2014's First: Major Hurricane Storms Along in Pacific

The first hurricane of 2014 in the eastern Pacific is moving north on a path that could take it toward Mexico late next week although it’s not expected to threaten the mainland, weather forecasters said Saturday.

Hurricane Amanda on Saturday reached major hurricane status as a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, reported. But Amanda is expected to weaken substantially early next week as wind shear disrupts its circulation, said. By Thursday, its winds were expected to be down to 35 mph.

Late Saturday, Amanda was 665 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, moving west-northwest, with a turn north expected on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said.

It’s unusual for a named tropical storm to form so early in the eastern Pacific – let alone a major hurricane. In an average year, the first named storm comes about June 10, and the first Category 3 storm doesn’t form until July 19, the hurricane center says.

For the Atlantic hurricane season, the average dates are even later: July 9 for the first tropical storm, Aug. 10 for the first hurricane, Sept. 4 for the first Category 3 storm, the hurricane center says.

— Gil Aegerter
Image: Hurricane Amanda wind force probabilities
Hurricane Amanda wind force probabilities. NOAA