October 23, 2015-Hurricane Watch
Yeah, Hurricane Patricia is big news. We've been watching it, as a tropical storm, for a few days. Then this morning we got the following warning:
POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC MAJOR HURRICANE PATRICIA WAS LOCATED NEAR 16.2N 105.1W 924 MB AT 0900 UTC OCT 23 MOVING NNW OR 340 DEG AT 10 KT. ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 880 MB. THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANE PATRICIA IS UNPRECEDENTED IN THE EASTERN PACIFIC...WITH MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVING RAPIDLY INCREASED TO 175 KT WITH GUSTS 215 KT. MAJOR HURRICANE PATRICIA MAY INTENSITY EVEN MORE THIS MORNING AS IT CONTINUES TO MOVE TOWARD THE CENTRAL COAST OF MEXICO..
They also said it was the strongest ever hurricane in western hemisphere (which includes the Caribbean and storms such as Katrina, etc.)? I can't quite deal with that concept, I'm just shaking my head in wonder. How does this happen?
Historically no hurricane has ever come into Banderas Bay. This bay is surrounded by mountains which have always protected it. We all watch the weather models and projections and listen to the forecasts hourly and wonder if this is going to be the exception. Right now there is a very high likelyhood that Patricia will miss us and hit land south of Puerto Vallarta, outside of Banderas Bay, right against the Sierra Madre Mountains, then move to the NE toward Guadalajara and then onward towards the USA (Texas). In that case we can expect stormy weather, winds and rain, and flooding, but not really dangerous conditions here. However we have all made a lot of preparations, such as taking down all awnings and anything else which is on deck, and adding double dock lines, making sure we have water. food, and fuel, just in case.
A worse outcome would be if the storm stays offshore and goes along the coast. In that event we would get higher winds and big waves. Stil, that is not thought to be unbearable for our location, and anyhow, we don't expect it. With each hour, as we watch the storm's progress, that becomes less likely.
The worst path, which nobody thinks it will take, would be to hook right and come directly into the Bay. If it does, well, that would be pretty bad.
One thing we are not doing is piling into the car and heading for the hills. With the most likely path of this thing being just to the east of us, in the hills, and with torrential rain and flash flooding expected, we don't think we would want to there.
To be honest with you we are more concerned about the Mexican people south of here who are going to be hit with devastatingly strong winds and lots of rain and lots of floods. I expect a extensive damage and high causality counts south of us in Jalisco and east of us. And with the projected landfall being Barra De Navidad, where a very low lying town, basically on a sandbar, is right on the coast, and behind that, a big marina with a lot of boats... It could be very bad for the people in Barra de Navidad tonight. I'm just glad we are not in Barra now.
But we believe we are going to be safe here, however this hurricane could be the one to break all the rules. We can't do much about it in that case, so, for the next twenty four hours, we will just wait and watch.
We will send an update tomorrow.
Click here for more images and some photos of the preparations.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huanacaxtle