUNDER BAY – WEATHER – A major hurricane is set to hit the Pacific coast of Mexico, with the strongest reported winds in the history of recorded storms. Hurricane Patricia is set to make landfall late this afternoon or early this evening.
The NOAA Hurricane Centre reports, “At 700 AM CDT (1200 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Patricia was located near latitude 17.3 North, longitude 105.6 West. Patricia is moving toward the north-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h). A turn toward the north is expected later this morning, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast this afternoon. On the forecast track, the core of Patricia will make landfall in the hurricane warning area this afternoon or evening.
“Maximum sustained winds remain near 200 mph (325 km/h) with higher gusts. Patricia is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are possible today, but Patricia is expected to remain an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane through landfall”.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).
The estimated minimum central pressure is 880 mb (25.99 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to first reach the hurricane warning area this afternoon. Tropical storm conditions
are beginning to spread across portions of the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to
completion. Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch area later today.
RAINFALL: Patricia is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 8 to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 20
inches, over the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero through Saturday. These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.
STORM SURGE: An extremely dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the right of where the center makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
SURF: Swells generated by Patricia are already affecting portions of the southern coast of Mexico, and will spread northwestward during the next day or so. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.