WEST MICHIGAN — She’s been called “the most powerful tropical cyclone ever measured in the Western Hemisphere.” Her maximum sustained winds reached an unprecedented 200 mph and its central pressure fell to 879 millibars (25.96 inches of mercury). Category Five Hurricane Patricia slammed the southwest Mexican coast with 165 mph winds and very heavy rain Friday. It was downgraded quickly after losing its moisture source over the ocean once it hit land.
While the remnants of Patricia have moved to the north and east over the Mexican Plateau in to Texas, it will drop copious amounts of rain over southeast Texas with another foot likely in some areas through Sunday. That’s in addition to several inches of rain that had occurred earlier this week in the same area. Keep in mind portions of Texas were literally in a drought situation just a week or two ago. The entire system will slowly track along the Gulf Coast states in south-central states before lifting northward.
I’ve already been asked as a meteorologist if West Michigan will see or experience the remnants of Hurricane Patricia. It will not move directly in to our state, but over time more moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will be tapped along with left over moisture from Patricia and it is expected to begin affecting our area Tuesday evening, Tuesday night, and through at least mid-day on Wednesday. At this point, it’s possible an inch or more of rain may fall in our area through that time frame. Take a look below at the computer forecast model images on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings respectively. The purple, blue, and green (lightest to heaviest) all represent accumulated precipitation. Note how the moisture moves from the Gulf Coast on Monday all the way north in to the Great Lakes by Wednesday.
After the tropical moisture lifts out, a strong upper level low pressure system along with cooler temperatures will slide in to the Great Lakes later Wednesday and Thursday. It will generate cloudy, breezy, raw conditions and probably a few instability rain showers from the cooler air aloft. We’ll be lucky to make 50 on Thursday.
Looking at our weather forecast models at this point, Saturday is Halloween. One model has it dry, another brings the chance for a shower in the P.M. hours. It’s a bit too early to tell, so make sure to stay up on later forecasts. Temperatures next Saturday look to be in the low/mid 50s for highs.
Get the complete West Michigan forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.