The Latest: Hurricane Patricia fades to tropical depression - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

The Latest: Hurricane Patricia fades to tropical depression

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Hurricane Patricia (PHOTO: stationcdrkelly/Instagram) Hurricane Patricia (PHOTO: stationcdrkelly/Instagram)
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico -

The latest on Hurricane Patricia (all times local):

9:55 a.m.
    
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Patricia has now degraded to tropical depression status over northern Mexico.
    
Patricia was once the strongest hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere, but it has weakened rapidly since hitting land Friday evening.
    
By midmorning Saturday, the storm had sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) and it was located about 95 miles (155 kilometers) northeast of Zacatecas.
    
Remnants of the storm are expected to help feed rains over southern Texas.
    
9:20 a.m.
    
Puerto Vallarta heaved a collective sigh of relief Saturday morning to find itself largely unscathed by Patricia.
    
People snapped selfies next to an iconic sculpture overlooking the sea and business owners swept sidewalks as they would on any morning. There were puddles downtown, but nothing more than a passing thunderstorm might leave.
    
Maximiliano Macedo of Puerto Vallarta strolled arm in arm with his wife down the waterfront unable to resist the curiosity of seeing things by the light of day.
    
In his words, "Fortunately, nothing happened here."
    
7:50 a.m.
    
Residents of the coast where Patricia came ashore last night describe an enraged sea crashing into hotels, scooping beach away from their foundations, and howling winds that toppled trees and telephone posts.
    
Domingo Hernandez is a watchman at the Hotel Barra de Navidad in the resort village of the same name. He says "waves were coming into the hotel," and adds that "All the streets here in town are full of downed trees all over the place."
    
He describes Patricia as the strongest storm he's seen in a quarter century of living on the coast.
    
Mexico's Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid says major resorts like Puerto Vallarta had had "extraordinary luck" in avoiding damage from the once immensely powerful storm.
    
He says mountains around the city "served as a barrier."
    
7:15 a.m.
    
Patricia has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves across Mexico.
    
The storm's maximum sustained winds decreased Saturday morning to near 50 mph (80 kph) with rapid weakening expected to continue.
    
Patricia is centered about 35 miles (55 kilometers) northeast of Zacatecas, Mexico, and is moving toward the north-northeast at 21 mph (33 kph).
    
The storm made landfall Friday evening on Mexico's Pacific coast as a monstrous Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph (270 kph).
    
___
    
3:45 a.m.
    
Hurricane Patricia continues to weaken, dropping to a Category 1 storm as it crosses Mexico.
    
The storm's maximum sustained winds early Saturday had decreased to near 75 mph (120 kph) with rapid weakening expected to continue.
    
The storm made landfall Friday evening on Mexico's Pacific coast as a monstrous Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph (270 kph).
    
Patricia is currently centered about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south-southwest of Zacatecas, Mexico, and is moving north-northeast near 21 mph (33 kph).
    
___
    
1:15 a.m. Saturday
    
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Hurricane Patricia has weakened to a Category 2 storm, with sustained winds of 100 mph (155 kph).
    
The storm made landfall Friday evening on Mexico's Pacific coast as a monstrous Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph (270 kph).
    
But it is rapidly losing steam as it moves over a mountainous region inland from the shore.
    
Early Saturday, its center was about 135 miles (215 kilometers) southwest of Zacatecas, Mexico.
    
Authorities say that so far there are reports of flooding and landslides, but no word of fatalities or major damage.

___
    
10:20 p.m.
    
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Hurricane Patricia has weakened to barely a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph).
    
The storm made landfall Friday evening on Mexico's Pacific coast as a monstrous Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph (270 kph).
    
But it is rapidly losing steam as it moves over a mountainous region just inland from the shore.
    
Late Friday, its center was about 50 miles (75 kilometers) southeast of the resort city of Puerto Vallarta, where rain began to fall harder than it had all day but there was still no sign of strong winds.

___
    
7:45 p.m.
    
Mexican authorities have received reports of some flooding and landslides after powerful Hurricane Patricia came ashore in a relatively unpopulated stretch of Pacific coast.
    
Mexican Transportation Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza says officials have been bracing for the worst and are "not declaring victory" just yet.
    
Patricia's center made landfall in an area of Jalisco state with few population centers. The nearest big city, Manzanillo, was outside the extent of the storm's hurricane-force winds.
    
TV news reports from the coast show some toppled trees and lampposts and flooded streets.
    
Patricia's projected path now takes it over a mountainous region dotted with isolated hamlets that are at risk for mudslides and flash floods.

___
    
6:35 p.m.
    
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Hurricane Patricia's eye has made landfall on Mexico's southwestern Pacific Coast.
    
The center said the storm had estimated winds of 165 mph (270 kph) when it touched land near Cuixmala. That's still a Category 5 hurricane.
    
The location is about 55 miles (85 kilometers) west-northwest of the port city of Manzanillo.
    
Forecasters say the storm is capable of "potentially catastrophic" damage.
    
___
    
4:50 p.m.
    
Mexico's top-flight soccer league is postponing a weekend match in Guadalajara due to Hurricane Patricia, the powerful Category 5 storm heading for a Friday landfall on the country's Pacific Coast.
    
The league says via Twitter that Saturday's match between the city's Chivas and Atlas clubs will be played Nov. 11 instead.
    
Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco state, one of several in the path of the monster storm.
    
Forecasts indicate Patricia will likely pass to the west of the city, perhaps still at hurricane strength.
    
___
    
4:10 p.m.
    
Hurricane Patricia's center is now located about 60 miles (95 kilometers) west of Manzanillo, Mexico, and about 110 miles (175 kilometers) south-southeast of Cabo Corrientes.
    
The storm's maximum sustained winds have eased slightly from 200 mph (325 kph) to near 190 mph (305 kph), but it's still a monster Category 5 hurricane. Patricia is moving north-northeast at 14 mph (22 kph).
    
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Patricia is expected to remain "extremely dangerous" through landfall in the coming hours.
    
Afterward, Patricia is expected to rapidly weaken over the mountains of Mexico.
    
___    

___
    
3:20 p.m.
    
Carla Torres and her extended family arrived at a Red Cross shelter in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in the afternoon, afraid they wouldn't be safe from Hurricane Patricia in her home.
    
Torres says reports of the Category 5 hurricane's record strength convinced the family they had to leave. The house is just two blocks from a river and sits on a corner that she figures is vulnerable to high winds.
    
In her words, "Here we are with those who can give us help."
    
Patricia is the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere and is expected to make landfall on Mexico's southwestern coast in the coming hours.
    
___
    
3:00 p.m.
    
About 90 people are hunkered down in a Red Cross shelter in Puerto Vallarta as rain from Hurricane Patricia begins to pound the roof.
    
They include senior citizens in wheelchairs and young children snuggled between parents on mattresses on the floor. Many are anxiously kneading their hands or staring intently at nothing in particular amid the heavy, humid air.
    
Wendi Mozingo and six family members sit in a circle in folding chairs. They arrived from Austin, Texas, on Wednesday and had rented a beachfront house.
    
The family left a couple of hours earlier after the property management told them they had to get out. They brought a few changes of clothes and left everything else behind.
    
They were supposed to depart on Tuesday. Now Mozingo says, "We're leaving as soon as we can."
    
___
    
2:40 p.m.
    
State Department spokesman Mark Toner says American authorities are closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Patricia and its potential impact on the U.S. citizens who live in the affected area.
    
Toner estimated Friday that tens of thousands of Americans are believed to live or be vacationing in the area that is likely to be affected by the storm.
    
He says U.S. officials are closely coordinating with Mexican authorities, and are advising American citizens to follow guidance by local authorities.
    
The U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez has established an emergency hotline to respond to inquiries regarding U.S. citizens in the affected area. Officials say contact information can be found online at travel.state.gov and at mexico.usembassy.gov.
    
___
    
1:40 p.m.
    
A Portland man who traveled to Puerto Vallarta for a friend's 40th birthday has decided to ride out Hurricane Patricia rather than evacuate.
    
Brian Bournival says it seems the best decision because traffic is at a stop on the evacuation routes out of Puerto Vallarta and the road to the airport is a parking lot.
    
Bournival is expressing confidence in the construction of the hotel that's a few blocks from the ocean. He describes the pilings that the Pinata PV hotel is built on as "ginormous."
    
He and a dozen other guests gathered in a common area Friday morning; they have food, water and medical kits.
    
The others who came down for the birthday are in a different hotel, leaving Bournival alone with a giant cake he bought.
    
___
    
1:10 p.m.
    
Hurricane Patricia's center is now located about 85 miles (135 kilometers) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and about 155 miles (250 kilometers) south of Cabo Corrientes.
    
The storm is moving north at 12 mph (19 kph) and continues to have maximum sustained wind near 200 mph (325 kph), with higher gusts.
    
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Patricia is expected to remain an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 hurricane through landfall in the next several hours.
    
Afterward, Patricia is expected to rapidly weaken over the mountains of Mexico.
    
___
    
12:45 p.m.
    
About 200-300 people are waiting at Puerto Vallarta's convention center for buses to take them to safety ahead of Hurricane Patricia's expected arrival later Friday in southern Mexico.
    
Miscommunication led several hotels to bring guests there. The building features large glass panels that could be deadly given the storm's high winds, and the center was not prepared to take them.
    
Steve Routson of Tacoma, Wash., had one more day left on his vacation with 17 friends who have been meeting up here for years. They rode out another hurricane in their hotel in 2002 but have kept returning. Staff from their hotel was at the center waiting with them Friday.
    
Routson said "they stayed with us every minute."
    
He added that they were being taken to a shelter on a university campus.
    
Haneef Mohammed of Portland, Ore., said he and his wife were Friday morning they had to leave and were sent to the convention center. They munched on tostadas and ceviche while waiting in a light rain for a bus, unsure where it would take them.
    
Their flight out of Puerto Vallarta Friday afternoon was cancelled. Mohammed managed to book another one for Sunday, but there's no guarantee.
    
"I don't think we are getting out for two or three days," he said.
    
___
    
12:15 p.m.
    
Travel writer and blogger Jeana Shandraw is among those who are evacuating Puerto Vallarta as the powerful Hurricane Patricia bears down on southwestern Mexico.
    
Shandraw says via email that she was surprised by how calm people in the city seemed before she left, with many of them seemingly going about business as usual.
    
She's heading by bus for Guadalajara and reports congestion on the highway, with outward lanes clogged by cars and a steady stream of emergency vehicles heading the other way.
    
__
    
11:40 a.m.
    
The head of Mexico's National Water Commission says Hurricane Patricia is heading in the direction of a spot called Playa Perula, a Pacific coast locale in the state of Jalisco.
    
The nearest city is Manzanillo, a bustling port in Colima state.
    
Commission director Roberto Ramirez says the storm's path can still vary somewhat, but officials now consider Manzanillo to be the city most at risk for Patricia's potentially catastrophic effects.
    
Patricia is now the largest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. The storm is expected to make landfall later Friday.
    
___
    
11:20 a.m.
    
Meteorologists say Hurricane Patricia's incredibly small 8-mile wide eyewall is likely to contract and be replaced later today - a normal process that often weakens a storm slightly.
    
But that may not be completely good news, because it would make the overall size of the storm slightly larger.
    
MIT meteorology professor Kerry Emanuel says "It's looking like a very bad disaster is shaping up."
    
Winds that restrain a storm are starting to pick, up so former hurricane hunter meteorologist Jeff Masters says Patricia may weaken a bit to winds of about 175 mph at landfall. That would still be a top-of-the-chart hurricane.
    
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration atmospheric scientist Jim Kossin calls Patricia "a three-pronged hazard" that will likely wreak havoc with high winds, saltwater storm surge and inland freshwater flooding from heavy rains.
    
Hurricane Patricia is expected to make landfall later Friday on Mexico's southwestern Pacific Coast.
    
__
    
10:10 a.m.
    
Hurricane Patricia is now located about 125 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and about 195 miles (310 kilometers) south of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico.
    
Patricia is moving north at 10 mph (17 kph) and continues to have maximum sustained winds remain near 200 mph (325 kph) with higher gusts.
    
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Patricia is expected to remain an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 hurricane through landfall later Friday. Afterward, Patricia is expected to rapidly weaken over the mountains of Mexico.
    
___
    
10 a.m.
    
Teams of police and civil protection are walking along Puerto Vallarta's waterfront Friday morning advising people to evacuate.
    
Daniel Garcia of Mexico's civil protection agency was dressed as a lifeguard in his red swimsuit and yellow poncho with a flotation device slung over his shoulder.
    
He says they are advising business owners and anyone else to move at least three blocks from the water's edge. Previous hurricanes have taught them that these streets fill with sand and flying stones. Most businesses were closing, but authorities are concerned because some business owners told employees to stay put as a security measure.
    
___
    
9:50 a.m.
    
A top civil protection official says that three airports in the path of monster Category 5 Hurricane Patricia in southwestern Mexico have been shut down as the storm approaches.
    
Luis Felipe Puente Espinosa, national coordinator for civil protection, says the airports are in Tepic, in Nayarit state, Puerto Vallarta, in Jalisco state and Manzanillo, in Colima state.
    
___
    
9:30 a.m.
    
Millions of Texans face a soggy weekend and the threat of additional bad weather linked to Hurricane Patricia as the monster Category 5 storm heads toward southwestern Mexico.
    
Experts say remnants of Patricia could reach Texas within days.
    
The National Weather Service reported unrelated showers Friday in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin.
    
A flash flood watch is in effect through Sunday morning for DFW, Austin and San Antonio.
    
A coastal food warning was in effect through Friday night in Corpus Christi. Galveston was under a coastal flood advisory until Saturday night.
    
___
    
9 a.m.
    
Only a few people have been seen going to shelters in Puerto Vallarta, where 14 schools and other buildings have been set up to house evacuees.
    
Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio told Mexico's Radio Formula Friday morning that officials are especially worried about the safety of people in the tourist resort of Puerto Vallarta, in Jalisco state, and in the nearby community of Bahia de Banderas, in Nayarit state.
    
Osorio says, "We need people to understand the magnitude of the hurricane, it is a devastating hurricane, the biggest one ever registered."
    
He adds that the government has deployed soldiers and federal police agents to help out, but has provided no numbers.
    
__
    
8:40 a.m.
    
The lobby of the Sheraton Hotel in Puerto Vallarta is bustling, with a long line of people forming to check out. More than 900 guests had rooms at the hotel the previous evening, but many wanted to get out of town before the storm arrived on Friday.
    
Sandra Rojas and her husband, a veterinarian from San Jose, Costa Rica, are among those getting ready to leave.  After loading their cars, they are driving to the Jalisco state capital of Guadalajara to plan their next move.
    
"The hotel is saying that nothing is going to happen, but it's nature," said Rojas. "Anything can happen."
    
__
    
8:10 a.m.
    
The director of Mexico's National Water Commission says that Hurricane Patricia is powerful enough to lift up automobiles, destroy homes that are not sturdily built with cement and steel and will be able to drag along people caught outside when the storm strikes.
    
Director Roberto Ramirez said Friday that the people in the most danger from the hurricane will be those on the coast, especially in the state of Jalisco.
    
___
    
6:45 a.m.
    
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says that Patricia continues to be the strongest eastern north Pacific hurricane on record and is heading toward a "potentially catastrophic landfall" in southwestern Mexico later Friday.
    
Patricia is centered about 145 miles (235 kilometers) southwest of the Pacific resort of Manzanillo and about 215 miles (345 kilometers) south of Cabo Corrientes.
    
It has maximum sustained winds of 200 mph (325 kph) and it is moving north-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph)
    
___
    
5:45 a.m.
    
The U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization says Hurricane Patricia is packing comparable force to that of Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 dead or missing in the Philippines two years ago.
    
WMO spokeswoman Claire Nullis says Patricia is evolving quickly and already "the strongest-ever hurricane to hit the eastern north Pacific region."
    
She says the hurricane is currently south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and on track to make landfall as a Category 5 hurricane later in the day.
    
Nullis says Patricia's winds - which are around 200 mph (325 kph) - are strong enough "to get a plane in the air and keep it flying."
    
WMO says Patricia's minimum central pressure is comparable to that of Haiyan, which leveled entire towns in the central Philippines in 2013.
    
___
    
5:30 a.m.
    
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Category 5 Hurricane Patricia is the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western hemisphere as it lumbers toward Mexico's Pacific coast.
    
Dave Roberts, a hurricane specialist at the Hurricane Center, said Friday morning that the storm is the strongest one they've seen in the eastern Pacific or in the Atlantic with maximum sustained winds near 200 mph (325 kph).
    
The Hurricane Center is predicting a "potentially catastrophic landfall" in southwestern Mexico later in the day.
    
Patricia is centered about 160 miles (255 kilometers) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and is moving north-northwest near 10 mph (17 kph).
    
___
    
3:45 a.m.
    
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Patricia is the strongest storm on record for the eastern north Pacific as it moves toward Mexico's coast.
    
The Category 5 storm's maximum sustained winds increased early Friday to near 200 mph (325 kph).
    
The Hurricane Center is predicting a "potentially catastrophic landfall" in southwestern Mexico later in the day.
    
Patricia is centered about 160 miles (255 kilometers) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and is moving north-northwest near 10 mph (17 kph).
    
___
    
12:30 a.m.
    
Hurricane Patricia, which the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami is calling a "potentially catastrophic" Category 5 storm, has gained strength as it moves toward the Mexican coast.
    
The Center reported early Friday that Patricia's maximum sustained winds had grown to near 185 mph (295 kph). The storm was located about 185 miles (295 kilometers) south-southwest of the port of Manzanillo, Mexico, and was moving north-northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).
    
The center said that on the current forecast track, Patricia is expected to make landfall Friday afternoon or evening in southwest Mexico.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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