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Hurricane Patricia – Strongest Ever in Pacific – to Hit Mexico

Image: Hurricane Patricia – Strongest Ever in Pacific – to Hit Mexico
Tourists watch waves hit a dock in Acapulco as Hurricane Patricia strengthened into an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 storm and churned toward Mexico's Pacific coast. (REUTERS/Claudio Vargas)

By    |   Friday, 23 Oct 2015 06:48 AM

Hurricane Patricia – the strongest ever recorded in the Pacific Ocean – was expected to come ashore in western Mexico on Friday as "an extremely dangerous storm."

The National Weather Service estimated the storm's strongest sustained winds at 185 miles per hour on Thursday, easily topping the 157 mph required to be listed as a Category 5 hurricane, noted The Weather Channel.

Late Thursday, the weather service's National Hurricane Center issued a warning for the eastern north Pacific coast of Mexico. The storm at the time was located a couple hundred miles south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.

"Amazingly, the Air Force Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance mission responsible for those findings has measured even lower pressures and higher wind speeds since then," said The Weather Channel. "At 2:03 a.m.(Central time), NHC released a data message reporting that an instrument dropped from the aircraft had measured a pressure of 885 millibars at sea level inside the eye, though not in the exact center.

"Shortly before that, winds at flight level (roughly 10,000 feet above the ocean) were measured as high as 221 mph in the eyewall, the zone of powerful winds ringing the clear, relatively calm eye,"

CNN said the storm was expected to weaken before making landfall near Punta San Telmo late Friday, but said Patricia would continue to be "an extremely dangerous storm."

The storm warning areas include the Mexican resort cities of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo.

"The adjoining states of Colima and Nayarit will also feel the effects of Hurricane Patricia, which in addition to catastrophic winds will also bring a formidable flood threat," said The Weather Channel.

"Depending on the exact track of Patricia's eye, the resort city of Manzanillo may experience destructive winds, and is very likely to see flooding rainfall, dangerous storm surge and large, battering ocean waves breaking onshore." 

The strongest El Nino event in the Pacific Ocean since 1950 has helped fuel the storm, said the Washington Post. Patricia is the ninth hurricane in the eastern Pacific to reach Category 4 or higher this year, a record.


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Hurricane Patricia – the strongest ever recorded in the Pacific Ocean – was expected to come ashore in western Mexico on Friday as "an extremely dangerous storm."
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2015-48-23
Friday, 23 Oct 2015 06:48 AM
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