This year has been pretty intense when it comes to weather. Just recently Hurricane Joaquin had everyone glued to the news. And now, just weeks later, another hurricane is dominating headlines (also in just a few weeks we’ve gone from J to P on the hurricane naming train). This one is named Patricia, and Patricia isn’t just a blip on the radar. In fact, Patricia is the strongest hurricane ever recorded.
Just this morning news broke that Patricia has windgusts topping 245mph, according the BBC’s latest figures, and has hit a Category 5 ranking. At those speeds, the storm is strong enough to, “get a plane in the air and keep it flying,” Claire Nullis of the World Meteorological Organization told the BBC.
What’s more, the central pressure of the storm is the, “lowest for any tropical cyclone globally for over 30 years,” according to British weather service the Met Office. The central pressure, which refers to the weight of the air over the storm system, is used to measure its strength. The lower the reading, the stronger the storm.
To put it in perspective, Patricia is currently stronger than Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew. It’s more on par with Typhoon Haiyan, the storm that hit the Philippines two years ago and left over 6,000 people dead. But at this point, the wind speeds recorded from Patricia are still higher than Haiyan, which had 195mph sustained winds.
Patricia is expected to make landfall along Mexico’s Pacific coast. It should hit later today and the Mexican government is working on overdrive now to evacuate the area. A state of emergency has been declared, and the threat Patricia poses is being called catastrophic.
We are watching the news and thinking of all our friends in Mexico. Stay safe.
(Image via Shutterstock)