Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hurricane Patricia rapidly weakens over central Mexico

Authorities in Mexico are waiting until daybreak to see the extent of the damage from Hurricane Patricia. It looks like severe flooding may be the biggest impact. Image above is flooding in Manzanillo on Friday. (Photo: J. Levinson/AFP)
Hurricane Patrica, the strongest storm on record in the western hemisphere, is rapidly weakening this morning over central Mexico. The hurricane, with 200mph winds, roared inland in Jalisco State late Friday, October 23. Authorities are waiting until daybreak to see the extent of the damage caused by the storm. Photos and social media reports from the region are showing flash flooding as being a major problem so far. Up to 20 inches of rain may fall along the path of the weakening storm. Hundreds of thousands fled inland from coastal communities as Patricia rapidly strengthened late Thursday. As is common with hurricanes, the storm is rapidly weakening over land, down to a category 1 hurricane this morning with 75mph winds. The center is being ripped apart by shear over the mountains of Mexico.

I read one social media feed on twitter that said the storm may have been overblown. Trust me, you can't exaggerate a category 5 hurricane with 200mph winds. You plan for the worst and hope for the best. Daylight will reveal how the coastal communities in the direct path of the storm fared. The moisture feed from Patricia is enhancing another system over Texas and producing severe flash flooding across that state this morning. The heavy rain and flooding will continue all weekend and spread into other portions of the southern plains as the remains of Patrica move into Texas.

It is a very cold start to the day in Montreal, below freezing in many locations. It will be a cool weekend with sunshine today and a high of 11C (52F), giving way to increasing clouds. Rain will develop overnight and end Sunday morning. Sunday will be a cloudy, breezy and cool fall day with temperatures falling from early highs of 12C (54F) down to 5C (41F) by the end of the day. During the middle part of next week a strong frontal system tapping into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, will bring heavy rain to Montreal. Perhaps as much as 25-50mm may fall late Tuesday and Wednesday.

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