Patricia Sputters Out: 'Strongest Hurricane Ever Recorded' Slows Down over Mexico
Flash floods and landslides could continue to plague Mexico, but Hurricane Patricia--the most powerful storm of its kind ever recorded--is quickly weakening after making landfall on Friday.
While the storm slammed Mexico's west coast as a 165MPH Category 5, the strongest possible hurricane, Patricia quickly weakened while also managing to miss the major resort town of Puerto Vallarta and the port city of Manzanillo.
What began as a storm of historic ferocity with sustained windspeeds of 200MPH weakened on Saturday into a tropical storm while pushing east into Mexico's central mountains and dumping a torrent of rain that could yet cause serious flood damage, the Associate Press reports.
"Rapid weakening is expected to continue, and Patricia is forecast to become a tropical depression later today and dissipate tonight," an advisory from the National Weather Service read Saturday.
Still, the intense rains remained a cause for concern as Mexico awaited the destruction that might be brought to light by sunrise after nearly a foot of rain was measured in the coastal state of Jalisco.
President Enrique Peña Nieto said overnight: "It is very important that the population stays in the shelters, the security forces will be patrolling to protect their homes...I repeat, we still can't let our guard down."