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Jova and TD-12E kill 18 in Mexico, Guatemala

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 10:18 AM GMT on October 13, 2011

Hurricane Jova has dissipated, but its remnants continues to dump heavy rains over Mexico's coastal mountains near Puerto Vallarta. Jova made landfall on Mexico's Pacific coast at 10 pm PDT Tuesday night as a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds, and was the strongest hurricane to hit Mexico's Pacific coast since Hurricane Jimena hit Baja as a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds in 2009. Jova's torrential rains triggered flooding and mudslides that have killed five people so far in Mexico. Jova's highest rainfall amounts on Tuesday occurred in Coquimatlan, located in the state of Colima, about 30 miles northeast of Manzanillo. Coquimatlan recorded 374.4 mm (14.74") of rain on Tuesday, according to the Mexican weather service. This is not far below the all-time record hurricane rainfall for Colima state, which is 15.57", set in 1998 during Hurricane Javier.

Another significant rainfall threat is the remains Tropical Depression 12-E, which moved inland near the Mexico/Guatemala border yesterday afternoon. TD-12E is being blamed for the deaths of thirteen people in Guatemala, due to flooding, mudslides, and electrocutions from downed power lines. Tropical Depression Irwin, which is headed eastwards towards the same stretch of Mexican coast Jova affected, is expected to dissipate before reaching the coast. It is unlikely Irwin will bring significant rains to Mexico.

Figure 1. True-color MODIS image of Tropical Storm Jova (upper right) and Tropical Storm Irwin (lower left) taken at 1:30 pm EDT October 12, 2011. At the time, Jova had 65 mph winds, and Irwin had 40 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Wunderblogger Mike Theiss is in Barra de Navidad, just north-west of Manzanillo, and received a direct hit from Jova's eye. His final report; "Found a small building north of La Manzanilla directly in path of Hurricane Jova's eye. No power, only iPhone battery and still cell service for now. We will get a direct hit here but no lights to see anything to film. Waves are large and crashing on building. Only going to get worse !! Sorry no photos yet, today was actually nice all day and right at dark wind picked up and knocked out power."

Quiet in the Atlantic
Many of the computer models continue to predict that a strong tropical disturbance capable of becoming a tropical depression could form in the Western Caribbean or extreme southern Gulf of Mexico early next week. Some of the spin and moisture for this storm could come from the remains of TD 12-E.

Jeff Masters


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