Amanda becomes the strongest-ever hurricane in May
Sunday, May 25, 2014, 1:06 PM - Well, that escalated quickly.
On Saturday, Amanda became the first hurricane-strength tropical storm of 2014, crossed the 120 km/h wind speed threshold as it made its way through the Pacific.
But by Sunday morning, the storm had strengthened to category 4 status, with winds up to 250 km/h, just shy of the 252 km/h threshold that would make it a category 5.
NHC officially increased Hurricane Amanda to 135 knots, to the edge of Category 5 but not quite. pic.twitter.com/on7SuDqGvt— Ryan N. Maue (@RyanMaue) May 25, 2014
The National Hurricane Centre says this is the strongest hurricane ever recorded during the month of May.
"Little change in strength is expected today, with steady weakening expected to begin tonight and continue through Tuesday," the centre says.
Pacific hurricane season is considered to run from May 15 to November 30. Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a near normal to above normal hurricane season in the eastern Pacific. Forecasters say up to 20 named storms could form, including up to 11 hurricanes. Three to six of those are expected to be category 3 or higher.
The Atlantic hurricane season, in contrast, is expected to be quieter. NOAA's 2014 Atlantic hurricane outlook predicts is a near-normal to below normal season.
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season saw 14 tropical storms, including 2 hurricanes.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE WEATHER: How do hurricanes form? See the video below.