Mexico Is About To Get Hit By The Strongest Hurricane Ever Recorded
Hurricane Patricia is officially the strongest storm ever recorded, generating winds measuring 200 mph.
NBC News reports the Category 5 storm, which is expected to hit Mexico's Pacific coast at some point later today, will likely bring "catastrophic" floods, rip currents, mudslides and possibly 40-foot waves at landfall.
Set to affect millions of residents, Hurricane Patricia has reportedly been named "the strongest hurricane on record" in the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific Basins by the US National Hurricane Center and "the most devastating storm to ever hit Mexico" by NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins.
According to CNN, the World Meteorological Organization even likened Patricia to Typhoon Haiyan, which packed 195 mph winds and killed over 6,000 people in the Philippines two years ago.
Typhoons Nancy and Violet were predicted to have winds over 200 mph, but only Patricia made such estimations a reality, Karins said.
CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said,
This is the only hurricane that's ever been this powerful.
Among the areas predicted to experience the most damage are tourist hot spots Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and Manzanillo, where coastal residents are reportedly creating barriers of sandbags to fight the storm.
Myers said the winds heading towards Manzanillo may resemble an "F4 or F5 tornado that can be five or six miles wide."
The Mexican states of Jalisco, Colima, Michoacán and Guerrero could receive up to 20 inches of rain, compared to the eight to 12 inches expected to hit the rest of the Mexican coast.
Karin said 10 inches of rain will likely spill over to Texas, which is already dealing with up to six inches of rain as well as flooding.
It isn't clear if Patricia will grow stronger or weaker in the coming days, but it managed to rise from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in just 24 hours.
Patricia's central pressure, which is measured by the weight of the air above it, is lower (worse) than those of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and 2005's Hurricane Katrina.