MIAMI (AP) — The first hurricane of the eastern Pacific season formed hundreds of miles off Mexico’s coast Saturday and could become a major storm by Sunday though it poses no immediate threat to land, forecasters in Miami said.
Amanda emerged as a Category 1 hurricane about 645 miles (1,035 kilometers) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and had sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph). The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Amanda was moving west-northwest Saturday at about 5 mph (7 kph) while rapidly intensifying.
Senior Hurricane Specialist Stacy Stewart told The Associated Press that Amanda does not appear to pose any threat to mainland Mexico at least over the next five days. He said it could become a major hurricane sometime Sunday, still far out in the Pacific.
“The forecast is calling for it to remain far offshore,” Stewart said, adding the storm could eventually generate strong surf, especially along Mexico’s Baja California coast.
No coastal watches or warnings were in effect Saturday.
The eastern Pacific season opened May 15, two weeks ahead of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season that begins June 1.
Federal forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released forecasts for both areas recently. In the Atlantic, they said, they expect eight to 13 named tropical storms, of which three to six could become hurricanes. Of those, one or two major hurricanes with winds over 110 mph are forecast.
In the eastern Pacific, Stewart said, NOAA forecasters are calling for 14 to 20 named tropical storms, of which seven to 11 are forecast to become hurricanes. Three to six of those hurricanes are expected to become major hurricanes, he said.
Hurricane Amanda Advisory
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami, Fl
200 pm PDT Sat May 24, 2014
…Amanda a little stronger…
Summary of 2:00 pm PDT…2100 UTC…information
- Location…11.4n 110.3w
- About 660 mi…1060 km sw of manzanillo mexico
- Maximum sustained winds…80 mph…130 km/h
- Present movement…wnw or 290 degrees at 5 mph…7 km/h
- Minimum central pressure…987 mb…29.15 inches
Watches and warnings
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.
Discussion and 48-hour outlook
At 2:00 pm PDT…2100 UTC…the eye of hurricane amanda was located near latitude 11.4 north…longitude 110.3 west. Amanda is moving toward the west-northwest near 5 mph…7 km/h. A turn toward the northwest with a slight decrease in forward speed is expected on Sunday, followed by a turn toward the north Sunday night or Monday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph…130 km/h…with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next day or two…and Amanda could become a major hurricane on Sunday.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 25 miles…35 km…from the center…and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles…110 km.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 987 mb…29.15 inches.
Hazards affecting land
Next complete advisory…8:00 pm PDT.