Hurricane Patricia Becomes Strongest Hurricane Ever Recorded; Catastrophic Landfall Expected in Mexico Friday. This typhoon is NOT the strongest in the Pacific, ever. During WWII, the most deadly storm to hit the US fleet at any time in the last 100 years was named Typhoon Cobra (1944). Patricia is definitely a very dangerous typhoon and it bothers me a lot that the US media keeps talking about it being a hurricane. Hurricanes are Atlantic Ocean events, Pacific ones are typhoons!
Most typhoons that move towards Mexico die in the mountains very rapidly. Sierra Madre Occidental and the Sierra Madre Oriental stand in the way of this typhoon. Nearly all of Mexico is mountains. Instead, it will cause a great deal of flooding as water rushes down the hillsides. Anyone traveling in Mexico can see how the people there build flimsy housing on ever-steeper mountainsides.
They will bear the real brunt of the storm as it moves across these many hills and vales. The oceanfront land is mostly tourist structures which will take on wind damage but not much else. So the vast majority of deaths will be the unfortunate people living much further inland and it won’t be due to the wind just like Katrina’s greatest death toll was from drowning as the flood of Mississippi water cascaded back into the Gulf of Mexico.
This map shows where the low from this typhoon will be in Texas in two days. Due to the cold front, it will then move up the east coast where we want more rain, the previous first half of October was rather dry. This is now definitely an el Nino winter. Like all previous events, this means warm and wet in the southern half of the US and Alaska.
Climate Prediction Center –I remember previous el Nino events way back when I was a child in Arizona. We got lots of rain in winter each time which for me, was tons of fun because I lived on a ranch and when the streams flooded, NO SCHOOL! I have many childhood memories of el Nino floods in Arizona.
One of my favorite is the bus driver and the 1963-64 event. The Tanque Verde river was flooding so bad, the bridge was partially underwater. ‘Hey, why don’t you walk across to see if the bridge is still there,’ he joked. ‘Go to hell,’ I said. I was his only passenger (and it was 5am!). He took me home, laughing.
The Arizona desert is gorgeous when el Ninos bring winter rains. As the above maps show, it rains a lot in these sorts of years whereas the Pacific Northwest has crummy ski conditions. On the other hand, fewer blizzards at the Great Lakes is good news for the people living in the Windy City. Of course, the Northeastern folk who flood into sunny Florida this winter will have no fun in the sun.
Bring the umbrellas!
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