Usually when I make a sentence like that it is about my wife, Amanda. But this time we’re talking about Hurricane Amanda, the first hurricane of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season.
Amanda reached maximum winds of 155 mph on or about 8:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time on Sunday morning. That make Amanda the strongest Eastern Pacific May Hurricane on record. There are usually very few hurricanes in the Eastern Pacific in May, and the few that occur happen late in the months. Here’s the historical distribution of Eastern Pacific hurricanes, form 1966-1996:
Amanda is the earliest on record Eastern Pacific Category 4 hurricane.
The hurricane date for the Eastern Pacific is not well organized and accessible (without working hard) as far as I can tell. Wikipedia is shamefully badly organized and out of date, and the NWS focuses much more on Atlantic hurricanes because they are far more likely to menace the US (though Eastern Pacific storms of course can end up in Hawaii, and occasionally hit the US West Coast … and one actually slammed into Texas!).
So I can’t say much more about Amanda. The extra intensity and early date is certainly related to enhanced sea surface temperatures in the region, but the relationship between that and the possible coming El Niño can not be established at this time. Putting this another way, we can ask the question, is the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season going to be affected by El Niño, the answer is clearly: We’ll see.
Amanda has weakened since, and is expected to continue to weaken as she moves north and turns into a tropical storm.