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October 23, 2015
Hurricane Patricia





Patricia becomes dangerous Category 5 hurricane Oct. 23; landfall in Jalisco State, Mexico, afternoon Oct. 23. Catastrophic damage likely.

Storm Details
Center of Circulation: Pacific Ocean, approximately 255 km (160 miles) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Colima State
Maximum Sustained Winds: 175 kts (325 kph, 200 mph), with higher gusts
Landfall (Date): Jalisco State southeast of Puerto Vallarta (late Oct. 23) 
Affected Areas: Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco, and Nayarit states

Watches and Warnings:
Hurricane Warning: San Blas to Punta San Telmo
Hurricane Watch: East of Punta San Telmo to Lazaro Cardenas
Tropical Storm Warning: East of Punta San Telmo to Lazaro Cardenas

Updated Information
Hurricane Patricia intensified overnight Oct. 22-23 to an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane - the strongest eastern North Pacific storm on record. Meteorologists predict the center of circulation will make landfall in Jalisco State between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta the afternoon of Oct. 23, likely still a strong Category 5 storm. As of 0200 PDT Oct. 23, the center of circulation was located approximately 265 km (165 miles) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Colima State (map). Hurricane-force winds extend approximately 45 km (30 miles) from the center of Patricia, and tropical storm force winds extend out to 280 km (175 miles). The cities of Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, and possibly Guadalajara appear to lie within the predicted area of hurricane-force winds.

After making landfall, Hurricane Patricia is predicted to encounter increased friction and reduced energy supply as it transits the Sierra Madre del Sur and Sierra Madre Occidental mountain ranges of Mexico; however, the system could maintain Category 1 strength as it passes over Nayarit and Zacatecas states early Oct. 24. The remnants of Patricia will likely bring heavy rain and the potential for areal and flash flooding further inland through at least Oct. 24, including areas of Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, and Nuevo Leon states.

Regardless of the final strength of Hurricane Patricia when it makes landfall, damaging winds, torrential rains, and dangerous storm surge is likely in Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima, and Jalisco states through Oct. 23. States along the southern coast of Mexico could receive 15-30 cm (6-12 inches) of rainfall; localized amounts in excess of 50 cm (20 inches) are possible. Torrential rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash flooding, mudslides, and widespread power outages; the threat of mudslides and debris-covered roadways is highest in areas of mountainous terrain. Dangerous surf and rip currents are possible along the southern coast of Mexico through Oct. 23. Storm surge along the Colima and Jalisco coastlines could be in excess of 2 meters (6 feet); as Patricia approaches land, the highest surge is likely to occur to between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. Significant coastal flooding and widespread power outages are likely.

As of 1400 PDT Oct. 22, the following ports are closed to traffic:
Small Craft Restriction:
Nayarit State: San Blas, Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Chacala
Jalisco State: Puerto Vallarta, Barra de Navidad
Michoacan State: Lazaro Cardenas
Guerrero State: Zihuatanejo, Acapulco, Puerto Marques, Pie de la Cuesta
Oaxaca State: Puerto Angel, Puerto Escondido

Large Craft Restriction:
Guerrero State: Acapulco
Additional port closures are likely along the southern coast of Mexico as the system transits the region. Flight disruptions are likely at airports in southern Mexico, including those serving Acapulco (ACA), Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo (ZIH), Lazaro Cardenas (LZC), Manzanillo (ZLO), and Puerto Vallarta (PVR). Torrential rain and strong winds will almost certainly cause transport delays and traffic disruptions, including along portions of Federal Highways 15, 54, 70, 80, 98, 110, and 200. Landslides could cause road blocks, especially across inland mountainous regions.

Activate contingency plans if operating in areas in the storm's path. Confirm flights before checking out of hotels. Be prepared to remain in a safe location if flooding occurs. Stay away from rivers, streams, canyons, and steeply sloped terrain due to the high potential for flash flooding and mudslides. Do not attempt to navigate flooded roadways. Evacuate low-lying areas that may be vulnerable to storm surge flooding. Seek updated information on road conditions before driving long distances or routing shipments through the affected areas. Charge battery-powered devices and stockpile bottled water and nonperishable food in case prolonged electricity outages occur.


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