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Hurricane Rick (2021)

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Jan 8, 2022

Hurricane Rick was the fifth named storm and fourth hurricane to make landfall along the Pacific coast of Mexico in 2021.[1] The seventeenth named system and the eighth hurricane of the 2021 Pacific hurricane season, Rick formed as a low pressure system and was quickly upgraded to a tropical depression on October 21. Late on October 22, the storm was designated as a tropical storm and was given the name Rick. A few hours later, on October 23, the storm was upgraded to a hurricane. Rick continued to intensify and reached peak intensity early on October 25, making landfall as a Category 2 hurricane at 10:00 UTC that morning.

Category 2 Pacific hurricane in 2021
Hurricane Rick
Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)

Hurricane Rick nearing landfall near Lázaro Cárdenas on October 24
Formed October 22, 2021
Dissipated October 26, 2021
Highest winds 1-minute sustained: 105 mph (165 km/h)
Lowest pressure 977 mbar (hPa); 28.85 inHg
Fatalities 1 confirmed
Damage > $10 million (2021 USD)
Areas affected Southwestern and Western Mexico
Part of the 2021 Pacific hurricane season

Rick caused one confirmed fatality in Mexico, and caused over $10 million (2021 USD) in damages.[2]

. . . Hurricane Rick (2021) . . .

Map plotting the storm’s track and intensity, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

Map key

  Tropical depression (≤38 mph, ≤62 km/h)
  Tropical storm (39–73 mph, 63–118 km/h)
  Category 1 (74–95 mph, 119–153 km/h)
  Category 2 (96–110 mph, 154–177 km/h)
  Category 3 (111–129 mph, 178–208 km/h)
  Category 4 (130–156 mph, 209–251 km/h)
  Category 5 (≥157 mph, ≥252 km/h)
  Unknown

Storm type
Extratropical cyclone / Remnant low / Tropical disturbance / Monsoon depression

On October 18, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) started highlighting the chances of development of a low pressure area offshore the Pacific coast of Mexico.[3] An area of disturbed weather became identifiable south of the coast of Guatemala and El Salvador on the next day.[4] Shower and thunderstorm activity was initially scattered,[5] and only gradual development was expected, although the NHC noted that the system would likely become a tropical depression by October 24.[6] On the afternoon of October 21, a broad area of low pressure developed just south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec.[7] Shower activity gradually became better organized,[8] although an advanced scatterometer pass early on October 22 revealed that the system had not developed a closed wind circulation.[9] However, a rapid increase in organization soon occurred, and following a Dvorak classification of T2.0/35 mph (55 km/h), the NHC upgraded the low pressure system into a tropical depression at 15:00 UTC on October 21.[10]

At the time of genesis, the depression was moving briskly to the west under the influence of a ridge to its north. Situated within an environment of little vertical wind shear, high moisture, and of warm sea surface temperatures near 86 °F (30 °C),[10] the depression was upgraded into a tropical storm that evening after an increase in curved band features and upper-level outflow in all directions.[11] A central dense overcast subsequently developed, and microwave imagery indicated the development of an ring of deep convection, which is often a precursor to an eye,[12] which prompted the NHC to re-assess the intensity of Rick at 70 mph (110 km/h) and forecast rapid deepening at 09:00 UTC on October 23.[13] That afternoon, Rick attained hurricane status as the cyclone began to curve north-northwestward in response to a weakness in the ridge.[14] An eye briefly became apparent in visible satellite imagery and following measurements from a Hurricane Hunter aircraft, the NHC set the intensity of the storm at 85 mph (140 km/h).[15] During the next 18 to 24 hours, the hurricane exhibited little change in organization as it tracked north; the cause of this arrested development phase was 15 to 25 mph (30 to 35 km/h) of wind shear and an environment of less than 50% relative humidity.[16] However, microwave imagery showed a 25 mi (35 km) wide closed eyewall had re-developed by the evening of October 23, a sign that Rick had resumed intensification.[17] Based on wind measurements from a Hurricane Hunter aircraft, Rick was upgraded into a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale at 06:00 UTC on October 25. The storm also attained its peak intensity of 105 mph (165 km/h) at the same time along with a minimum barometric pressure of 977 mbar (28.9 inHg).[18] At 10:00 UTC, Rick made landfall between Lázaro Cárdenas and Zihuatanejo while at its peak intensity.[1][19] The system then rapidly weakened while it moved further inland, towards the mountainous terrain of Mexico.[20] Early on October 26, Rick dissipated.[21]

. . . Hurricane Rick (2021) . . .

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. . . Hurricane Rick (2021) . . .