Hurricane Pamela Makes Landfall on West Coast of Mexico

Hurricane Pamela made landfall on the west coast of Mexico northwest of Mazatlan near La Cruz on Wednesday morning. At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Pamela was located at latitude 23.7°N and longitude 106.8°W which put it about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of Mazatlan, Mexico. Pamela was moving toward the northeast at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 987 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Bahia Tempehuaya to Escuinapa, Mexico. The Hurricane Warning included Mazatlan. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Altata to Bahia Tempehuaya, Mexico and from Escuinapa to Cabo Corrientes, Mexico.

Hurricane Pamela was being affected by moderate vertical wind shear as it approached the west coast of Mexico. A large upper level trough over the western U.S. was producing southwesterly winds that were blowing toward the top of Pamela’s circulation. Northerly winds in the lower levels of the western side of Hurricane Pamela pulled drier air into its circulation. The combination of moderate vertical wind shear and drier air caused an asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms. The strongest thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in bands in the northeastern part of Hurricane Pamela. Bands in other parts of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Winds to hurricane force extended out 30 miles (50 km) in the northeastern quadrant of Pamela’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 130 miles (210 km) on the eastern side of the circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 80 miles (130 km) from the center of circulation.

The upper level trough over the western U.S. will steer Hurricane Pamela quickly toward the northeast during the next 24 hours. The circulation in the lower levels of Pamela will weaken quickly when it moves over the mountains in western Mexico. Pamela will drop locally heavy rain over parts of Sinaloa and Durango. Flash floods could occur in some locations. The remnants of of the middle and upper parts Pamela’s circulation could contribute to rainfall over Texas on Thursday.