If you scrolled through Facebook or Twitter this weekend, odds are you saw at least a dozen different pictures of Hurricane Patricia. There’s a pretty good chance at least half of them were fake or misrepresented. If you have an internet browser, you have access to a quick and easy viral image debunker. The internet will be a better place if we all start using it.
Hurricane Patricia—the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded—made landfall on Mexico’s west coast last Friday as a powerful category five, the first scale-topper to strike North America in eight years. The storm managed to pack winds of 200 MPH before making landfall, which is about as strong as a tropical cyclone can get—as far as we know, anyway.
Hurricane Patricia is making its way inland this evening after making landfall on Mexico’s west coast about 55 miles northwest of Manzanillo. The storm had astonishing winds of 165 MPH at landfall. Patricia became the strongest hurricane ever recorded after it maxed-out with 200 MPH winds for about 18 hours on Friday. The storm is also one of the strongest to ever make landfall in North America.
Shortly after midnight on October 23, 2015, a group of courageous men and women flew into the center of Hurricane Patricia and landed in the history books. With measured winds of 200 MPH, Hurricane Patricia became the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded anywhere on Earth. Let that sink in for a moment.
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.