Patricia makes landfall in Mexico, major flooding ongoing
Posted by Elena Ugrin on October 24, 2015 in categories Featured articles, Floods, Hurricanes
Hurricane "Patricia" slammed into the coast of southwestern Mexico on October 23, 2015, with winds reaching 270 km/h (165 mph) and was downgraded to a category 2 hurricane since, National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported. So far no victims have been reported, and the damage seems to be much less than feared, at first sight. However, this is still a dangerous system and shouldn't be underestimated, Mexico's president warned, following Patricia's landfall. Patricia made landfall 85 km (55 miles) of Manzanillo, near Cuixmala, along the coast of southwestern Mexico on October 23, 23:15 UTC, NHC reported. The system slammed the land as a category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 270 km/h (165 mph). Its minimum central pressure was estimated at 920 hPa at the time.
Video credit: AccuWeather
As it continued moving inland, Patricia has substantially weakened due to mountainous terrain and was a category 2 hurricane on October 24, 06:00 UTC, according to NHC. At the time, the system was packing maximum sustained winds of 155 km/h (100 mph) and moving further inland at 31 km/h (20 mph). Its minimum central pressure was higher and at 970 hPa.
Hurricane "Patricia" just off the coast of Mexico, October 23, 2015. Image credit: NASA/Terra MODIS
North of Manzanillo, in the town of Barra de Navidad, severe winds have blew off rooftops, toppled trees and power lines and flooded the streets. 50 000 people have been evacuated to the local shelters across the state of Colima. Nayarit state has opened about 400 shelters and invited both tourists and locals to evacuate.
Hurricane "Patricia" just before making a landfall, October 23, 21:30 UTC. Image credit: NOAA/GOES
Hurricane "Patricia" just before making a landfall, October 23, 22:30 UTC. Image credit: NOAA/GOES
260 mm (10.25 inches) of accumulated rainfall was reported at Nevado De Colima in Jalisco state, while the Colima city measured 158 mm (6.22 inches) of precipitation in a 27 hour period, as of October 24. So far, the damage reported has been much less than feared, according to Mexico's president Enrique Pena Nieto, however the system is dangerous and poses a significant threat.
Hurricane force winds extend about 55 km (35 miles) out of the storm's center, while winds of tropical force have spread up to 220 km (140 miles) outward. Major flooding is underway across the strongest affected area.
Video credit: earthsky102
"The risks surrounding Hurricane Patricia continue being high. We must not lower our guard," Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong stated after the storm's landfall. Hurricane "Patricia" is forecast to continue moving north-northeastward at a fast pace, over northern and northeastern Mexico for the next day or two. Due to mountainous terrain prevailing inland, the system will most likely rapidly decline and become a tropical storm later morning and a tropical depression by the afternoon of October 24.
Video credit: earthsky2
Tropical force winds will continue across parts of the warning area, especially on higher altitudes and near the center through October 24. Heavy rainfalls are expected to continue and most likely produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Water levels will remain above the average throughout the day, and large and destructive waves are still expected across the coastlines, as well as deadly surfs and rip currents. The Hurricane Warning has been discontinued by the Mexico's government, while the Tropical Storm Warning is still in effect from Playa Perula to Lazaro Cardenas, according to NHC. Featured image: Hurricane "Patricia" just off the coast of southwestern Mexico, October 23, 2015. Image credit: NASA/Terra MODIS
Torrential rains swamp Texas, violent flooding expected to continue
Posted by Elena Ugrin on October 24, 2015 in categories Featured articles, Floods
North and Central Texas reported heavy flooding through October 23 and 24, 2015. Raging waters overflew roads and caused major traffic disruptions across the affected regions. A Union Pacific train was derailed on October 24, media reported. Severe rainstorms that have resulted from the combination of moisture rich weather systems situated over the South Central US triggered major floods across the region. As little to no rain has fallen in the area since May, the soil is not capable of absorbing large amounts of precipitation which enhances the flooding.
Synoptic situation over South Central US and Mexico, October 23, 2015. Image credit: NASA/Terra MODIS
On October 24, violent flood water derailed a Union Pacific train, and water rescue teams were quickly deployed to recover stranded personnel north of Corsicana, Texas."Our conductor and engineer, once they put the train into emergency stop, they were able to jump free of the locomotive as they saw the water start to rise. They swam to some high ground there. They're wet but in good condition," Union Pacific spokesman Jeff DeGraff stated.
Numerous roads were closed and at least 30 water rescues have been performed in Odessa. Dallas streets were completely immersed in water rising up to several meter.
72-hr rainfall accumulation as observed by GPM Core Observatory. Image credit: Google/NASA/JAXA GPM
457.2 mm(18 inches) of rain was reported to accumulate in Corsicana during 24 hours, close to historic amounts measured recently in South Carolina. 511.8 mm (20.15 inches) of precipitation was measured near Powell, 401 mm (15.79 inches) in Malone, 348 mm (13.17 inches) at Cedar Creek Reservoirs while 474.2 mm (18.67 inches) was reported in Grapevine on October 24.
Video credit: Associated Press
Unfortunately, severe rainstorms are yet to come to South Texas, as the cold front is being fed by the moisture of Hurricane "Patricia's" remnants.