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Potentially Catastrophic Hurricane Patricia Moving Toward the Mexican Coast

WeatherGuidance Significant Event Update —

At 1pm CDT, the center of Hurricane Patricia was located about 85 miles Southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico and moving North at 12 mph. The minimum pressure was 25.96 inches mercury (879 mb) and maximum sustained winds are near 200 mph – with higher gusts.

The center of Patricia will likely turn more toward the North/Northeast and will likely make landfall somewhere between Chalacatepec and Costa Careyes (possibly very near Chamela) later this afternoon or early this evening. The position of the center of Patricia is really irrelevant, as hurricane force winds extend well outward from the center, by as many as 40-45 miles, and tropical storm force winds extend outward by as many as 175 miles from the center.

Tropical storm conditions are now spreading across portions of the warning area at this time. Hurricane conditions should reach the hurricane warning area (shown in red on the above image) during the next few hours, with the worst conditions likely later this afternoon and into this evening.

Sustained winds of hurricane force are likely to extend well inland, into this evening and tonight, mainly within the red and orange shaded areas on the image below. Wind gusts to hurricane force are likely to extend inland as far as the yellow and green shaded areas on the same image:

An extremely dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and especially to the right of where the center makes landfall later today. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Swells generated by Patricia are already affecting portions of the southern coast of Mexico, and are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions which will spread Northwestward over the next day or so.

Patricia is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 8 to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches, over the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan, and Guerrero through Saturday. These rains are likely to produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides across much of this region.

Moisture from Patricia will continue to stream North/Northeastward into much of the central and eastern two thirds of Texas through this weekend, producing locally heavy rainfall and a threat for flash flooding, especially within the areas circled in yellow on the image below:

We will continue to monitor this situation and issue updates as conditions warrant.