Pacific Typhoon Patricia Major Storm In Mexico, Future Flooding In US

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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!


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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.

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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.

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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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18 responses to “Pacific Typhoon Patricia Major Storm In Mexico, Future Flooding In US

  1. Jim R

    Texas says bring it, we need the water!

  2. emsnews

    So do we! You will get a royal soaking, it looks like. 🙂

  3. I checked up on Typhoon Cobra.

    Typhoon Cobra’s Maxumum Sustained Winds were 230 km/h (145 mph). Hurricane Patricia’s Maximum Sustained Winds are 325 km/h (200 mph).

    Try again, Elaine.

    And these tropical progressive whirlwinds are given titles (hurricane, typhoon, cyclone) based on which landmass it’s closest to (hurricanes = North America, Hawaii; typhoons = East Asia; cyclones = South Asia, Africa, Australia)

    Oops. 😉

    Well it loks like New Orleans is going to get a lot of rain, too. 😮

  4. Well I was working and going to college down in Miami during the 1982-83 El Nino event and I remember one time we had a serious rainstorm — sixteen inches IN ONE DAY.

  5. vengeur

    That much rain, it’s a good thing Florida is a peninsula not an island. The whole darn thing could possibly capsize like Guam. Just ask global warming congressman Hank Johnson:

  6. Sunger

    Of course this event has no connection to to global warming.

  7. vengeur

    You mean about Guam capsizing? On the contrary, there is a direct connection between Guam capsizing and Global Warming. Even a semi-illiterate congressman from Alabama knows THAT.

  8. Christian W

    Well, the real danger is when, not if but when, Guam capsizes it risks uprooting the US as well. If the US gets uprooted it may start to drift towards Africa and could merge with the African continent in about 15-20 years.

  9. Christian W

    If there are lots of typhoons on the West coast the drifting speed could be considerably increased though. Then we’re talking about The Great Continental Match-up Event taking place in about 5 years.

    That is if there aren’t any hurricanes in the Atlantic blowing hard on the East coast of course. Then the process could be slower.

  10. Jim R

    So CW, you’re saying that Guam and California are connected through their root system? I had no idea.

    Elaine, I went looking for information on the wildfires that were burning here last week, and found the Forest Service site … I thought they’d be jubilant that the rain is putting out their fire.

    But no, it’s one of those things about a government bureau, they are NEVER happy. No mention of the fire (last week it was pictures of the smoke-jumpers and the plane dumping red-colored water [+chemicals] on the fire and all their valiant efforts) but now they don’t have a fire any more.

    Now they are all in a tizzy about FLASH FLOODS! Who’da thunk? The forest service wants you to be careful about driving through the low water crossings.

    I always thought flash floods were a kind of darwinian aptitude test for Texas drivers — you know, to weed out the stupid ones ….

  11. Christian W

    @10 Jim R

    Oh, I forgot about that part Jim sorry. When Guam capsizes the shock wave may well uproot the US. That’s the real danger here. Guam is not large enough to have a root system, but the US, as a continent, does. See?

  12. emsnews

    ALL droughts end with big floods. I grew up in Arizona but also lived at McDonald Observatory in Texas, too. Amusing stories of my childhood bus drivers all of whom were cranky ranchers who once rode in rodeos and knew everything about the desert climate, horses, dawgs and wimmen. Heh.

    My teachers in Life.

  13. Jim R

    I think they are still out there, in Ft. Davis. Same guys, about 120 years old now…

    My point was just that, this big Texas organization which is supposed to deal with fires, is not happy. Their fire went out.

    Anyone who has lived here for any length of time knows not to try to drive through the water.


    Bothersome that in most Major news Outlets it was referred to as a Hurricane. Aren’t they “Officially” known as Typhoons in the Pacific ?

  15. @BBigdiddle: No, it depends on which government is tracking it. Only the East Asian governments (including that of the Philippines) call them typhoons.

  16. emsnews

    No, they are typhoons. And yes, it is supposed to show where they come from and calling it a hurricane is a cheat.

    I still remember the violent typhoon of 1959 (can’t remember exact year) that hit Tucson, it knocked down a cement brick wall on our ranch and tore up two trees and stripped part of the tarpaper on the roof.

    We kids went crazy during it.

  17. @Elaine: So long as the US Government has naming rights on the Pacific tropical progressive whirlwinds east of the International Date Line, they are hurricanes.

    Why do you hate America? ;^)

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