(KMSP) - It has been a busy year in the Pacific Ocean with dozens of named tropical systems, but Patricia is now stronger than all the others. Not only is it the strongest storm of the year, but it’s now the strongest hurricane in history by sustained measured wind speed. But tropical systems are measured by sustained wind speeds AND by central pressure. While Patricia's 880mb pressure is been lower than all other hurricanes, Typhoon Tip back in 1979 still had a lower pressure of 870mb and is widely regarded as the strongest tropical system in history... also the largest by area. The strongest hurricane before Patricia was Wilma back in 2005 with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph and lowest central pressure of 882mb.
This category 5 storm is expected to make landfall late Friday along the western coast of Mexico somewhere between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo. You can see the coast line with the image below courtesy of Weather Underground.
While this part of Mexico is fairly sparely populated, this will cause catastrophic damage at landfall with 20 to 30 foot storm surge and wind gusts to 250 mph. Here is the advisory as of 7am CDT taken straight from the National Hurricane Center…
The hurricane will weaken very quickly as it hits the mountains in western Mexico, but its remnants will head for the southern US bringing much needed rain to Texas and parts of the Gulf Coast, but just too quickly with upwards of a foot of rain possible through the weekend.