Hurricane Patricia was the strongest storm ever recorded by the National Hurricane Center in the Western Hemisphere. It took only 24 hours to go from being named a hurricane at Cat 1 to a super Cat 5 with winds over 200 mph, where it held that intensity for over 12 hours. Patricia officially made landfall on October 23, 2015 at 6:15 PM CDT. These NASA views and animation below from earlier in the day were incredible. It hit 55 miles west northwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. At that time it lost some of the peak, record intensity but hit at 165 mph winds and a pressure of 920 mb. It was the first Category 5 storm to make landfall in North America since Dean in 2007. But earlier in the day it had peaked with 879 mb pressure and 200 mph winds. Gusts were up to 245 mph.
We can credit El Nino warmed waters for fueling this beast. Patricia was not a large storm, as hurricane force winds extended only 35 miles from the center. But it was epic in its timeline and intensity. It ranks as the strongest on record in the Northern Hemisphere and the second strongest on record globally.
Here are the top images from space as NASA viewed the storm. Also check out how this will impact the US with two more phases: Flooding in Texas and severe outbreak into the Mid West. I will have more later today about how that the circulation could briefly reach the Gulf of Mexico and regenerate. There are a few cases on record when a tropical system popped back up in another ocean, but it would not get nearly as strong again.
*Disclaimer: Many of these images are actually of Typhoon Maysak in April of 2015. I was sent a package of images from a friend whom I trusted at face value. I do not want to embarrass her giving her name, but need to state the truth here in my own responsible fashion. I am leaving this article up since the data is accurate, the pics are natural and beautiful, but also to highlight that even the best sources need to be double checked. The intensity of Patricia should still provide stunning images from NASA that we have yet to see. I will certainly share those when available.
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