The strongest hurricane 'ever recorded in the Western hemisphere' looks terrifying from space

Hurricane Patricia is about to barrel into the mid-Pacific coast of Mexico as a monster category 5 storm.

The storm is so powerful that forecasters are calling it “the strongest ever recorded in the Western hemisphere,” according to the Associated Press.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hurricane hunters who are flying through the storm, and an international fleet of satellites are keeping close tabs on the storm.

The above image is a composite of several taken by EUMETSAT weather satellites around around 1 a.m. EDT on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. Because it was taken in the dark, it’s 100% not true-to-life: It’s infrared weather data layered on top of NASA’s “blue marble” satellite images.

The following image is a composite made in daylight by NOAA satellites. The incredible size of Patricia compared to nearby land is clear:

Hurricane hunters are flying through Patricia are reporting sustained winds of 200mph and even stronger gusts.

 

Patricia is tracking about 145 miles off the Mexican coast and headed straight for Manzanillo at a rate of 12mph, with NOAA expecting the storm’s powerful core to reach the city this afternoon or evening, local time. 

However, NOAA has also issued a hurricane warning for more than 300 miles worth of coastline:

Hurricane patricia path mexicoPlay GIFNOAAHurricane Patricia’s projected path as of 8 a.m. EDT on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015.

 

Inhabitants can expect torrential rain, incredibly damaging winds, powerful storm surges, and more from Patricia.

If you live in or around this region of Mexico, it’s time to find safe shelter.

You can keep track of Hurricane Patricia by visiting NOAA’s National Hurricane Center website.

NOW WATCH: Nate Silver explains why meteorologists get the weather forecast so wrong

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.