Hurricane Patricia is Strongest Hurricane Ever Measured

Posted on October 23, 2015

Hurricane Patricia is now the strongest hurricane ever measured. The extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane is also the strongest eastern north Pacific hurricane on recoard and the strongest storm ever recorded in the western hemisphere. Patricia has maximum sustained winds of 200 mph (321 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 880 mb.

The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Patricia to make landfall in southwestern Mexico later today. The NHC forecast calls for slight strengthening before landfall. The NHC notes that an eyewall replacement could cause the intensity to level off. The NHC is recommending low-lying areas to be evacuated due to Patricia's powerful Cat 5 storm surge.

The NHC says, "Residents in low-lying areas near the coast in the hurricane warning area should evacuate immediately, since the storm surge could be catastrophic near and to the east of where the center makes landfall."

Patricia will move onshore later tonight in the Mexican state of Jalisco. A Weather Channel report on Patricia notes that this landfall threatens the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. Mexico's second-largest city Guadalajara is inland but also in the potential path of Hurricane Patricia.

As the storm moves inland it will weaken but the heavy rainfall generated by the weakening system is expected to cause dangerous mudslides in the Mexican states of Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero. Rain from Patricia is also expected to enhance flooding in northeastern Mexico and Texas this weekend.

Here is a still image of Hurricane Patricia using the GOES Rainbow IR Floater. You can find the floater images here.

More from Science Space & Robots