As of Saturday afternoon, Hurricane Patricia has been downgraded to a tropical depression after slamming into Mexico as a Category 5 hurricane on Friday near Manzanillo. This is a highly unexpected (and welcome) outcome after the storm roared across the Pacific ocean as the strongest hurricane known to man. On Friday, CNN warned that the storm would remain “extremely dangerous” as it weakened, and The Weather Channel stressed that major flooding issues could be expected as the weekend progresses.
Patricia will likely crumble over Mexico’s mountain terrain and proceed into Texas as a tropical storm, where it could linger for days and contribute to an already moist situation in the Lone Star state. Flooding will remain a distinct possibility, but perhaps Mother Nature spared humanity from the most furious wrath.
In the meantime, the internet is going absolutely bonkers over this video of flight engineer Joseph Kippel and his copilots flying into Hurricane Patricia’s eye wall on Thursday. At that point, the storm had blossomed into a Category 5 hurricane that was forecast as “potentially catastrophic.” Kippel collected data on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and he earned his paycheck with this flight. He tells the camera, “I’m not scared.” But he most certainly was a little terrified as the plane began to violently tremble. The video is absolutely stunning and may make you bend over and kiss dry ground.