At 4 a.m. CDT, the eye of Hurricane Patricia was about 145 miles (255 kilometers) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and was moving north-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).Equally stunning, if not moreso, is this.
In addition to its unprecedented 200-mph (320-kph) sustained winds, Hurricane Patricia now holds the record for lowest pressure in any hurricane on record. With a minimum central pressure of 880 millibars (25.99 inches of mercury) at the 4 a.m. CDT advisory, Patricia broke the record of 882 millibars set by Wilma almost exactly 10 years ago.
Patricia’s rate of strengthening since Wednesday has been truly remarkable. In a mere 36 hours, Patricia’s official NHC rating went from minimal tropical storm (40 mph) to Category 5 hurricane--among the most rapid intensification rates one might expect in a hurricane anywhere.In 2005, Governor Blanco declared a state of emergency when Katrina was still a cat 3, 72 hours away in the Gulf. At closer to 48 hours Ray Nagin issued the first voluntary evacuation order for New Orleans. The storm had still not reached full strength and was still a considerable distance away. But people could more or less see it coming. What if it had blown up just off the coast practically overnight? How do you tailor your plans to react to something like that? And please don't say the answer is you need more "resilience."