Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the western hemisphere on Friday, diminished to a tropical storm Saturday after a nightong clash with Mexico's mountains.
Top winds measured at 200 mph a day earlier were 50 MPH just 12 hours after the tropical monster made landfall on Mexico's southwest coast, according to the National Hurricane Center's 7aCT advisory Saturday.
"Patricia has been weakening rapidly while moving farther inland over the rugged terrain of western Mexico," the NHC said. "Although the circulation is still intact, the associated convection has lost a significant amount of organization."
While the winds are no longer the big threat, the system is delivering massive rainfall. "Patricia is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 8 to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of
20 inches, over the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan, and Guerrero through Saturday," the NHC said. "These rains are likely to produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides."
Patricia is a fast-moving storm, heading north-northeastward toward the Gulf of Mexico. "This motion is expected to continue until Patricia dissipates over the mountains of Mexico by tonight," the NHC said Saturday.