Just hours after making landfall as a powerful Category 5 storm, Patricia is rapidly weakening while being shredded by the mountains of Mexico.
The storm made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane Saturday evening near Cuixmala, Mexico, about 55 miles west-northwest of Manzanillo. The National Hurricane Center estimates that winds were sustained at 165 MPH at that time.
Around the time of landfall, however, an automated weather station near Chamela reported sustained winds of 185 MPH and gusts to 211 MPH. The elevation of the station is 295 feet. Right now this is considered an “unofficial” observation since it came from an automated station. In the coming days weather officials will examine the station and assess the validity of the report.
So far wind damage has been scattered in nature, thanks in part to the compact nature of the storm. At landfall, hurricane force winds extended just 35 miles out from the center.
The bigger threat today, as the wind diminishes, will become drenching rains. Up to 20” of rain will fall in the mountains of Mexico, likely creating life threatening flash floods and mudslides.
A feed of tropical rain also extends into Texas, where more dangerous flooding will continue for the next several days.