As Tropical Depression One was upgraded to tropical storm on Friday morning, it was given the name “Amanda” and became the first tropical storm of the 2014 East Pacific season. The initial forecasts had the storm possibly reaching hurricane status by Memorial Day, but not really getting much stronger than a category one. Earlier today, the models had shown signs Amanda would strengthen a lot and quickly, and it strengthened into a category one hurricane, with winds around 75 mph. The first hurricane of the 2014 East Pacific season is showing signs of getting stronger over the next 48 hours, and to reach “major hurricane” status, with winds of at least 131 mph.
You can see how the winds are swirling in and wrapping around the center of circulation on the visible satellite imagery. The eye is trying to show itself, but there are overcast conditions in that vicinity. A clear, and well defined eye is a sign of a healthy and strong hurricane.
As of the latest update from the National Hurricane Center that came in at 2pm PT, Amanda had strengthened slightly to about 80 mph sustained winds with gusts near 100 mph. The pressure has dropped somewhat to 987 mph, but the storm is still slowly moving to the WNW at 5 mph. It is located roughly 660 miles from the west coast of Mexico.
The path of the storm has it going northward, strengthening to a category 3 hurricane, with winds at least 131 mph sustained, but then quickly loosing that “major hurricane” status, as she runs into some treacherous territory. The jetstream, at that time, will be just north of her path, and the winds aloft will start to shear off the top of Amanda, causing the storm to weaken. She will also run into cooler waters, that come down the west coast of the US and Baja California. During this whole time, Amanda will remain well away from any land masses, but the remnants could bring heavy rains to Mexico, and possibly the southwest US later on next week.
The spaghetti plots, the paths of various computer forecast models, show the hurricane moving towards the north and west. But some have it fizzling out at sea, while a few want to take it close, if not directly towards the Baja California area. At that point, Amanda would likely be a remnant low pressure system.
It looks nice out there today in Los Cabos, Mexico, down at the southern tip of Baja California. But things could go down hill as Amanda, or her remnants, begin to approach the area. Choppy waves, and windy conditions are going to before the storm approaches.
While the East Pacific season has already started, we’ll have to wait several more days until the Atlantic season officially begins. While the seasons typical starts off quiet, and peaks about mid September, there can be times when we see activity right in the beginning.
Where that happens, is what all these red dots are. They are the origin points of tropical systems, over the past climatological period, from May 21-31. Most storms are in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, but several can form in the Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico, & rarely in the western Atlantic.
Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day weekend!
Meteorologist Addison Green ~ Twitter: @agreenWNTV