Discussion: Mega-storm Patricia Drenches Mexico, Leaving Light Damage

Discussion for article #242133

Hmmm. The largest storm ever recorded turned into a little squall. We may see more damage, however in third world TX. Ex-gov Perry proclaims it G-d’s will.

Glad to hear only light damage found so far. Curious, though, weather.com’s hurricane chaser on the ground in Emiliano Zapata (where the eye of the storm passed) has no new reports posted on the website - and has tweeted nothing in the last 20 hours… (@iCyclone)

"Puerto Vallarta heaved a collective sigh of relief Saturday morning to find itself largely unscathed by Patricia. So glad their vacations weren’t totally disrupted. However that poor family down the road who probably have never been able to fly away to some luxury resort and may not “gasp” be able to find their home, clothes, food or shoes that isn’t much damage.

This article comes across as crass, cold and dismissing since there were no casualties. The author sounds disappointed that all he had to report on was a “collective sigh” from the resort. That damn Patricia was such a tease.

There was a lot of confusion in how the media portrayed this storm. It was actually a pretty small hurricane, but energetic enough that the area immediately around the compact eye had the highest wind speeds ever measured for a such a storm. However, the wind speed falls off quickly away from the eye such that the area of damage would relatively small. But within that area would be hell on earth – if it had centered on a major coastal city there would have been a huge disaster (and for those in the lesser-populated areas it did hit it no doubt was). We’ve been lucky.

What bothers me is that no one seems to wonder at how fast this storm went from tropical storm to level five, then fell back again. This might be something new? Is it just a measurement problem or something else? Gonna play heck with the forecasts.

Duh! That’s because Mexico hasn’t let the devil write its marriage laws, and Texas has.

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The water temperature off the Mexican coast that this storm passed over was in the 80’s. Warm water is what generates power in a hurricane. And it is why this storm intensified so damned fast. Immediately next to the beaches where the storm came ahore there are the Sierra Madre Mountains which are quite steep. Mountains shred hurricanes because their mass interrupts the air flow.
What is new here is the combination of a late season tropical storm passing over the strongest El Nino warm water plume in the Pacific in decades… There was no measurement or forecast problem The meteorologists had data from planes that took measurements in the eye wall and they measured air pressure at 880 millibars which is the lowest pressure ever recorded in a hurricane. And sustained winds of 200 mph which is damned fast even for a tornado. This storm had hurricane force winds extending for 60 miles from each side of the eye. Luckily for human life the eye came ashore between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo. That area isn’t heavily populated. But I am sure there is stupendous damage where it did make land fall.


Well, thankfully it seems this storm was not nearly as damaging as it might have been, both in property and people. Let’s hope that is also the case as the remains of this storm travel up into the United States.

Isn’t parts of the south west experiencing a drought. I am thinking all that rain might actually be a good thing.