Tropical Storm Amanda was officially classified as a hurricane and is the first of 2014’s Pacific season. The National Hurricane Center released a bulletin updating the public on the status of the storm:
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.
Regardless of the fact that tropical storm Amanda was meant to remain just that — a tropical storm — it was later upgraded to a hurricane. However, it’s currently believed that Amanda will only last around 48 hours or so.
The National Hurricane Center went on to inform that:
“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. 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,” they said.
It remains to be seen what the full effect of tropical storm Amanda will be as the various weather and hurricane centers keep a close eye on the situation.