Oct 26, 2015

Hurricane Patricia: Why a record storm did surprisingly little damage

Brad Plumer
Photo by Brett Gundlock/Getty Images
Photo by Brett Gundlock/Getty Images

Last week, meteorologists were (rightly) cranking the sirens over Hurricane Patricia. In the span of just 30 hours, an ordinary tropical storm had mutated into the most powerful hurricane ever measured, with ferocious 200-mile-per-hour winds. And the cyclone was barreling right toward Mexico's southwestern coast...So what happened? It'd be wrong to say Patricia was overhyped. A similar-size typhoon hit the Philippines in 2013 and killed more than 6,300 people. Rather, chalk it up to luck and readiness.