Hurricane Patricia surprised everyone when it went from a tropical storm to category 5 hurricane in just 36 hours… then it went on to become the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Pacific. It made landfall earlier this evening with category 5 winds and the center coming on shore in the vicinity of Punta Perula, Jalisco. While early estimates had the path of the hurricane passing close to Puerto Vallarta, the storm has since changed it’s course to a more easterly direction and is currently beating itself out against the mountains of Jalisco. The storm still has not made it’s closest approach to Vallarta, but it looks like the worst of the storm will miss us here. It is nearly 9 pm now, and the winds are calm… the slow drizzle of rain that has accompanied us all afternoon it still slowly drizzling away outside. Reports from the National Climate Center and Conagua (the national water authority) indicate that the closest Patricia will come to Vallarta should happen about 10 o’clock tonight, but from here it does not appear to worsening substantially; it looks to me like the Hurricane will be a non-event here in Puerto Vallarta. If you have friends and family visiting Vallarta, they are probably feeling inconvenienced at having been sent to a shelter to wait out the storm, but they are not in any danger.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those living in the (thankfully sparsely populated) area of Costalegre where the storm made landfall, as well as those in Manzanillo where they are undoubtedly feeling the effects of this storm as I write this. But here in Vallarta we are thankful for the calm.