Tropical Storm Amanda is now officially Hurricane Amanda, the first hurricane of the 2014 pacific season.
The National Hurricane Center released this bulletin giving the latest updates of Amanda:
AT 800 AM PDT...1500 UTC...THE EYE OF HURRICANE AMANDA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 11.4 NORTH...LONGITUDE 109.9 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 BY EARLY SUNDAY...FOLLOWED BY A TURN TOWARD THE NORTH BY EARLY MONDAY.
AMANDA IS STRENGTHENING RAPIDLY...AND MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 75 MPH...120 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. CONTINUED RAPID STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE...AND AMANDA COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE BY 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 989 MB...29.21 INCHES.
But before you panic, you should read the last part:
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
— Hurricane Central (@twc_hurricane) May 24, 2014
This storm however, has been full of surprises. Amanda began as a tropical depression and was upgraded to a tropical storm a few days ago. At first, it was expected that Amanda wouldn't make it to hurricane status.
— Iris Hermosillo (@IrisABC15) May 23, 2014
But more likely than not Amanda will be gone and forgotten within 48 hours. "Amanda is forecast to continue strengthening rapidly, potentially reaching the threshold for major hurricane in about 24-36 hours. After 48 hours, southerly vertical shear is expected to increase, which is likely to cause Amanda's low- and mid-level circulations to decouple," The National Hurricane Center stated, "Therefore, fast weakening is indicated toward the end of the forecast period. The updated NHC forecast is higher than the previous one during the first 48 hours to account for the high likelihood of continued rapid intensification, but it is largely unchanged thereafter."
Image via Central Pacific Hurricane Center.