The first tropical storm for the eastern Pacific 2014 hurricane season has been named.
Tropical storm Amanda formed about 620 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico and the National Hurricane Center predicts the system will reach hurricane status in strength within the next few days (possibly by this afternoon). However, it is also estimated the storm will start moving north soon after at a lower speed - about 5 miles per hour – away from land and weakening.
NA: Here's the first system of the Pacific hurricane season, Tropical Storm Amanda. Should stay out at sea. http://t.co/Q7nz0oaJr5
— Storm Alert 3 HD (@WRCBweather) May 24, 2014
On Friday morning, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami observed the storm having maximum sustained winds of 40 mph while slowly moving west-northwest. Hurricane specialist Robbie Berg indicates that current conditions favor a rapid intensification phase through the weekend. By early morning on Monday, Amanda should have reached a Category 1 hurricane status with winds of up to 75 mph. In an online discussion message, he explains:
“After 48 hours, a combination of increasing shear caused by the approaching trough and decreasing sea surface temperatures along the forecast track should cause steady to rapid weakening. The new intensity forecast is a little stronger than the previous forecast through 48 hours, and after that it shows a faster weakening than the previous forecast.”
In other words, the winds will likely reduce this storm. Wind shear (created by winds moving in different directions or speeds that blow above the ocean) can potentially rip storms apart and diminish their strength - and that’s exactly what’s expected to transpire with Amanda after Monday.
By the early part of next week, Amanda should weaken as it accelerates northward. By Wednesday, predictions are that it should have fallen back to tropical storm status. The spaghetti plot generated by the National Hurricane Center demonstrates the most plausible direction storms like Amanda might take, based off a series of possible tracks for different conditions.
While predictions based on a system’s strength are more difficult to estimate than its direction, specialists have no reason to expect that tropical storm Amanda should pose a threat to North American land.
To keep following this storm, you can check in with www.nhc.noaa.gov.
Image via Youtube