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The #1 place in Puerto Vallarta for up-to-the-minute Hurricane Coverage. 

Should a hurricane or Tropical Storm threaten Puerto Vallarta, we will provide you with all the updates as we receive them from real, on-the-ground people, including first-hand photographs of the action (or inaction) as it happens.  If you hear that a hurricane is heading toward Puerto Vallarta, make sure to check here - we'll have the facts.  In addition, we feature information about past hurricanes to threaten the area and general climate information related to the formation and probability of storms in our area.

Updated: 10/24/2015  9:06 AM

Puerto Vallarta Dodges a Bullet

Hurricane Patricia made landfall near Cuixmala on Costa Alegre, about 180 miles south of Puerto Vallarta.  She landed as a category 5 monster, with sustained winds of 165 miles per hour, down from a stunning 200 miles per hour (325 km/hr) measured only a couple hours earlier.  Gusts were measured at up to 400 km/hr...just staggering.  Patricia made history as the strongest hurricane ever recorded, surpassing even the devastating typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, and even after weakening to a still-catastrophic 165 mph by landfall, was the second strongest hurricane ever to make landfall, trailing only Haiyan which struck land with sustained winds of 195 miles per hour.  However she was tightly wound, with hurricane force winds extending only 35 miles from the center, putting Puerto Vallarta well out of the danger zone.

Puerto Vallarta experienced only a light rain with no wind and we are already back at work as usual with full power and internet access.  The sun is shining again.  Truly someone is looking over this town!   Very bad for the Costa Alegre area, but much less damage to structure, lives and the economy than if it had hit either Manzanillo or Puerto Vallarta. 

Even though Puerto Vallarta is back up and running as usual, people displaced by Hurricane Patricia in the Costa Alegre area will need our help to recover from this catastrophic event.  You can donate to the relief efforts in a tax-deductible safe and secure fashion through such international organizations as:

The International Community Foundation
The Salvation Army
Central American and Mexican Hurricane Relief Fund

You can also donate directly to one of our respected local charities.


Puerto Vallarta is in the tropics, which means tropical storms and even hurricanes are normal occurrences throughout rainy season.  Luckily for visitors to the city, Puerto Vallarta has a couple of natural barriers which prevent storms from entering the city.  The predominant wind pattern is from the SW, which causes approaching weather patterns to be weakened over Cabo Corrientes.  In addition, the Bay of Banderas acts as a natural buffer, keeping the storms out to sea instead of entering the city.  As a result, Puerto Vallarta has the enviable position of being virtually hurricane-free all year round.

Tropical Depression

Less than 39 mph (64 km/h)


Flooding, an organized storm notable only because it could become stronger.
Tropical Storm

39-73 mph (64-118 km/h)


Minor or no damage, local flooding, business as usual in the tropics.
Category 1 Hurricane

74-95 mph (119-153 km/h)

4-5 ft. No damage to buildings, just tree limbs down, signs blown around, etc.
Category 2 Hurricane 96-110 mph (154-177 km/h) 6-8 ft. Window and Roof Damage, some downed trees, coastal flooding.
Category 3 Hurricane 111-130 mph (178-209 km/h) 9-12 ft. Structural damage to small residences, coastal flooding, evacuation possible.
Category 4 Hurricane 131-155 mph (210-249 km/h) 13-18 ft. Extensive damage, buildings destroyed, major flooding, evacuation mandatory.
Category 5 Hurricane Over 155 mph (249 km/h) 18 ft. + Massive damage, mass evacuation, flooding, life-threatening situations.


August 2015- Category 5 Hurricane Patricia grew from a tropical storm to the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in only 30 hours.  She packed sustained winds of 200 mph (320 km/hr) with gusts recorded up to 250 mph (400 km/hr) as she prepared to make landfall near Puerto Vallarta.  Tourists and residents were evacuated by the tens of thousands in the hours before the storm, over 500 flights were cancelled, and residents prepared for the kind of catastrophic damage wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013.  She was so strong, she had some experts considering raising the Category scale where she would rank as an incomprehensible Category 7 Hurricane.

Mercifully, Patricia made landfall about halfway between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, along the sparsely populated Costa Alegre near Cuixmala, about 180 miles (290 km) south of Puerto Vallarta.  Although her sustained winds were still a devastating Category 5 with 165 mph (265 km/hr) at landfall (trailing only 195 mph Hainan in recorded history), the hurricane force winds stretched only 35 miles from her center and metropolitan areas of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo were spared the brunt of her wrath, experiencing only rain and little wind with little or no damage.  In an area of 8 million people, it was still bad, particularly for the villages along Costa Alegre, but could have been so much worse. 

August 2015- Hurricane Blanca became the earliest Category 4 storm on record as it neared Puerto Vallarta, thankfully dropping to a Category 2 and passing hundreds of miles offshore.  Puerto Vallarta experienced some surf but otherwise was largely unaffected. There was no disturbance to flights or touristic activity save for a delay in beach and boating activities.

September 2014 - Hurricane Odile passed Puerto Vallarta with only minor damage reported. However, it went on to become the strongest hurricane ever to hit Cabo San Lucas and cause significant damage to that resort town.  Many guests scheduled to visit Cabo ended up visiting Puerto Vallarta instead.

October 2009 - Although Hurricane Rick became a massive category 5 hurricane, the strongest in the Eastern Pacific in over a decade, and the second strongest in history, with sustained winds of 180 mph (285 km/hr), it passed Puerto Vallarta well out to sea.  We received only a very small amount of rain and almost no wind.  Hurricane Rick did cause some disruption in cruise schedules for one or two days, but cruise passengers are always covered by our excellent no port-no pay policy. 

Hurricane Rick looked initially like it was headed for a direct hit on Cabo San Lucas, but instead fizzled out and made landfall about 15 miles (25 km) north of Mazatlan with sustained winds of only 55 mph, a tropical storm, but not a hurricane.  Mazatlan received quite a bit of rainfall, and some trees and signs were down, but that was all.  No major damage was incurred.  Puerto Vallarta received no impact from the storm and vacations continued as normal.

June 2009 - Category 1 Hurricane Andres passed Puerto Vallarta as a Tropical Storm, but swerved West into the ocean, and Puerto Vallarta only received some drizzle and clouds.  There was no impact on the area.  By the next morning, it had fizzled out into a Tropical Depression.

November 2006 - Category 5 Hurricane John looked like it was on a collision course with the city, causing a great deal of preparation and worry.  However, like so many hurricanes before it, Hurricane John swerved to the west at the last minute, and completely spared Puerto Vallarta, instead making landfall eventually just North of Los Cabos.  Other hurricanes this year such as Lane and Paul passed well out into the Pacific, heading toward the Baja.

October 2002 - Category 5 Hurricane Kenna was the first major storm to hit Vallarta in over 35 years.  The third strongest storm on record ever to hit Pacific Mexico, she made landfall about 100 miles NW of Vallarta, near San Blas, on October 25th with winds of 140 mph, causing over $101 Million USD in damage to the coastline.  Over 100 people were injured, with no deaths reported, and 95% of the buildings in San Blas were damaged.  In Puerto Vallarta, the storm surge broke over the sea wall with 10-foot waves and caused damage to hundreds of coastal buildings of Puerto Vallarta as well, including 150 stores and 3 hotels, at a cost of over $5 Million USD, despite winds in the city itself of only 50 mph.  52 people were reported injured in Vallarta.

September 1998 - Tropical Storm Javier dropped a whopping 17.33 inches of rain on Puerto Vallarta, causing local flooding, but no major damage.

September 1997 - Category 4 Hurricane Nora caused a hurricane warning to be issued for the Puerto Vallarta area, but the storm moved offshore at the last minute, heading for the Baja instead.  No damage was reported in Vallarta.

September 1997 - Category 5 Hurricane Linda passed by without much incident.  The storm, carrying 185 mph winds, did produce waves that caused beachfront hotels to close, and some minor flooding, though no major damage was reported.

October 1996 - Category 1 Hurricane Hernan made landfall near Barra de Navidad, and carried northward through Puerto Vallarta.  However, the land weakened the storm rapidly, and although the area experienced 13-foot waves and flooding in the Melaque area, including some road washouts, no deaths were reported, and most of the damage was to the outlying rural coastal areas.

September 1971 - Category 1 Hurricane Lilly made landfall near Puerto Vallarta, where it claimed the lives of 12 people - 9 on one capsized boat.  Isla Cuale was flooded, causing it's residents to relocate to the new Colonia Pa'lo Seco.

Have damage reports, photos to submit, or even questions?  Contact Us.