Category Five Hurricane Patricia is the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Eastern North Pacific and Atlantic regions.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC), which is WMO’s Regional Specialized Meteorological Center, is warning of a “potentially catastrophic landfall” in southwestern Mexico between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo later Friday.
Mexican authorities have declared a state of emergency in the affected areas. Mexico’s National Meteorological and Hydrological Service, CONAGUA, is issuing constantly updated bulletins and public safety advice.
In an update issued at 1200 UTC, the National Hurricane Center said Patricia had an estimated minimum central pressure of 880 hPa. This is comparable to the peak strength of Typhoon Haiyan, which caused devastation in the Philippines in November 2013.
“Maximum sustained winds remain near 200 mph (325 km/h) with higher gusts,” according to the NHC. 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. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion, said NHC.
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.
Regular bulletins will be issued about this very dangerous hurricane. Stay up to date with