As the fourth strongest landfalling Pacific storm ever, storm Lidia was a strong tropical cyclone. In the 2023 Pacific hurricane season, Lidia began as a disturbance south of Mexico and developed into the fifteenth tropical depressive symptoms, twelfth named storm, eighth hurricane, and sixth significant hurricane. Following a parallel path along the Mexican coast as a tropical storm, Lidia quickly strengthened and reached landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in the state of Jalisco.
The Evolution of Meteorology
The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) predicted on September 28 that a low pressure system would develop south of Mexico, with a 20% probability of tropical cyclogenesis developing within seven days. Two days later, the NHC raised the likelihood of development to 70%; this was because a tropical wave south of Mexico was producing convection, or an area of thunderstorms. On October 2, a low pressure region formed as a consequence of convection becoming more intense and being helped by favorable climatic circumstances. On October 3, around 9:00 UTC, the National Weather Service issued advisories on Tropical Storm Lidia since the meteorological system was sufficiently coordinated. By then, the low pressure system had developed into a well defined circulation producing curving rainbands from the thunderstorms.
Because of the high amounts of moisture and sea surface temperatures of about, Lidia was predicted to strengthen into a hurricane within five days after its formation. The early deterrent, which moved the convection out from the center, was a presence of easterly wind shear. Lidia continued north-northwest, guided by a ridge over Mexico, but the thunderstorms persisted to pulse above the center. The wind shear did not stop Lidia from intensifying. On October 6, the storm began to move westward as the circulation grew closer to the deepest convection, an indication of a tropical cyclone that was forming.
Later that day, even though the intensity had strengthened to just below hurricane-force, or winds of 74 mph (118 km/h), the wind shear largely exposed the center from the thunderstorms. At that point, different storm models predicted various consequences for Lidia’s future. Everyone agreed that a mid-latitude trough would direct the storm towards the north in the near future. Lidia was expected to accelerate as it approached the western coast of Mexico, according to some computer models, while others predicted that the wind shear would persist to be high enough to weaken the storm.
Lidia started its much-awaited turn to the north on October 7. There was still doubt concerning the storm’s prospects due to the wind shear. The NHC predicted that day that a storm was going to make landfall in the Mexican state of Nayarit. for example By October 8, Lidia’s structure had reorganized, with a mid-level eye developing and the center under the deepest convection. The influx of drier air prevented a more speedy intensification, and the lower- and mid-level blood vessels were dispersed.In Lidia started to shift northeast on October 9 because of the impending mid-level trough, which provided better upper-level support. The NHC projected that the strengthening trend would continue up to the coast as convection above the center consolidated concurrently.
The Hurricane Researchers flew into Lidia late on October 9 to observe the inner core of the developing storm, which had a central barometric pressure of 985 (29.1 inHg). Early on October 10, the storm, which was around 365 miles (590 kilometers) southwest of Puerto Vallarta, became stronger and turned into a hurricane. Lidia grew into a Category 2 hurricane as it reached the Mexican shore, forming an eyewall.By 21:30 UTC on October 10, it had quickly intensified to a Category 4 hurricane, and two hours later, with winds of 140 mph (220 km/h), it made landfall near Las Penitas in the Mexican state of Jalisco, just south of Puerto Vallarta. On satellite images at that point, the eyewall was clearing out.Lidia, a Category 5 hurricane which arrived at landfall late on October 9, quickly began to lose strength as it passed across western Mexico’s hilly terrain. The convection decreased and the eye soon weakened. Less than ten hours after making landfall on October 11, the storm lost its distinct fundamental around 9:00 UTC. Northern Mexico had been impacted by Lidia’s leftovers as they moved northeast, producing extensive rainfall.
Impact of meteorology and preparations
In 23 Mexican local governments, schools were closed.After Lidia’s powerful winds brought down a tree on a van, one person perished near Punta Mita, while another perished in a flooding river. On October 11, the airport in Puerto Vallarta was closed as a result of 12 flights being rescheduled. Federal Highway 200 was partially prevented by several uprooted trees, and 136 people were staying in shelters. To assist in rescue efforts, soldiers were stationed in Nayarit and 23 makeshift shelters were opened.In Autlán de Navarro, many rivers and streams overflowed, flooding homes and forcing the closure of a hospital.