Patricia, the most powerful hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere, gave San Pancho a pass this week. If you overlook all of the hurricane preparations by the residents, the storm was truly a non-event. Thank goodness, he hastened to add.
Nothing remarkable took place, but because of many inquiries directed to the Weather Station, your humble servant feels the need to write that nothing happened. This is particularly easy for me to report as I am still in the Northeast writing this blog. But from all reports from friends on the ground in San Pancho and Puerto Vallarta, the storm was a bust.
There is one thing to keep in mind. As the storm made landfall some thirty miles south of PV, there are some people suffering right now that we simply don’t have information on. While sparsely populated, that doesn’t mean no population. It means we should keep those folks in our thoughts and prayers. We will learn more in the days ahead, but I’m including links to current Time magazine articles below that put the storm in perspective.
What did happen as Patricia passed south of San Pancho is worth noting. The barometric pressure dropped to 29.53 inHg at 7:21 pm, the time of landfall and again at 9:21 as the storm headed east. That’s the lowest pressure on record, but it is matched by the same reading four times in the past eight years. While our barometric pressure on the coast varies very little from day to day, year to year, the average low is 29.89 inHg. To better understand this, check out Wikipedia for “barometric pressure”.
Patricia also brought us a decent rainstorm of about two inches, pushing our annual total of precipitation toward normal levels for the year. Wind gusts were unremarkable considering the strength of the storm, ranging from 10 to 18 mph as the storm passed. By comparison, the highest gust for the year was 32 mph on July 31. The average maximum wind speed in San Francisco, Nayarit is 18 mph.
Patricia was certainly an event for all those who went through the preparations for the storm and we’ll remember it as the storm that didn’t happen. As a weather event however, she turned out to be a non-starter. And for that we can all be grateful.