Hurricane Pamela Forms Off Coast of Southwest Mexico, Expected to Strengthen to Category 3 by Landfall

Posted: October 12, 2021 3:16 pm

Texas to See Lingering Effects of Hurricane Pamela by Friday

While it may seem worlds away at this point, Hurricane Pamela is forecast to bring heavy rain and the chance of extreme weather to Texas in the coming days after it finishes wreaking havoc in Mexico.

History of Hurricane Pamela

Tropical Storm Pamela formed just south of Mexico on Sunday evening, becoming the 16th named storm of the 2021 East Pacific season. The storm intensified into a hurricane by Tuesday morning, distinguishing itself as the seventh hurricane of the East Pacific this year. The storm is expected to make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane along the coast of western Mexico by the middle of the week before weakening and moving into Texas as a major weather event.

Hurricane Pamela was a Category 1 hurricane as of Tuesday at 8 am EDT. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm is located about 280 miles to the southwest of Mazatlan, Mexico, moving at a speed of 13 mph as it tracks to the north.

As a result of the impending landfall, tropical storm warnings and watches as well as a hurricane warning have been issued for a long stretch of coastline in southwestern Mexico and the southern tip of Baja California Sur.

What is Next for Pamela

Forecasters are predicting that Pamela will strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane by Tuesday night. This designation translates into a storm with maximum wind speeds of 111 mph or higher. The warm waters in this part of the Pacific Ocean paired with light wind shear will provide the environmental conditions needed for intensification.

Pamela is spinning off the coast of the states of Jalisco, Colima, and Michocán. However, the current winds in the area are expected to steer the storm to the northeast in the coming days. The effects of the storm will begin to be felt in southern Baja California Sur and Sinaloa sometime on Tuesday night.

What to Expect with Pamela

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The heaviest rainfall associated with Pamela is forecast to dump in the higher terrains of Sinaloa and Durango. Up to 16 inches of rain may fall by the time the storm moves on. Because the heavy rain will fall along the sloped terrain, meteorologists are warning of the possibility of mudslides and flash flooding.

The coastline will bear the brunt of the strongest wind gusts as Pamela moves onto the shore. Gusts of 120 – 140 mph could be possible. The storm will begin to lose intensity as it moves inland, gradually transitioning to a tropical rainstorm. This transition will likely happen by Thursday.

Concerns for Texas

Although Pamela will lose its hurricane status as it moves inland, it will still continue to remain a heavy rain maker across central Mexico and into some areas of Texas by the end of the week. Central and eastern Texas are the areas most likely to be in store for persistent rainfall by Friday. Some locations may see rainfall amounts as high as eight inches.

The Dallas and Fort Worth area is in the path of this tropical rainstorm, causing a messy start to the weekend.

The potential of flooding as a result of the rainstorm is a concern to cotton farmers. This coming week is an important time period as the harvest of cotton hits its peak. Any amount of heavy rainfall may damage the crops as harvest time comes to a close in the coming weeks.

East Pacific Hurricane Season

Should Pamela make landfall as a Category 3 storm as predicted, it will be the second time this year that a major hurricane makes landfall in Mexico. However, it will be the first time this year that a major hurricane hits Mexico after originating in the East Pacific basin. Hurricane Grace slammed into the coast of eastern Mexico as a Category 3 storm in August after it formed in the Atlantic basin.