THE LATEST HURRICANE UPDATES
Updated: 10/24/2015 9:06 AM
Vallarta Dodges a Bullet
Hurricane Patricia made
landfall near Cuixmala on Costa Alegre, about 180 miles south of Puerto
Vallarta. She landed as a category 5
monster, with sustained winds of 165 miles
per hour, down from a stunning 200 miles per
hour (325 km/hr) measured only a couple
hours earlier. Gusts were measured at up
to 400 km/hr...just staggering.
Patricia made history as the strongest
hurricane ever recorded, surpassing even the
devastating typhoon Haiyan in the
Philippines in 2013, and even after
weakening to a still-catastrophic 165 mph by
landfall, was the second strongest hurricane
ever to make landfall, trailing only Haiyan
which struck land with sustained winds of
195 miles per hour. However she was
tightly wound, with hurricane force winds
extending only 35 miles from the center,
putting Puerto Vallarta well out of the
experienced only a light rain with no wind
and we are already back at work as usual
with full power and internet access.
The sun is shining again.
Truly someone is looking over this town!
Very bad for the Costa Alegre area, but much
less damage to structure, lives and the
economy than if it had hit either Manzanillo
or Puerto Vallarta.
Even though Puerto Vallarta is back up
and running as usual, people displaced by
Hurricane Patricia in the Costa Alegre area
will need our help to recover from this
catastrophic event. You can donate to
the relief efforts in a tax-deductible safe
and secure fashion through such
international organizations as:
The International Community Foundation
The Salvation Army
Central American and Mexican Hurricane
You can also donate directly to one of our
NATURAL HURRICANE BARRIER
Puerto Vallarta is in the tropics, which
means tropical storms and even hurricanes are normal
occurrences throughout rainy season. Luckily for
visitors to the city, Puerto Vallarta has a couple of
natural barriers which prevent storms from entering
the city. The predominant wind pattern is from
the SW, which causes approaching weather patterns to
be weakened over Cabo Corrientes. In addition,
the Bay of Banderas acts as a natural buffer, keeping
the storms out to sea instead of entering the city.
As a result, Puerto Vallarta has the enviable position
of being virtually hurricane-free all year round.
HURRICANE CATEGORIES BY WIND SPEED
Less than 39 mph (64 km/h)
an organized storm notable only because
it could become stronger.
39-73 mph (64-118 km/h)
or no damage, local flooding, business as
usual in the tropics.
74-95 mph (119-153 km/h)
to buildings, just tree limbs down, signs
blown around, etc.
96-110 mph (154-177 km/h)
and Roof Damage, some downed trees, coastal
111-130 mph (178-209 km/h)
damage to small residences, coastal flooding,
131-155 mph (210-249 km/h)
damage, buildings destroyed, major flooding,
Over 155 mph (249 km/h)
18 ft. +
damage, mass evacuation, flooding, life-threatening
November 2015 -
Category 5 Hurricane Patricia grew from a
tropical storm to the most powerful hurricane ever
recorded in only 30 hours. She packed
sustained winds of 200 mph (320 km/hr) with gusts
recorded up to 250 mph (400 km/hr) as she prepared
to make landfall near Puerto Vallarta.
Tourists and residents were evacuated by the tens of
thousands in the hours before the storm, over 500
flights were cancelled, and residents prepared for
the kind of catastrophic damage wreaked by Typhoon
Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013. She was so
strong, she had some experts considering raising the
Category scale where she would rank as an
incomprehensible Category 7 Hurricane.
Mercifully, Patricia made landfall
about halfway between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo,
along the sparsely populated Costa Alegre near
Cuixmala, about 180 miles (290 km) south of Puerto
Vallarta. Although her sustained winds were
still a devastating Category 5 with 165 mph (265
km/hr) at landfall (trailing only 195 mph Hainan in
recorded history), the hurricane force winds
stretched only 35 miles from her center and
metropolitan areas of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo
were spared the brunt of her wrath, experiencing
only rain and little wind with little or no damage.
In an area of 8 million people, it was still bad,
particularly for the villages along Costa Alegre,
but could have been so much worse.
November 2015 -
Hurricane Blanca became the earliest
Category 4 storm on record as it neared Puerto
Vallarta, thankfully dropping to a Category 2 and
passing hundreds of miles offshore. Puerto
Vallarta experienced some surf but otherwise was
largely unaffected. There was no disturbance to
flights or touristic activity save for a delay in
beach and boating activities.
Hurricane Odile passed Puerto Vallarta with only
minor damage reported. However, it went on to become
the strongest hurricane ever to hit Cabo San Lucas
and cause significant damage to that resort town.
Many guests scheduled to visit Cabo ended up
visiting Puerto Vallarta instead.
2009 - Although
Hurricane Rick became a massive category 5
hurricane, the strongest in the Eastern
Pacific in over a decade, and the second
strongest in history, with sustained winds
of 180 mph (285 km/hr), it passed Puerto
Vallarta well out to sea. We received
only a very small amount of rain and almost
no wind. Hurricane Rick did cause some
disruption in cruise schedules for one or
two days, but cruise passengers are always
covered by our excellent no port-no pay
Rick looked initially like it was headed for
a direct hit on Cabo San Lucas, but instead
fizzled out and made landfall about 15 miles
(25 km) north of Mazatlan with sustained
winds of only 55 mph, a tropical storm, but
not a hurricane. Mazatlan received
quite a bit of rainfall, and some trees and
signs were down, but that was all. No
major damage was incurred. Puerto
Vallarta received no impact from the storm
and vacations continued as normal.
- Category 1 Hurricane Andres passed Puerto
Vallarta as a Tropical Storm, but swerved West into
the ocean, and Puerto Vallarta only received some
drizzle and clouds. There was no impact on the
area. By the next morning, it had fizzled out
into a Tropical Depression.
- Category 5 Hurricane
John looked like it was on a collision course
with the city, causing a great deal of preparation and
worry. However, like so many hurricanes before
it, Hurricane John swerved to the west at the last minute,
and completely spared Puerto Vallarta, instead making
landfall eventually just North of Los Cabos. Other
hurricanes this year such as Lane and Paul passed well
out into the Pacific, heading toward the Baja.
- Category 5 Hurricane Kenna was the first major
storm to hit Vallarta in over 35 years. The third
strongest storm on record ever to hit Pacific Mexico,
she made landfall about 100 miles NW of Vallarta, near
San Blas, on October 25th with winds of 140 mph, causing
over $101 Million USD in damage to the coastline.
Over 100 people were injured, with no deaths reported,
and 95% of the buildings in San Blas were damaged.
In Puerto Vallarta, the storm surge broke over the sea
wall with 10-foot waves and caused damage to hundreds
of coastal buildings of Puerto Vallarta as well, including
150 stores and 3 hotels, at a cost of over $5 Million
USD, despite winds in the city itself of only 50 mph.
52 people were reported injured in Vallarta.
- Tropical Storm Javier dropped a whopping 17.33
inches of rain on Puerto Vallarta, causing local flooding,
but no major damage.
- Category 4 Hurricane Nora caused a hurricane
warning to be issued for the Puerto Vallarta area, but
the storm moved offshore at the last minute, heading
for the Baja instead. No damage was reported in
- Category 5 Hurricane Linda passed by without
much incident. The storm, carrying 185 mph winds,
did produce waves that caused beachfront hotels to close,
and some minor flooding, though no major damage was
- Category 1 Hurricane Hernan made landfall near
Barra de Navidad, and carried northward through Puerto
Vallarta. However, the land weakened the storm
rapidly, and although the area experienced 13-foot waves
and flooding in the Melaque area, including some road
washouts, no deaths were reported, and most of the damage
was to the outlying rural coastal areas.
- Category 1 Hurricane Lilly made landfall near
Puerto Vallarta, where it claimed the lives of 12 people
- 9 on one capsized boat. Isla Cuale was flooded,
causing it's residents to relocate to the new Colonia