We Were Lucky. This Time.

Photo Curtsy NOAA

Photo Curtsy NOAA

Hurricane Patricia hit Mexico on October 23rd 2015, considered as the most intense tropical cyclone to hit the western hemisphere. A lot of areas were at risk because of the possible flood and landslides it would cause but surprisingly, the storm itself caused less damage than what people have expected.

Patricia made headlines because it went from tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane within 24 hours. Fortunately, after making its landfall in Mexico, it went down to category 2 along the coast of southwestern Mexico, Jalisco to be exact.

Since it caused a potential threat to its citizens, Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s current president, informed the masses to still take the necessary precautions because Patricia has an awful lot of rain. It was a relief to everyone that it caused fewer catastrophes than anticipated.

According to numerous news reports, only several small communities within Mexico endured great damage.  Experts believe that if Patricia moved farther to the east or west, the populated areas around Manzanillo or Puerto Vallarta would have greatly suffered as it would be hit directly. The storm itself left around 261,989 people without any electricity and 100,000 acres of crops badly affected (located across Colima, Jalisco, Michoacán, and Nyarit). Fortunately, only 6 were reported dead due to Hurricane Patricia all of which were located in Jalisco.

There have been baffling questions about this hurricane like why it intensified so fast and why it became one of the strongest tropical cyclones to date.  You see, one of the major contributors is the really warm ocean waters located at the Eastern Pacific.  2015 is considered as an El Niño year and years such as this one commonly develop bizarre warm sea surface temperatures. The said factors play a big role in creating a typical tropical cyclone around the Eastern Pacific.

Since 2015 is the warmest year to date globally, most of the heat is gathered in ocean waters. This means that the hotter the air temperature, the more likely it will have some sort of influence on the powerful increase of a storm. 

According to a statistic: In 2015, we have experienced 22 storms in the Northern Hemisphere develop into category 4 or 5 hurricanes.  Surprisingly, it beat the old record of 18 when it comes to storms developing to category 4 or 5 and this was way back 2004.

In addition, a meteorologist named Patrick Marsh indicated that Patricia is nothing compared to the other storms that were formulated in the same basin since the record keeping started. Truth is, none of the earlier storms that were recorded as early as 1954 matched the power of what Patricia had.