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Season's first storm, Amanda, roils waters off Mexico

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The first tropical storm of the season, Amanda, formed off Mexico's Pacific coast Friday, but for now poses no threat to land, US weather forecasters said.

Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), said Amanda, at 1500 GMT, was swirling some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south-southwest of the port city of Manzanillo.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers (40 miles) per hour, 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.

NOAA forecasters predicted Thursday that the season will be "near or below average," thanks to an anticipated El Nino weather phenomenon.

The 2013 season was placid, with fewer named storms than the US weather agency anticipated.

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.

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