Hurricane Patricia

Hurricane Patricia

22 October 2015 03:15 UTC–24 October 23:45 UTC

Hurricane Patricia
Hurricane Patricia

In 2015 Hurricane Patricia was possibly the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere, with maximum sustained winds of more than 320 km/h (200 mph).

Last Updated

08 September 2021

Published on

22 October 2015

By Ian Mills

Patricia was first classified a tropical depression on 20 October (Credit: Wikipedia), before slowly intensifying into a named tropical storm.

However, on 22 October, a combination of light wind shear, sea surface temperatures of more than 30 °C and high moisture levels, caused a major intensification. On 23 October, within less than 24 hours, Patricia was a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds speeds reported to be more than 320 km/h and a record low pressure of 879 hPa.

 GOES-13 infrared image, 23 October 14:00 UTC
Figure 1: GOES-13 infrared image, 23 October 14:00 UTC

On the GOES-13 infrared image, 23 October 14:00 UTC (Figure 1), the well-defined eye can be seen as the hurricane approached the coast of Mexico.

Patricia made landfall in a significantly weakened state, though still at Category 5 intensity, near Cuixmala, Mexico. It weakened even more as it passed over the country and within 24 hours had degraded into a tropical depression.

The GOES-13 IR animation,  22 Oct 03:15 UTC–24 Oct 23:45 UTC, shows Patricia's progression from tropical storm to record-breaking hurricane until it dissipated.

Although Hurricane Patricia dissipated on 24 October, in the following days remnants of the storm affected parts of America.

 

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