Strongest CAT 5 Hurricane Patricia to Impact Mexico & Texas
Category 5 Hurricane Patricia is now the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hempisphere. Sustained wind speeds topped out at 200 mph, with a central pressure plummeting to 880 mb. The previous record holder, Hurricane Wilma from 2005, saw winds of 183 mph and a central pressure of 882 mb.
Patricia will make landfall by Friday evening as an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane. The eye is likely to come on shore somewhere between Manzanillo and Cabo Corrientes in the Mexican State of Jalisco. Residents in low lying coastal areas are being urged to evacuate. Preparations to protect life and property should already be complete.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for San Blas to Punta San Telmo. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for East of Punta San Telmo to Lazaro Cardenas. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for East of Punta San Telmo to Lazaro Cardenas. Rainfall totals in these areas will hit 8-12″. Isolated spots could see over 20″.
Life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides are likely into Saturday. Wave heights could reach upwards of 39 feet, in addition to significant coastal flooding caused by storm surge. The mountainous terrain of southwest Mexico will weaken Patricia to a Tropical Storm by Saturday. From there it will take its tropical moisture north into the southern U.S.
That’s where a cold front will collide with this tropical moisture to bring the possibility of flooding and flash flooding to Texas. Rainfall estimates are anywhere from 6-9 inches from Dallas to Houston and anywhere in between. The National Weather Service has issued Flash Flood Watches for much of Texas.