Last updated: 05:19 PM ET, Thu October 22 2015

Hurricane Patricia Strengthens, Approaches Mexico's Pacific Coast

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | October 22, 2015

Hurricane Patricia Strengthens, Approaches Mexico's Pacific Coast

Hurricane Patricia strengthened to a Category 4 storm Thursday, with maximum sustained winds reaching as high as 130 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center confirmed via Reuters.

As a result, a tropical storm watch has been issued for the popular tourist resort destination of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Meanwhile, a hurricane warning has been issued for the port city of Manzanillo and surrounding areas along the Mexican coast from Cabo Corrientes to Punta San Telmo, where the storm is expected to make landfall sometime Friday evening.

Here's a look at Patricia's latest projected path courtesy of KPLC-TV's Ben Terry:

Given Patricia's projected path, travelers visiting the Mexican resort cities of Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo and Acapulco are encouraged to remain up to speed on the latest weather forecasts and warnings. 

In a travel advice update issued Thursday, the U.K.'s Foreign and Commonwealth Office warned that "Patricia is forecast to bring hazardous sea and weather conditions to parts of the west coast from around Oct. 23."

With the storm expected to gain more strength before making landfall, it will carry the threat of damaging winds, several inches of heavy rainfall and potential flooding in some places. 

Currently Puerto Vallarta and surrounding areas are experiencing overcast skies that are expected to give way to heavy wind and rain Friday. 


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