Astonishing meets record-breaking. Category five Hurricane Patricia exceeded all odds early Friday morning, with a Hurricane Hunter aircraft recording maximum sustained winds of 185 MPH and a minimum central pressure of 892 millibars. By air pressure, this is now the strongest storm ever recorded in the eastern Pacific, and it ties with 1997’s Hurricane Linda as the basin’s strongest storm by one-minute sustained wind speed.
Hurricane Patricia is now a “potentially catastrophic,” scale-topping category five hurricane with maximum winds of 185 MPH. This is a rare scenario in which it cannot be hyped or overstated how much danger this storm poses to communities on Mexico’s west coast, including Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, and the numerous small towns between the two.
Hurricane Patricia, the umpteenth tropical cyclone to form in the Pacific Ocean so far this year, exploded into a ferocious category four hurricane this afternoon with winds of 130 MPH. The “extremely dangerous” hurricane could strengthen even further before making landfall on Mexico’s west coast on Friday evening.
Gone are the days of temperatures in the 90s as the southern U.S. finally joins the rest of the country in the damp, dreary experience that is the arrival of fall. A ribbon of moisture direct from the tropical Pacific Ocean will team up with an approaching low to dump loads of heavy, much-needed rain on the south in the coming days.
Lows plunged well below freezing last night. In October! And there’s snow. In October? Yes! That’s what happens in October. It gets cold and it starts snowing. We go through this every year, and each year the reaction just gets worse. Our relatively new connection to the world outside of our bubbles is giving us weather amnesia.
For the second time in as many months, we’re dealing with “twin typhoons” out in the western Pacific Ocean, and the stronger of the two is on a collision course with the Philippines. The typhoon is moving slowly, and the models don’t paint a pretty picture for the northern half of the country as it passes through over the next couple of days.
This morning, NOAA released its long-range temperature and precipitation outlook for this winter and the verdict is that we’re on track for a strange season. Basically, El Niño’s gonna El Niño, with a decent chance of the stereotypical wintry disruptions one would expect in the U.S. during one of these events.
It’s been a while since we’ve had to talk about severe weather, and today it could threaten the East Coast of all places. A decent cold front pushing toward the coast this afternoon might trigger strong thunderstorms from Nashville to Boston, and some could be severe. Even a few tornadoes are possible in the NYC and Philly areas.
If it seems a little warmer than it should for the second week in October, you’re not going out of your mind (okay, well maybe not for this reason). It’s been warmer than normal for most of the country, and we’ll stay that way for the next couple of weeks. The abnormal warmth is doing more than just keeping us from shivering—it’s also keeping the trees from changing colors.
You know your crazy relative who’s always suspicious of black SUVs? Quick—block him on Facebook. NASA is scheduled to launch a suborbital rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia, on Wednesday night, and as one of its experiments, it will eject colorful clouds of vapor more than a hundred miles above the ground in order to study ions and neutral particles in the upper atmosphere.
The sign-toting human embodiment of talk radio will stage a protest of the National Weather Service on October 8 because they’ve run out of new things to hate. They’re also somehow tying gays into the protest, of course, because everyone knows we secretly control the weather. (Why else would chemtrails be so neatly arranged in the sky? Duh!)
When it became clear last week that the looming weather catastrophe wouldn’t be remembered for Hurricane Joaquin, but rather the historic flooding in the Carolinas, I knew that the internet would be plastered with videos of idiots driving through floods come Monday. Idiots came through. Don’t drive through a flood, you idiots.
Bermuda is under a hurricane warning this afternoon as Hurricane Joaquin makes a very close call with the tiny island that sits 650 miles east of the United States. It’s rare for hurricanes to make a direct landfall on Bermuda due to its tiny size; last year, however, two hurricanes—Fay and Gonzalo—made landfall on the island in one week.
An intense and historic flood disaster—unrelated to Hurricane Joaquin, but influenced by it—continues to unfold across the Carolinas this afternoon, with South Carolina taking the brunt of the tropical deluge. Some communities near Charleston have recorded more than two feet of rain in the past three days.
Good news! We’re pretty sure that Hurricane Joaquin is going to head out to sea, with the chance of landfall on the United States fairly low at this point. The bad news is that there will still be more than a foot of rain in parts of the Carolinas, and stiff onshore winds and high waves will create coastal flooding in the Mid-Atlantic much like a storm surge would.