Hurricane Sam swirled in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday with winds of 125 mph, down from a peak of 150 mph on Sunday.
While Sam is a monster of a hurricane, it will remain in the best place possible for a dangerous storm at the start of the week – largely out over the open ocean, away from any land masses, AccuWeather said. No coastal watches or warnings were in effect.
The hurricane was not forecast to hit any land areas as it slowly tracks northwest and then north over the next few days across the Atlantic.
"Sam will pass well to the northeast of the northern Leeward Islands Wednesday and Thursday," the National Hurricane Center said.
But the hurricane center said swells from Sam will reach the East Coast of the United States later this week, which "could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions."
As of 11 a.m. Monday, Sam had weakened to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. But it remained a major hurricane, which is any storm classified as a Category 3 hurricane or greater.
AccuWeather forecasters say confidence is growing that the United States will miss out on a direct hit from Hurricane Sam, but the monster storm will still be able to make some waves. https://t.co/Sqbc1IPUcK pic.twitter.com/oJ5C4iYUt3
— AccuWeather (@accuweather) September 27, 2021
The hurricane center said Sam was a small tropical cyclone; its hurricane-force winds extended outward just 30 miles from its center.
Sam is the 18th named storm of the Atlantic season and the seventh hurricane, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. Only one other hurricane season – 2020 – on record has had 18 named storms at this point.
The remaining two names on the list this year are Victor and Wanda. A supplemental list approved by the World Meteorological Organization will replace the Greek alphabet names used during last year's record-breaking season, when 30 named storms formed.
Forecasters also were monitoring three other weather systems across the Atlantic Ocean that were expected to become tropical depressions sometime this week. None of those systems were an immediate threat to any land areas.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hurricane Sam is a Category 3 storm, but shouldn't make landfall