They called the wind Patricia
October 23, 2015 5:35 AM   Subscribe

San Patricio & Barra De Navidad will experience equivalent EF5 tornado & 20 foot tsunami at same time. After a remarkable burst of intensification, Hurricane Patricia is headed to the Mexican coast with 200 mile per hour (320 kph) sustained winds. It is the strongest hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere.
posted by dances_with_sneetches (127 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricanes. It rises in groupings of about 20 to 25 mph. Category 5, the maximum, begins at 157 mph. Patricia would be a category 6 or 7 if such categories existed.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:45 AM on October 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


When I was reading about this over breakfast, I was surprised that it was already so close to landfall and this was the first I was hearing about it. I guess The Onion nailed it again: Hurricane Bound For Texas Slowed By Large Land Mass To The South.
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:48 AM on October 23, 2015 [26 favorites]


My big picture, human, empathy-based reaction is, "Oh no... this is truly horrible and I am sending all of my best thoughts and hopes to the people there."

My myopic, self-absorbed, pessimistic take is, "Of course this is happening. I had booked Puerto Vallata for Christmas." Obviously, this is small potatoes. But the thought did cross my mind. Maybe we'll go anyway and spend the holiday volunteering with an aid group.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:53 AM on October 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Laura Diane Rebholz, who co-owns a modeling agency in Scottsdale, Arizona, told NBC News early Friday that she felt it was "safer to ride the storm out" at the Puerto Vallarta hotel where she's vacationing.

This reads disturbingly like the 20 minutes of set up at the beginning of a horror movie. I hope for everyone's sake that this is not the case.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:55 AM on October 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


If any MeFites are down there now, be they residents or visitors, I hope they're getting to safety as quickly as possible.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:02 AM on October 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


I remember evacuating for Katrina, stuck in a traffic jam at 3 AM the Saturday before it hit, and listening to the local AM station take calls from people who were on the fence about evacuating. (The year before, the city had emptied out for a false alarm, and a lot of people who had evacuated from what turned out to be a gusty sprinkle were reluctant to do it again.) We were somewhere in the Florida panhandle, but the reception was crystal clear...this was WWL, "The Big 870," transmitting at 50,000 watts across the South.

Finally, after the nth call from someone with the means to evacuate but not the inclination, the meteorologist blew up:

"Listen to me, this isn't like last year. This is one of the strongest, most aggressive storms I've ever seen. For all intents and purposes, this isn't even a hurricane...it's a tornado the size of the Gulf Of Mexico and it's headed right for us. You want to know what to do? Here it is: get in your car, tune to this station, and start driving north. When you can no longer get our signal, it should be safe to stop."
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:12 AM on October 23, 2015 [88 favorites]


When I was reading about this over breakfast, I was surprised that it was already so close to landfall and this was the first I was hearing about it.

That's because it came out of nowhere, fast.

Within a span of just 27 hours, from 15Z Thursday to 18Z Friday, Patricia metamorphosed from a minimal tropical storm (top sustained winds of 40 mph) to a Category 4 hurricane (130 mph). This puts Patricia among the top rapid intensifiers in the modern record of hurricane monitoring.
posted by MrVisible at 6:13 AM on October 23, 2015 [25 favorites]


Just on the southern edge of the Bahia de Banderas, is the small village of Yelapa. We've vacationed there in the past. When I saw the track Patricia was following, I started thinking of the people living there. Almost the entire village sits on the coast, and the rest is arranged up the side of the mountains and along a river and streams that are most certainly going to be flooding. There are no roads to the village. All access in and out is by boat, across the bay to PV. With any luck, being on the southernmost cove of the bay might help shelter them from the worst of this.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:17 AM on October 23, 2015


Laura Diane Rebholz, who co-owns a modeling agency in Scottsdale, Arizona, told NBC News early Friday that she felt it was "safer to ride the storm out" at the Puerto Vallarta hotel where she's vacationing.

If she had any clue of what she was talking about she would be driving back to AZ as I write this. I've seen what a small Cat 4 can do first hand and it's apocalyptic. A Cat 5 of that strength is going to flatten everything in it's path and the death toll is likely to be in the hundreds or possibly even thousands.
posted by photoslob at 6:18 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know how much the prayers of an agnostic are worth, but I'm praying today. This will be like nothing we've seen before.
posted by sallybrown at 6:20 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Minimum central pressure :

Oct. 22 4 AM : 980 MB
Oct. 22 10 AM : 973 MB
Oct. 22 1 PM : 958 MB
Oct. 22 4 PM : 953 MB
Oct. 22 7 PM : 934 MB
Oct. 22 10 AM : 924 MB
Oct. 23 12 AM : 892 MB
Oct. 23 1 AM : 880 MB
Oct. 23 7 AM : 880 MB

At least half of these appear to be estimations via dropsonde - in other words, we measured the pressure by flying a plane over the hurricane and dropping something in the middle. That's as accurate as you can get, but you still need to estimate the minimum pressure by assuming that the lowest pressure is in the center, and adjusting based on how far the dropsonde was blown off target by wind.
posted by suckerpunch at 6:22 AM on October 23, 2015


MrVisible, that is understating its intensification. Within 30 hours it went from tropical storm to 200 mph.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:25 AM on October 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Satellite info as of 9:03am edt.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:27 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thorozad's picture above was alarming enough that the fact that I was at work couldn't stop me from saying "oh, fuck" outloud.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:30 AM on October 23, 2015


yeah this climate change garbage is total bullshit, amirite?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:32 AM on October 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


My boss is heading to that area for a conference next week. I said, "Uh, you might not have a place to have a conference at, so holy cow, I hope everyone will be okay down there." He was polite but not as concerned about other people as I would like him to be.
posted by Kitteh at 6:34 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


yeah this climate change garbage is total bullshit, amirite?

I am reminded of The Onion's article in which people realize This Just a Thing That Happens Now.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:35 AM on October 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


And here's the 'earth' visualization.
posted by carter at 6:36 AM on October 23, 2015 [36 favorites]


Echos of 2005's Hurricane Wilma. Hurricanes are bad enough. This species that can blow up from tropical storm to "strongest storm ever seen in this ocean region" in the span of a couple of days is nightmare fuel for anyone living near a tropical coast.
posted by penguinicity at 6:39 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Are there any ameliorating factors that may help the people in this part of Mexico? I mean, I know cities like Puerto Vallarta are fairly young. Are they, to some extent, better built for this kind of thing? Is there a difference in elevation inland that may help the locals even if the beaches and coasts have a rough go of it?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:39 AM on October 23, 2015


Is the Mexican Red Cross the appropriate place to send donations?
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:40 AM on October 23, 2015


I did work with Rotary Intl. around Manzanillo about 10 years ago. and what I remember of the geography there would provide no real protection for the port itself. The altitude climes reasonably toward the coastal hills going back from there, but that may help mitigate a bit, but there are still many villages up and down the coast... sending out prayers for friends (and everyone else) in Colima and Jalisco right now...
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 6:49 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Holy shit, Carter, that is beautiful and terrifying in equal measure.
posted by that's candlepin at 6:53 AM on October 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Dr. Jeff Master's blog is what I read when bad weather theatens.
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:55 AM on October 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Zoom back on Carter's link and check out the entire Pacific. There are three storms now. My wife's cousin has been posting on Facebook about the one that hit the Philippines.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:59 AM on October 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricanes. It rises in groupings of about 20 to 25 mph. Category 5, the maximum, begins at 157 mph.

The reason that it doesn't go over Category 5 (or that the enhanced Fujita scale for tornadoes doesn't go over EF5) is that it's not based on windspeed, it's based on damage effects. You get sustained winds of 160mph for an hour? Pretty much everything that can be destroyed is destroyed. 180mph winds just move the bits farther away.

There is some good news, though. In a shoutout to CAPS LOCK DAY, here's the official numbers from the forecast discussion (Forecast/Advisory #14, WTPZ25 KNHC 230833)
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE  880 MB
EYE DIAMETER  10 NM
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 175 KT WITH GUSTS TO 215 KT.
64 KT....... 25NE  20SE  20SW  20NW.
50 KT....... 50NE  40SE  40SW  40NW.
34 KT.......150NE 100SE  60SW 130NW.
880 millibars is a scary number. The previous record holder was Wilma at 882m. For those of you in the old school, that's 25.98 inches of mercury! Insane.

The next line is even scarier. 175kts is 201mph/324kph. 215kt is, as near enough to matter, 250mph/400kph.

The line after that is the good news. That's the distance from center you'll find hurricane force winds (64kts, 74mph, 119kph.) It's basically a 40 nautical mile diameter circle. So, the area that has those super winds is very small, confined right to the wall of storms around the eye.

The damage will be intense, but it will be small in area. You can get away from this storm, moving 50 miles takes you from the worst winds a tropical cyclone has ever thrown to tropical storm force. 100 miles takes you to gale force, which is trivial, really.

Don't get me wrong-- this is an incredibly dangerous storm. But it is also a small one. The gale force wind circle is basically a 220nm diameter circle. Sandy in 2012 had one that was over 1000 nautical miles across. You really see this in the Surface Winds Graph -- there's a very small core of hurricane force winds, and in the center of that is record braking winds, but if that storm hit Miami, Orlando would be having some breezes and showers.
posted by eriko at 7:31 AM on October 23, 2015 [46 favorites]


This is really really scary. I've done some work around the UNAM field station in Chamela and while flooding is a regular occurance, this is really unprecedented.
posted by cnanderson at 7:32 AM on October 23, 2015


'earth' was posted previously here ...

This is the first time I have viewed it and seen non-smooth animation - in the eye of the hurricane. I'm not sure what is causing this artifact ...
posted by carter at 7:33 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


My SO works for a swimwear company, and some of her coworkers and some models were down there (like, RIGHT there) for a photo shoot... she said yesterday they were evacuated 400 miles inland and were told to get out of Mexico today. The owner actually authorized chartering a jet to get them home.
posted by Huck500 at 7:41 AM on October 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thanks for the explanation, eriko.
posted by Bangaioh at 7:42 AM on October 23, 2015


That was terrific information, eriko. And hopefully good news for at least some of the people in Mexico.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:42 AM on October 23, 2015


Meteorologist Eric Holthaus is another solid source for information about major weather & climate events like this one.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:52 AM on October 23, 2015




Is the Mexican Red Cross the appropriate place to send donations?
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:40 AM on October 23


Yes, the Cruz Roja Mexicana is usually among the first to arrive with help and food in situations like these.

you can donate here, the "donate now" button is on the top right corner, unfortunately it is only in spanish.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 8:12 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyone else having trouble with Carter's link?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:25 AM on October 23, 2015


The damage will be intense, but it will be small in area.

Patricia bears a scary resemblance to Camille in this regard. Camille may have been stronger than Patricia when it hit land but we won't know because Camille destroyed all the wind gauges in its path and in those days the other techniques we have now like doppler radar didn't exist. But Camille too was a small storm and the thorough destruction only affected about 40 miles of the Gulf Coast, as opposed to storms like Katrina and Rita each of which devastated hundreds of miles of coast at landfall.
posted by Bringer Tom at 8:31 AM on October 23, 2015


Puerto Vallata from the same streaming aggregator. Youtube; don't read the live comments.
posted by cromagnon at 8:32 AM on October 23, 2015


Part of the reason Wilma was so damaging is because it wound up slowing down and sitting on the Yucatán peninsula for three days, October 21-23. My parents were in Tulum prior to landfall; they wound up evacuating to some strange former Club Med built like a concrete bunker and watching as the adjacent lake (home to multiple Morelet's crocodiles) rose up to the foundations of the buildings. I was pretty worried until they got back in phone contact a few days later, after driving across the peninsula to Mérida.

Here's hoping that Patricia weakens significantly as it approaches landfall, as Wilma did.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:44 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


President Obama should declare today that all emergency assistance that Mexico needs will be sent as soon as it is requested, after the storm clears the area. There are going to be a lot of homes lost, buildings destroyed, roads washed out, and water supplies terminated.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 8:57 AM on October 23, 2015


And here's the 'earth' visualization.

It's creepy as hell, but I can't not see that as the weather version of Munch's The Scream.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:04 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


My parents were in Tulum prior to landfall; they wound up evacuating to some strange former Club Med built like a concrete bunker and watching as the adjacent lake (home to multiple Morelet's crocodiles) rose up to the foundations of the buildings.

Was that the (now defunct) CESIAK ecological centre in Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve? I met those crocodiles whilst fixing a leaky kayak once, and I can't think of a less suitable place to weather a hurricane.
posted by cromagnon at 9:23 AM on October 23, 2015


Here's hoping that Patricia weakens significantly as it approaches landfall, as Wilma did.

Doesn't seem like it is. This is going to do a lot of damage. *scared*
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:26 AM on October 23, 2015


Was that the (now defunct) CESIAK ecological centre in Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve? I met those crocodiles whilst fixing a leaky kayak once, and I can't think of a less suitable place to weather a hurricane.

I don't believe so; it was further inland and CESIAK appears to be right on the ocean. I want to say it was near Cobá, but I'm only guessing at this point.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:46 AM on October 23, 2015


I met those crocodiles whilst fixing a leaky kayak once, and I can't think of a less suitable place to weather a hurricane.

Also, this sounds like a hell of a story.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:47 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


The NOAA Northern Hemisphere Composite Infrared loop, apparently updated every 30 minutes...
posted by jim in austin at 9:47 AM on October 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


> Live cam from Ixtapa Guerrero, which as of this comment, has waves lapping all the way to the edge of its beach .

I thought I heard people talking in the background of that video. I hope it was seagulls.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:01 AM on October 23, 2015


880 Millibars.

People. That's. Just. A terrifying number.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:07 AM on October 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


880 Millibars.

That's nearly 15% lower than mean atmospheric pressure at sea level. To put it another way, that means the air pressure at sea level in the eye is equivalent to the air pressure at 3900 ft anywhere else on the planet. That's a hell of a pressure differential.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:27 AM on October 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


880 Millibars.

People. That's. Just. A terrifying number.


Can anyone explain why? Like I'm in grade school?
posted by CrazyLemonade at 10:28 AM on October 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


A hurricane sips up the ocean like a straw sips up water. The greater the pressure differential, the greater the storm surge (which is also aided by wind-blown waves). The greater the pressure differential, the greater the force for churning the hurricane.

I like to follow hurricanes on the WeatherUnderground's "WunderMap" system. Here is the default page for Patricia. Zoom in and you will find the cities. Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta are currently relatively far from the track. Add in the satellite and you can see that the center of the storm is west of the track right now.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:34 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


East of the track right now. Sorry.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:44 AM on October 23, 2015


This is the first time I have viewed it and seen non-smooth animation - in the eye of the hurricane. I'm not sure what is causing this artifact ...

I follow them on Facebook. They posted this morning, "Hurricane Patricia is so powerful the animation breaks down."
posted by Short Attention Sp at 11:03 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know how much the prayers of an agnostic are worth
This isn't really the time or place for celebration, but this is a wonderfully constructed sentence in a reciprocal/circular kind of way and I commend you for it, and for the heartfelt sentiment.
posted by GodricVT at 11:09 AM on October 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


That number tells you strong the "low pressure" system is. Think of a hurricane like, um a vacuum that sucks heat and water vapor off the ocean surface and surrounding atmosphere. The more surface heat, the more energy to feed a low pressure system and the lower the pressure of the system, the more ability to efficiently convert that heat into a nasty storm (lower pressure == less resistance). So when the pressure is lower in the storm than the ambient pressure around the storm, the air pressure outside the storm moves in to equalize the pressure, which is essentially providing more fuel and water vapor for the storm system. The lower the pressure in Millibars, the more "suck" a storm has and the more efficiently it consumes vapor and heat, which is a pretty dang good indicator of the storm's ability to intensify and organize and turn into one bad motherfucker. So a storm at 880 Millibars is one really bad motherfucker.

Short form: The lower the number the stronger the storm.

Anything under 890 is "Scary as fuck, history is being made. You gotta get outta there!". 890-900 is "Oh shit that's really really bad and extremely worrisome". 900-930Mb is "really bad and very worrisome". 930-950 is "bad" 950-980 is "take care of yo-self". Over that up to 1013mb is "pretty good squall".

Here's a good reference for the numbers and how they line up to storms.
http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints2/410/

(And people with more knowledge on this, please correct me where I got anything wrong...)
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:19 AM on October 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


If this storm is breaking the scale, we're going to need some new scales. I can only assume that storms like this and far worse will be pretty commonplace in the Anthropocene.

Good luck, Mexico.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 11:20 AM on October 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Short Attention Sp's link should go here.
posted by fragmede at 11:23 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


The top end of the scale is complete destruction. Two or three times over complete destruction still is complete destruction.
posted by Mitheral at 11:26 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oops, thanks!
posted by Short Attention Sp at 11:27 AM on October 23, 2015


1:00 PM CDT Fri Oct 23
Location: 18.2°N 105.3°W
Moving: N at 12 mph
Min pressure: 879 mb
Max sustained: 200 mph

It's not weakening. That's weird. (It probably will before landfall)

What to expect. You will probably get news reports out of Puerto Vallarta where the wind is probably going to be tropical storm strength. The real news of the impact probably won't come until tomorrow. Manzanillo looks like it's out of the direct path, but La Manzanilla (smaller) looks like it might get a lot of the brunt.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:30 AM on October 23, 2015


Puerto Vallata yt from the same streaming aggregator. Youtube; don't read the live comments.

This stream is now down, possibly just a technical glitch or maybe not.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 11:32 AM on October 23, 2015


This was just posted on the Jeff Masters site:

TWC tweets HH update: 208mph surface, 878mb

HH is Hurricane Hunters, a recon flight that gets the best numbers.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:34 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:35 AM on October 23, 2015


Thanks for the explanations, I sort of get it now. This is so scary.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 11:41 AM on October 23, 2015


878mb...this number just stuns me. hold on to your butts Mexico.
posted by supermedusa at 11:48 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


The government warned that ash and other material from the volcano of Colima, about 130 miles (210 km) from Puerto Vallarta, could combine with massive rainfall to trigger "liquid cement"-style mudflows that could envelop nearby villages.
posted by MrVisible at 11:57 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jesus, MrVisible, that's horrific.

Every update just makes this worse and worse.
posted by sharp pointy objects at 12:02 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


All I can say is fuck every single Republican presidential candidate and everyone else who denies the reality of climate change.
posted by twsf at 12:52 PM on October 23, 2015 [16 favorites]


Dropsonde raw data reported 875mb, but that may need a correction applied.
posted by eriko at 12:55 PM on October 23, 2015


So, my husband's stepfather has a vacation place in Barre de Navidad. Nobody can remember if he was planning on being on vacation there or not, but he's not answering his home phone here and he was tagged at a golf course in Mexico yesterday, so it's quite probable that he's there right now.

Gulp.
posted by KathrynT at 12:58 PM on October 23, 2015


Yikes, this is scary. Both for Mexico now and also what this might mean for our fucked climate.
posted by octothorpe at 1:04 PM on October 23, 2015


I can tell you right now, Republicans don't care as long as it happens to people they don't like, which definitely includes Mexico.

They might care if some substandard deathtrap factories or ritzy resort properties get knocked down and some American billionaire has to spend a few dollars to rebuild them. Much as Bush's concern after Katrina seemed mostly for Trent Lott's porch.

Good thoughts for Mexico. This is scary.
posted by emjaybee at 1:07 PM on October 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Uncorroborated, but interesting, report of 39ft wave height at the eye currently.
https://twitter.com/Jeff_Piotrowski/status/657648446153687040

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/ doesn't have any buoy's out there.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:13 PM on October 23, 2015


It's not weakening. That's weird.

Feeding off the warm water: 2015 El Niño is "too big to fail"
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:14 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


supermedusa: "878mb...this number just stuns me. hold on to your butts Mexico."

Holy crap that's like 26 inHg!

emjaybee: "They might care if some substandard deathtrap factories or ritzy resort properties get knocked down and some American billionaire has to spend a few dollars to rebuild them."

Well good news then, some places in Texas might get a foot of rain out of this if things break just right.
posted by Mitheral at 1:37 PM on October 23, 2015


That's not good news for us. That's going to bring flash flooding. We need a little bit of rain to frequently fall. Our geology and floodplains can't deal with a lot of rain falling infrequently.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:51 PM on October 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


A comparison pic of Katrina and Patricia here
posted by CrazyLemonade at 1:53 PM on October 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


As far as Texas is concerned, it seems like a punctuated drought. No rain for weeks and weeks, then a deluge. The annual total rainfall number may be good, but we get much of that in a few big storms. It benefits the lake levels, but does not really benefit the crops and trees so much.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 1:56 PM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


So many mentions of people "riding it out"; what kind of shelter would protect you from a Cat 5? Concrete bunker? But then you have flooding. I think the death toll is going to be high. Way too many folks living in poverty with no way to get out of the way.
posted by emjaybee at 2:03 PM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


ISS footage from this morning. All I can do is repeat "ho-lee-shit" like the guy on the sunfish video.
posted by notsnot at 2:12 PM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Riding it out is a stupid stupid thing to do. Specially for tourists. Last year when Odile hit Baja California, a cousin was there with her family and they stupidly let the days pass without really making any effort to flyi out. They were going to "ride it out", the hotel was being very nice about it, they said.
Well of course they survived the hurricane but then resources had to be spent on people like them who of course had a house and a car and a job back home, resources that should mostly go towards locals who now have to rebuild their lives.

My cousin and her family made it back home after three days of living off granola bars and a little bottled water. "Never again" they said. Well duh.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 2:13 PM on October 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


I grew up in Houston and everything I'm hearing is scaring the hell out of me. I think we're already getting some rain bands from Patricia (or its interaction with the Gulf weather systems) here in Austin and we're definitely seeing some outdoor activity cancellations (F1 practice, outdoor shows) due to stormy weather. If it's like this here, now, I don't want to think about what it's like for the folks actually caught by the storm. I don't believe in prayer but I've got fingers and toes crossed for everybody in its path.
posted by immlass at 2:21 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints: "That's not good news for us. That's going to bring flash flooding. We need a little bit of rain to frequently fall. Our geology and floodplains can't deal with a lot of rain falling infrequently."

Sorry, forgot my hamburger: 🍔 .
posted by Mitheral at 2:44 PM on October 23, 2015


Daniel Hallas has a webcam at La Manzanilla. I saw someone run across frame earlier. I hope to gods they've gotten out, as the storm is headed right for them. Alternate link straight from earthcam host here.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:51 PM on October 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


A comparison pic of Katrina and Patricia here

Ok, Patricia is involved in a front, which is why you have those massive steams of clouds heading to the NE and SW. More importantly, I'm pretty sure those photos are on different scales.

And Katrina wasn't a very large storm either. For size, compare to Sandy or Typhoon Tip, which if it was over the US would have reached from LA to Kansas City.

Tip also holds the record for lowest pressure ever recorded, 870mb, though Patricia is making a run at that.

Wherever this beast hits, it will be catastrophic, but thankfully, this is very much on the small end of the scale for these storms -- in particular, Pacific storms, which have much more warm water to feed off of compared to Atlantic storms.
posted by eriko at 2:57 PM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I saw someone run across frame earlier. I hope to gods they've gotten out, as the storm is headed right for them.

Nope, not yet. Someone just walked past (5:01p).

My question is, where's the storm surge? The water looks to be no higher than normal.

Thanks for the link!
posted by Short Attention Sp at 3:06 PM on October 23, 2015


I spent some weeks in my twenties camping my way through Mexico. Never made it to the West Coast, but I have a lot of love for the country. My thoughts are with people there.
posted by angrycat at 3:07 PM on October 23, 2015


I've watched the La Manzanilla webcam for the last 10 minutes and things are visibly ramping up. scary as fuck!
posted by supermedusa at 3:12 PM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Napkin mathing, but the difference between the eye and average air pressure at sea level is over 2 pounds per square inch.
posted by nathan_teske at 3:15 PM on October 23, 2015


Just remember y'all, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the atmosphere. It's all in our heads.

P.S. There are two more named storms an the remnants of a fourth in the Pacific. I use a more-or-less real-time satellite photo of Earth's surface as my desktop background, and I've watched the storms march across the Pacific three and four at a time all summer. It's been crazy.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:17 PM on October 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Man, that giant tree in the Manzanilla cam...the top half of it just blew away. I just saw a person adjusting the cam. That's madness.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:30 PM on October 23, 2015


Manzanilla cam seems to be down now. I saw the person adjusting it too, and was worried for them.

The Ixtapa cam is back up.
posted by isthmus at 3:40 PM on October 23, 2015


I'm trying to figure out if I'm a bad person for watching the beach cams. I don't know anyone there (as far as I know). It's not going to change anything -- I donate to charities and that isn't going to change. Am I rubbernecking someone else's misery? Or is weather fascinating, especially when it's in familiar settings like a beach resort?

I avoided footage of the 2004 tsunami as much as possible, and was called heartless by someone because of that. It's tricky.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:19 PM on October 23, 2015


You're not a bad person. Curiosity is human.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 4:46 PM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Randomly came across this person on Twitter, who is tweeting his and his husband's evacuation in Puerto Vallarta during their honeymoon.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:03 PM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


They're safe at a shelter and the Governor of Jalisco came by to reassure everyone. Things seem okay for them at least.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:07 PM on October 23, 2015


My mom reports it had been raining in Shreveport la due to this storm.
I couldn't believe it.

My thoughts and prayers are there for everyone in its path.

Be safe and be smart.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:43 PM on October 23, 2015


A friend of mine in Dallas has been posting about the rain today. As I think others indicated above, they are getting ALL THE RAIN after a bit of draught.
posted by sparkletone at 5:48 PM on October 23, 2015


The honeymooner I came across on Twitter is being bused back to his hotel in Puerto Vallarta. They've been given the all clear.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:41 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't find official confirmation on it yet, but Twitter searches for #PuertoVallarta seem to have people thanking god for sparing PV and others saying it was no worse than heavy rain. Plus at least the one evacuee camp being sent back.

The downside--for which I am also trying to scrape up news--is many of the same people saying the storm made a break for Guadalajara. I'd seen reports they were busing people into Guadalajara before the storm. I hope this isn't bad news.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:52 PM on October 23, 2015


I'm relieved Puerto Vallarta didn't get badly hit, it's a beautiful city with very nice people, it would have been so sad to see it devastated.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 6:52 PM on October 23, 2015


Take all of that with a grain of salt. Just Twitter buzz. But cross your fingers.

I wish I spoke better Spanish.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:57 PM on October 23, 2015


Yeah I've been reading Twitter all day too, no bad reports coming from PV so I'm taking a "no news, good news" perspective on this.

No terrible reports from Guadalajara either, I have a cousin there and she said most people were not so worried, but since she lived through part of a hurricane that reached my city (monterrey) a few years ago, she knows days of rain are nothing to joke about and took precautions.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 7:01 PM on October 23, 2015


‏@MazatlanPalaces 7 m ago
#HurricanePatricia UPDATE, our friends from #PuertoVallarta and #RivieraNayarit are safe. Only light rains. Red alert lifted #Mexico
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:02 PM on October 23, 2015


Any help with spanish needed, I'm your person.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 7:02 PM on October 23, 2015


I think I can follow this one :)
@AnnieLedy 2m ago
Ya estamos pasando a Patricia #PuertoVallarta
That one says it's already passed, right?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:04 PM on October 23, 2015


The beach had a rougher go than the people in PV, looks like. If the people had a comparatively easy time and the beach got trashed, that's sad, but better than most possible outcomes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:06 PM on October 23, 2015


@anaceli16 3 m ago
Lo importante es que se hayan tomado las precauciones aunque en #PuertoVallarta sólo ha provocado lluvias ligeras el #HuracanPatricia
I believe that says it's good they took precautions, but the hurricane only brought some rain.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:09 PM on October 23, 2015


I'm not going to repost all of Twitter, but that gives an idea.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:11 PM on October 23, 2015




Lo importante es que se hayan tomado las precauciones aunque en #PuertoVallarta sólo ha provocado lluvias ligeras el #HuracanPatricia

"What's important is that precautions were taken even though Patricia only caused light rain in Puerto Vallarta."
posted by CrazyLemonade at 7:22 PM on October 23, 2015


That's more or less what I figured. Thanks, CL.

Pretty much all of the tweets from the area--including what I believe to be the official PV Twitter account--are now saying they got off very light. I'm hoping the news from the southeast is similarly good.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:26 PM on October 23, 2015


The beach had a rougher go than the people in PV, looks like. If the people had a comparatively easy time and the beach got trashed, that's sad, but better than most possible outcomes.

I think that pic is fake...most likely from a previous storm. The live webcam right now barely shows anything more than light wind. Link here
posted by CrazyLemonade at 7:27 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


That would be even better. What cities/hashtags could we check for word of how they held up to the southeast?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:29 PM on October 23, 2015


Come to think of it, that beach pic might very well be fake, it's from daylight. It seems unlikely to be from when the poster claims.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:33 PM on October 23, 2015


I'm just "surfin" twitter for Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Manzanillo, Colima....
posted by CrazyLemonade at 7:38 PM on October 23, 2015


I don't know how I am finding about this now, at midnight est.

Don't people realize that they are putting the rescuers lives in danger by "toughing it out" (I am talking about the people who have the means and ability to leave, but instead they are just being bone-headed)?
posted by littlesq at 9:02 PM on October 23, 2015




Landfall was at a relatively unpopulated part of the coastline and the eyewall is quite narrow, so the very worst of this hurricane has missed the major population centers. In agnostic terms, thank gods. This could have been so, so much worse. I so wish I could be down in Melaque helping them recover. It is a small, sweet town that has already suffered enough. My heart goes out to the people I've met there.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:10 AM on October 24, 2015


Hurricane Patricia has now fortunately subsided to a Category 2 hurricane.
posted by Sleeper at 1:10 AM on October 24, 2015


I would just like to take a second to commend eriko's amazing comment above, breaking down the dynamics of this hurricane. Pointing out that the storm was brutal, but would likely be compact proved prophetic.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:16 AM on October 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


that beach pic might very well be fake, it's from daylight

If Twitter uses local time, the pic was posted at 19:03 and sunset was 19:31, so it's probably real. Also, that looks like the Malecon to me.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:08 AM on October 24, 2015


Pic is fake. The poster says so himself when a friend (I guess) calls him out on it. Like I said, it's probably from a previous storm.

Twitter reports of the Malecón in PV show everything to be back to normal. For example.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:34 AM on October 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well then. Please ignore faulty reasoning.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:04 AM on October 24, 2015


First of 6 compliation videos of the storm. Use tabs on the top to see the rest. Number 6 only seems available from number 5.
posted by Death and Gravity at 10:41 AM on October 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyone know where to get a post-mortem on the storm? Now that it's over I'm assuming some interesting analysis must have happened.
posted by soplerfo at 6:39 AM on October 26, 2015


Dr. Jeff Master's WunderBlog is always good for extreme weather post-review.
posted by Bringer Tom at 9:11 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


In the village I know, no deaths, but a lot of flooding, downed trees, collapsed or destroyed roofs. Electricity out, scarce potable water, low food supplies. A lot of rebuilding, a lot of unneeded hassle. I guess they can feel they got off lucky but truth is, most of them can't afford it. The town has a lot of Canadians wintering there. I hope we're all generous in helping them recover.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:30 PM on October 26, 2015


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