NASA sees major Hurricane Raymond lashing western Mexico

Oct 21, 2013 by Rob Gutro
NASA's Terra satellite flew over Raymond on Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. EDT and saw clouds associated with Raymond's northern quadrant were streaming over mainland Mexico, despite the center being over open water. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

Low pressure System 96E developed quickly over the weekend of Oct. 19 and 20 and by Oct. 21 had grown into Hurricane Raymond. Before Raymond exploded into a major hurricane NASA's Terra satellite flew overhead from space and NOAA's GOES satellite provided images of Raymond as a major hurricane.

On Oct. 19 at 11 p.m. EDT, System 96E organized into Tropical Depression 17-E about 205 miles/330 km south of Acapulco, Mexico. By 5 a.m. EDT on Oct. 20, the depression strengthen into Tropical Storm Raymond.

NASA's Terra satellite flew over Raymond on Oct. 20 at 1800 UTC/2 p.m. EDT when it was a off the coast of southwestern Mexico. The visible image was taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument and showed that clouds associated with Raymond's northern quadrant were streaming over mainland Mexico, despite the center being over open water. Six hours later, Raymond reached hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph/120 kph.

On Oct. 21 Hurricane warnings and watches were in effect as Raymond brought heavy rains, gusty winds and rough seas to western Mexico.

A Hurricane Warning was posted from Tecpan De Galeana to Lazaro Cardenas, while a Hurricane Watch was in effect from Acapulco to Tecpan De Galeana. In addition, a Tropical Storm Warning was In effect from Acapulco to Tecpan De Galeana.

At 8 a.m. EDT/1200 UTC, Hurricane Raymond's maximum sustained winds were around 120 mph/195 kph making it a . A "major hurricane" is a storm reaching Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale that measures hurricane intensity. Some strengthening is possible during the next day or so, according to the National Hurricane Center.

This infrared image of Hurricane Raymond was taken on Oct. 21 at 1200 UTC/8 a.m. EDT when it was a major hurricane and it was lashing western Mexico. Credit: NASA GOES Project

Raymond's center or eye was located near latitude 16.2 north and longitude 102.3 west, about 115 miles/185 km south-southwest of Zihuatanejo, Mexico. That's also about 165 miles/265 km west-southwest of Acapulco.

Raymond is crawling northward at 2 mph/4 kph, which means a longer lashing of coastal Mexico. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Raymond will continue to drift northward and closer to the coast today.

NOAA's GOES-West satellite took an infrared image of Hurricane Raymond on Oct. 21 at 1200 UTC/8 a.m. EDT when it was a major hurricane and it was lashing western Mexico. The image clearly showed Raymond's eye. At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. NASA's GOES Project created the image using data from the NOAA satellite.

In addition to -force winds, storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves is expected to produce significant coastal flooding in areas of onshore flow within the warning areas. Rainfall expected from the storm is forecast to be between 2 to 4 inches with isolated amounts up to 8 inches over the Mexican state of Guerrero and Michoacan. For updated warnings and watches visit the National Hurricane Center webpage: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.

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