What an amazing story… Hurricane Patricia is now described as the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. Meteorologists are talking about its stunning “rapid intensification.” I am just calling it a hurricane explosion.
From Wednesday night through Friday, Tropical Storm Patricia blew up into a record-setting Category 5 hurricane that is headed toward Mexico’s west coast. In about 24 hours, the maximum sustained winds increased from 85 miles per hour Thursday morning to more than 200 miles per hour by early Friday, meteorologists say.
The hurricane starts with warm waters off the Pacific. The water evaporates, forming thunderstorms, and the vapor turns to liquid, releasing more heat. This forms a cycle of heat that helps lower the air pressure. The cycle of heat exchange, dropping pressure and growing winds is like the fuel pump driving the storm. Changes in air pressure excite the winds into blowing. As of 11 a.m. EDT, Patricia was carrying sustained winds of 200 miles an hour with gusts even higher. When it hit land late today in southwestern Mexico near Cuixmala, it was still packing 165 mph winds southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.
Tomorrow with the light of day we will be able to see the true damage.