Hurricane Amanda maintains Category 4 strength
Monday, May 26, 2014, 7:25 AM - Hurricane Amanda remains a powerful Category 4 storm far of Mexico's Pacific coast, but is expected to begin weakening Monday.
Amanda became the first named storm of the Pacific hurricane season late last week and quickly picked up hurricane status over the weekend.
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, this is the strongest hurricane ever recorded during the month of May.
The hurricane is centred about 1,100 km south of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula and is moving in a north-northwesterly motion.
Despite being forecast to stay out to sea, Mexico's National Meteorological Service said rains associated with the storm were likely to drench much of western and central Mexico.
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.
The eastern Pacific hurricane season officially started May 15, while the Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1.
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 SCIENCE BEHIND THE WEATHER: How do hurricanes form? See the video below.