Hurricane Rick was the fifth named storm and fourth hurricane to make landfall along the Pacific coast of Mexico in 2021. 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.
Rick caused one confirmed fatality in Mexico, and caused over $10 million (2021 USD) in damages.
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. An area of disturbed weather became identifiable south of the coast of Guatemala and El Salvador on the next day. Shower and thunderstorm activity was initially scattered, and only gradual development was expected, although the NHC noted that the system would likely become a tropical depression by October 24. On the afternoon of October 21, a broad area of low pressure developed just south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec. Shower activity gradually became better organized, although an advanced scatterometer pass early on October 22 revealed that the system had not developed a closed wind circulation. 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.
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), the depression was upgraded into a tropical storm that evening after an increase in curved band features and upper-level outflow in all directions. 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, 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. That afternoon, Rick attained hurricane status as the cyclone began to curve north-northwestward in response to a weakness in the ridge. 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). 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. 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. 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). At 10:00 UTC, Rick made landfall between Lázaro Cárdenas and Zihuatanejo while at its peak intensity. The system then rapidly weakened while it moved further inland, towards the mountainous terrain of Mexico. Early on October 26, Rick dissipated.