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Storm briefly strongest May hurricane in E.Pacific

May 26, 2014

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane Amanda rapidly gained force far off of Mexico’s Pacific coast Sunday, briefly becoming the strongest May hurricane on modern record for the Eastern Pacific before beginning to lose steam.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the main body of the category-4 hurricane posed little threat to land. It was centered about 720 miles (1,155 kilometers) south of the southern tip of Baja California late Sunday, and forecasters predicted it would rapidly weaken Monday while staying well out to sea at least through Friday.

At one point Sunday, the storm’s maximum winds hit 155 mph (250 kph), but by late Sunday had decreased to 145 mph (230 kph). That was the previous highest speed recorded for the region in May, for Hurricane Adolph in 2001. Earlier storms may have been stronger, but reliable records didn’t become possible until satellites went into use in the mid-1960s.

While Amanda was 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.

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season officially started May 15. The Atlantic season starts June 1.

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