Hurricane Amanda Weakening, Expected to Downgrade to Tropical Storm

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 06:58 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Hurricane Amanda off Mexico's Pacific coast is now a Category 3 storm after it regained some strength overnight, resulting in near-125 mph maximum sustained winds early Tuesday. Despite the increased strength, the hurricane is not considered a threat to land.

Centered about 620 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, Hurricane Amanda is expected to weaken by Wednesday, at which point the U.S. National Hurricane Center expects it to be downgraded to a tropical storm, The Associated Press reported. The hurricane is presently moving north-northwest at approximately 5 mph.

In addition to being the first hurricane named in the 2014 Eastern Pacific hurricane season, which officially began on May 15 and will end on Nov. 30, Hurricane Amanda also holds the record for being the earliest Category 4 storm on record for the Eastern Pacific Basin, AccuWeather.com reported. The 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1 and will end on November 30.

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As a result of the storm, Mexico's National Meteorological Service expects severe rain to drench much of western and central Mexico, Fox News reported.

According to AccuWeather.com meteorologist Steve C. Travis, Hurricane Amanda will "continue to have an indirect impact with rough surf and strong rip currents off of the Mexican coastline, specifically along the Mexican Riviera, which will linger through the week."

In addition to the start of the Pacific and Atlantic Hurricane seasons, fears of an El Niño weather front developing during the summer months are especially high this year.

In April, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center released a statement suggesting there is a more than 50 percent chance of an El Niño weather front this summer due to "above-average sea surface temperatures developing over much of the eastern tropical Pacific" during March.

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NOAA's prediction was supported by NASA's Earth Observatory, which earlier in the month released images that showed a rise of sea water in the eastern Pacific resembling the 1997-1998 El Niño weather pattern that produced extreme weather conditions around the globe.

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