Tropical Depression Twelve formed near the Bahamas on Sunday evening, likely to become Tropical Storm Kate on Monday before it swiftly jets out to sea and away from the United States. This will probably finish off the strange 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season, but tropical systems can and have formed as late as December.
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.
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.
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.
This 5.50 megabyte GIF shows a 15-hour infrared satellite loop of Hurricane Joaquin as it slammed the Bahamas between 5:15 AM and 8:15 PM EDT on Thursday. The hurricane is a category four on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with sustained winds of 130 MPH, and it could strengthen a bit before weakening on Saturday. Joaquin is the strongest hurricane to hit the Bahamas since Floyd in 1999, which raked the island chain with sustained winds of 155 MPH.
While we’ve stressed over the eventual track of powerful Hurricane Joaquin over the next few days, a concerning number of people may not be aware that a significant—potentially devastating—flash flood event will take place with or without the hurricane coming close to land. Many spots could see more than a foot of rain this weekend.
Hurricane Joaquin is a category three hurricane tonight with 115 MPH winds, and all indications point toward further strengthening. The 11:00 PM advisory from the NHC says it’ll be a category four with 140 MPH winds by this time Thursday. There’s still a decent chance it could make landfall along the East Coast this weekend. We’re going to see a major flooding event regardless of Joaquin’s whereabouts—a potential landfall will only make things much worse.
The latest forecast for Hurricane Joaquin puts it on an unnerving path toward the East Coast, but the track is far from certain right now. This week was going to be a flooding nightmare anyway—the hurricane is just rubbing salt in the wound. You need to prepare now for a significant, potentially life-threatening weather event later this week and this weekend.
A complicated weather pattern will likely dump tons of rain on the East Coast later this week and this weekend. A wide range of possibilities could unfold—stretching from scattered showers to the unlikely event of a hurricane threatening land—so just about everyone who lives east of the Appalachian Mountains needs to watch the forecast closely.
Tropical Storm Joaquin formed in the western Atlantic Ocean this evening. The cone of uncertainty covers the coast from North Carolina to Connecticut, and there is considerable uncertainty in the storm’s future track. We have to watch this system very closely. I’ll have an update on Tuesday once the morning models roll in and we have a better idea of what’s going on.
Typhoon Dujuan crashed into Taiwan on Monday with winds equivalent to those of a category four hurricane. One weather station near the eye reported wind gusts of 153 MPH during the height of the storm. The typhoon also produced more than two feet of rain, forcing the evacuation of thousands for fear of landslides and flooding, closing schools and businesses, and even triggering a water outage for more than a million people in the Taipei area.
The decaying remnants of a tropical depression will move through the desert southwest over the next couple of days, dragging with it enough tropical air that residents might think they woke up in southern Florida. This excess moisture will lead to very heavy rain that could easily produce flash flooding in vulnerable areas.