Hurricane Patricia has strengthened into a Category 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, which is tracking the storm. The NHC’s latest bulletin said Patricia is the “strongest eastern North Pacific hurricane on record, and it’s due to make a “potentially catastrophic landfall in Southwestern Mexico later today.”
As of 4:00 AM CDT the eye of the hurricane was about 160 miles – 255 kms – south-southwest of Manzanillo, and about 235 miles – 380 kms – south of Cabo Corrientes. Maximum sustained winds were 200 mph – 325 km/h with higher gusts. Patricia is moving north-northwest at around at 10 mph – 17 km/h. Minimum central pressure was a very low 880 mb – 25.99 inches
The NHC said a turn “toward the north is expected later this morning, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast this afternoon. On the forecast track, the core of Patricia will make landfall in the hurricane warning area this afternoon or evening. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for San Blas to Punta San Telmo.”
The NHC also indicated that “some fluctuations in intensity are possible today, but Patricia is expected to remain an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane through landfall. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 kms).”
In addition to the extremely strong winds, the storm is expected to create a very dangerous storm surge, and 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,” which “could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.”
Source: National Hurricane Center
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