The latest on Hurricane Patricia

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.

Image courtesy of National Hurricane Centre

Image courtesy of National Hurricane Centre


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.



This entry was posted in Met Office News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to The latest on Hurricane Patricia

  1. jbenton2013 says:

    Odd that the Met Office claim this hurricane made landfall as a Cat 5. The local Mexican service reported it as a Cat 2 on landfall and the lack of damage dome by the storm would suggest they were probably correct.

    Not hyping things up for Paris already are we?

    • The US National Weather Service reported that Hurricane Patricia made landfall near Cuixmala, west coast of Mexico at 0615pm Friday evening local time as a Category 5 Hurricane (maximum sustained winds of 160mph). It is normal for hurricanes and tropical cyclones to lose intensity quickly when they make landfall, as happend with Patricia – this is because they require a source of warm, moist air derived from tropical oceans with sea surface temperatures normally in the region of, or in excess, of 27 °C.

      • jbenton2013 says:

        If as you claim it was rated a Cat 5 hurricane on landfall, it’s the first Cat 5 hurricane in history that failed to even strip the leaves from the coastal trees and vegetation. Pictures from Cuixmala show some trees and branches broken but leaves on the vegetation remained largely untouched.

        Likewise the only damage to coastal buildings appear to be a few roadside fruit stalls overturned and some corrugated iron sheets blown off the roof of shacks. Glass windows have remained intact.

        None of that is consistent with a Cat 5 hurricane and would suggest local information is likely to be more accurate. The damage seen on the photographs is limited largely to the after effects of the rainfall.

      • groanranger says:

        Its pretty obvious that the Met Office is just reporting what the US National Hurricane Centre – a reputable source – said about this storm. So you can’t really question their motives – what else can they say? I strongly suspect it did not have its own observers there to provide independent verification! I guess the NHC does post event analysis, and that could, I suppose, lead to a revised estimate of landfall strength.

  2. Adam Lea says:

    The hurricane was very compact, hurricane force winds extended only about 30 miles from the center of the hurricane and the peak winds were located only a few miles from the center. Based on the NHC advisories its peak wind was 165kts just before landfall so highly likely to have been a category 5 as the eye came ashore. Given the compact nature of the core it is very possible that the peak winds were experienced in a very sparsely populated area between major settlements, which would explain the lower impact than expected for a hurricane of that intensity.

  3. NBC News are ‘wrong’ and your claims must be taken at ‘face value’ instead eh J Benton? Just like your false claims at the earlier blog re an alleged lack of warming since 1998.

    • jbenton2013 says:

      Evidence is what I’m interested in Haworth-Roberts, not reporters speculation, and the evidence on the ground supports the local position of a Cat 2 storm. According to the news report you posted a Cat 5 storm would have caused “absolute devastation”, not left the leaves still on the trees where it made landfall.

      What is it about the two separate satellite records of temperature (RSS & UAH) that you don’t understand Haworth-Roberts?

  4. I assume that what happened here is that the previously very strong category 5 storm was still, just, of category 5 strength at the time of landfall. Landfall of course being when the eye of the hurricane reached the coast (not when the edge of the storm reached the coast). By then the storm (and its wind speeds were reducing and the central pressure rising anyway ahead of any of it encountering land apparently) would also have been weakening for the reason that part of it was over the surface of southwest Mexico – which is believe is quite mountainous.

    You say there’s no evidence of any catastrophic damage anywhere in Mexico. Are you quite sure about that? Thankfully no lives were apparently lost – so the amount of news coverage fell away. But absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence. That link I provided spoke of cars being blown along streets. By the way, you have provided no link for your claims.

    And I am ignoring your loaded question. I suspect that you would like to claim that anybody who disagrees with you – including the Met Office – does not properly understand satellite temperature records. Correct?

    • jbenton2013 says:

      I think you’re struggling there Haworth-Roberts. If there had been the slightest sign of a trail of damage we would have been inundated with photos if it by the next day. The alarmists heading for the Paris jamboree would have made sure of that.

      Don’t you know even Mexicans all have mobile phones with cameras these days. In fact one of the richest men in the world, Carlos Slim, is a Mexican who owns the bulk of the Mexican mobile network.

      Oh the Met Office understands the satellite temperature records very well indeed, it’s just that the data they supply is so inconvenient that it’s the one thing they can never be seen to mention. A bit like a Harry Potter character ‘it which must not be mentioned’, to borrow a phrase.

      It comes down to which you want to trust most. Two independent satellite datasets (which track almost identically) which cover around 95% of the globe, where all data and processing methods are openly available for independent inspection and analysis OR a surface dataset which only covers around 70% of the globe and where numerous undocumented adjustments have been made (oddly enough all producing warming), and where data has been withheld. Your choice Haworth-Roberts, but one would have to have a religious bent to put your faith in the latter over the former.

  5. PS Just re-checked my link – it said even the cars were ‘moving’ (engines were off one assumes) in one location.

  6. No Benton. YOU claimed that the Mexican weather bureau said that Patricia made landfall as Category 2. You have FAILED to back up your claim. Once again. I hope it was not a made-up claim.

  7. Benton: you have not provided a link supporting your claim that the Mexican weather bureau/local Mexican meteorologists said that Patricia came ashore as Category 2 not Category 5. Please show us or inform us where you read or heard this.

Comments are closed.