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This is What the Strongest Tropical Cyclone Ever Recorded Looked Like From Space

Illustration for article titled This is What the Strongest Tropical Cyclone Ever Recorded Looked Like From Space

Yesterday, NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over Hurricane Patricia, the most powerful tropical cyclone ever measured, and captured this stunning image in infrared.

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Hurricane Patricia made landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico last night, and was downgraded to a tropical storm earlier this morning. The storm is remarkable not only in terms of how powerful it became — yesterday morning, a group of courageous men and women flew into the damn thing and measured wind speeds of 200 MPH and a minimum central pressure of 880 millibars — but how quickly it grew. On October 22, Patricia was a Category one hurricane. By 8 a.m. EDT on October 23, 2015, it had been upgraded to a Category 5 and flagged as the strongest eastern north Pacific hurricane on record.

The storm is expected to dissipate over the rugged terrain of central Mexico this afternoon, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on it. Learn more about this historic weather event over at The Vane.

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[NASA]

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DISCUSSION

On this note, can we give a good shout-out to Facebook’s Safety Check Tool? We (correctly) criticize facebook for a lot of things, but they do get it right from time to time.

I have a lot of friends and family in the Nayarit Riviera (AKA, right in the middle of it). As you might suspect, this kept me up during the night. It’s the first time I’ve come in contact with this, and a centralized, easy way to know people are OK even if communication is spotty, was a godsend.

It’s really a simple thing, but everytime I heard a pop on my cellphone with “so-and-so are OK”, I felt a lot better.

Thankfully, morning came and we now know that everything was a lot less intense than expected, but this morning’s news reports weren’t of much use yesterday at 1am.