Hurricane Patricia

Stephanie Conners ’18

Hurricane Patricia was a Category 5 hurricane and the biggest one recorded in the Western Hemisphere ever.  According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale, a Category 5 hurricane reaches winds of 157 mph or higher.  This hurricane reached speeds of 200 mph.  On the Saffir-Simpson a Category 5 causes catastrophic damage to the places it affects.  The hurricane first began to form on October 20, 2015 and started calming down on October 24, 2015.  Weather radars detected this storm and determined it would be affecting some cities in Mexico.  The storm touched land 60 miles north of the city Manzillo.  Although the storm was the biggest land falling hurricane in the Pacific, it was also the lowest pressured hurricane as well.

To prevent devastating loss, the government decided to evacuate the places that were predicted to be affected the worst by Patricia.  Tourist and citizens alike evacuated the area and moved inland to avoid being seriously injured or killed from the tremendous storm coming their way.  It turns out that the storm didn’t cause as much devastation as predicted and many government officials have attributed this victory to the great measures Mexico took to keep the people safe and to prepare the area for the tropical cyclone coming towards them.  Patricia was predicted to be a much bigger disaster for Mexico, and many are saying the country “dodged a bullet.”  

View of Hurricane Patricia from above.

View of Hurricane Patricia from above.

Very quickly after the hurricane touched land it began to rapidly decrease in speed and force.  The hurricane managed to miss major cities but the extensive rain and winds caused mudslides throughout the region.  Now that the storm has calmed, the Mexican government is faced with what to do next.  240,000 people are gathered in 1,780 shelters and mudslides are still a concern before it is safe to return to their homes.  Tourists are stuck in these shelters until the government decides what’s the safest way to get them home.  Although Hurricane Patricia was a gigantic storm and reasonable damage was sustained, the storm wasn’t as devastating as it was expected.  Since the government took action before the storm hit, it will be less of a burden to fix than it was initially predicted.

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