A hurricane named Amanda was seen from space off the Pacific coast of Mexico over the holiday weekend, kicking off the 2014 hurricane season.
Storm winds topped 155 mph over Memorial Day weekend, "securing it a place in the record books as the strongest May hurricane ever seen," LiveScience.com reported
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The cyclone thankfully stayed out at sea, and came 10 days after the official Pacific hurricane season began May 15. It will run through November 30. The Atlantic’s hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30.
Since 1953, the National Hurricane Center has rotated through six alphabetical lists to name the storms. There are separate lists for those in the Pacific and Atlantic, and Hurricane Arthur, the season’s first Atlantic hurricane, is expected to appear in June.
Some names, like Sandy (2012) and Ingrid (2013) are retired if they cause significant death or destruction, out of sensitivity for the survivors.
Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its official forecast for the 2014 season, predicting a 40 percent chance of an above-normal season in the Pacific, and 50 percent chance of a below-normal season for the Atlantic.
The recurrence of El Niño, "a band of warm ocean water that occasionally develops off South America’s west coast," according to Time
, was factored into the predictions. Because it increases wind shear in the Atlantic, it often subdues hurricanes. It will likely have the opposite effect in the Pacific.
For a full list of upcoming hurricane names, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov
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