Hurricane Lidia charges toward Puerto Vallarta • Earth.com

Hurricane Lidia charges toward Puerto Vallarta

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Hurricane Lidia as it approached the Pacific Coast of west-central Mexico, where the storm made landfall on October 10, 2023.

“This image, acquired by the VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) sensor on the NOAA-20 satellite, shows Lidia at 2:40 p.m. local time (20:40 Universal Time), several hours before landfall,” said NASA.

When the photograph was captured, Lidia was centered 115 miles southwest of Puerto Vallarta with sustained winds of 125 miles per hour. By the time the storm came ashore on the evening of October 10, it had sustained winds of 140 miles per hour. 

“On the afternoon of October 9, Lidia was still a tropical storm spinning over the Pacific Ocean. Within the 24 hours leading up to landfall, it grew in strength by 105 miles (65 miles) per hour.”

Meteorologists Jeff Masters and Bob Henson said this rate of intensification is “very rare.” They noted that Lidia tied as the third-strongest Pacific hurricane on record to make landfall in Mexico.

“The storm downed power lines and trees and blocked roads with debris, according to news reports,” said NASA. “Lidia weakened as it moved toward the country’s mountainous interior, but it continued to deliver widespread heavy rain, which officials warned could lead to flooding and mudslides.”

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

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