Hurricane Patricia made landfall at 6.15pm local time on 23rd October as a category 5 hurricane near Cuixmala, Jalisco, on the pacific coast of Mexico. This is a relatively low populated area, 55 miles from the nearest significant city Manzanillo. Maximum sustained wind speeds at landfall were estimated by satellite to be 165mph with gusts of 200mph. 100mm of rain has fallen widely in just 24 hours, with up to 500mm in isolated spots and an estimated 5m to 7m storm surge affected coastal areas. Consequently there has been a significant risk of coastal and flash flooding, with mud and landslides.
Patricia is forecast to rapidly weaken as it moves over the mountains of Mexico today and to dissipate as it tracks north east, though further significant rainfall and winds, along with flooding, is expected along the route in the next 12 hours.
Currently Patricia is expected to decrease, becoming a tropical storm, over central northern Mexico with wind speeds of 60 mph and gusts 85 mph later today.
Prior to landfall aircraft flew through the storm and recorded maximum sustained winds of 200mph and barometric pressure of 879Hpa, thus becoming the strongest tropical cyclone on record in the western hemisphere and the first to be recorded at over 200mph.
This will have to be verified by the World Meteorological Organisation before being considered official.
Hurricane Patricia is currently around 85 miles north-northwest of Manzanillo and is traveling at around 20 mph. Patricia has begun to decay and has sustained winds of approximately 130 mph and gust of of 160 mph, making it a category 3 storm with still potentially destructive winds.
A total of 50,000 people are estimated to have been evacuated so far ahead of Hurricane Patricia in three Mexican states. The Met Office has been, and will continue to, provide regular up dates to the FCO to best advise UK citizens in the affected area.
As it it moves across the country moisture and energy from Hurricane Patricia is expected to enhance a weather system across Texas this weekend and early next week boosting its potential rainfall (200 to 450mm over Sat/Sun) and flood threat. This could potentially affect this weekends F1 Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
Official warnings for the latest tropical cyclones in the East Pacific are produced by the US National Hurricane Center. The Met Office routinely supplies predictions of cyclone tracks from its global forecast model to regional meteorological centres worldwide, which are used along with guidance from other models in the production of forecasts and guidance. We also provide updates on current tropical storms via @metofficestorms on Twitter.