Hurricane Patricia was a tropical cyclone that formed in the eastern Pacific and rapidly intensified into a Category 5 hurricane.
Looking Back at Patricia
Just 30 hours after peaking in intensity as the most powerful tropical cyclone ever measured in the Western Hemisphere, former Hurricane Patricia degenerated into a weak remnant low over northeast Mexico.
On Oct. 23, Patricia became the most powerful tropical cyclone ever measured in the Western Hemisphere as its maximum sustained winds reached an unprecedented 200 mph (320 kph) and its central pressure fell to 879 millibars – breaking the record for lowest pressure in any hurricane on record.
The eye of Hurricane Patricia made landfall on Oct. 23 at 6:15 p.m. CDT near Cuixmala in the State of Jalisco, southwest Mexico. Maximum sustained winds at landfall were estimated at 165 mph, still firmly within the Category 5 range on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
An automated weather observation site in Cuixmala reported a 185-mph wind with a gust of 211 mph at the time of landfall, but NOAA cautioned that these measurements have not been evaluated for quality or calibration.
Patricia made landfall in one of the least populated parts of Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Had the storm veered just a little bit farther north, it could have made a direct hit with Puerta Vallarta – or had it veered a little bit farther south, it could have devastated Manzanillo.