by Staff Writers
Mexico City (AFP) May 24, 2014
Tropical Storm Amanda intensified Saturday, becoming the season's first hurricane as it churned off Mexico's Pacific coast, weather officials said.
Mexico's National Meteorological Service said in its 1530 GMT bulletin that Amanda attained maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour, making it a category one hurricane.
The storm, which is continuing to strengthen, could eventually become a category three storm, weather officials said, the designation for storms with winds of up to 129 miles (208 kilometers) per hour.
Located about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) southwest of the port city of Manzanillo, Amanda poses no immediate threat to land for now, forecasters said.
The hurricane was moving toward the northwest at around seven kilometers (five miles) per hour.
Amanda gets the 2014 hurricane season -- which officially gets underway on June 1 -- off to an early start.
Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States predicted last week that the 2014 season would be "near or below average," thanks to an anticipated El Nino weather phenomenon.
The region in 2014 could see between eight and 13 tropical storms originating in the Atlantic Ocean, NOAA said, of which between three to six could reach hurricane strength.
NOAA said residents in hurricane-prone areas should still be on their guard throughout the entire season, which stretches through November 30.
The 2013 season was placid, with fewer named storms than the US weather agency had anticipated.
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