Hurricane Sam to stay well offshore this weekend but will still kick up dangerous surf along the East Coast

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Be extra careful if you're headed to the beach along the East Coast this weekend.

Though it will roar hundreds of miles offshore, powerful Hurricane Sam is still forecast to kick up "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions" along the entire Atlantic seaboard over the weekend, the National Hurricane Center said.

Rip currents are a deadly beach hazard, which cause about 100 drowning deaths each year in the U.S., according to the National Weather Service.

As of Thursday evening, Hurricane Sam was the most powerful storm on the planet, AccuWeather said. The Category 4 hurricane was packing 145-mph winds and churning 550 miles to the south-southeast of Bermuda and moving north-northwest at 16 mph.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from Sam's center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.

Tropical storm conditions are possible on Bermuda, where a tropical storm watch was in effect. "At this time it appears the main impact to Bermuda will be rough surf and rip currents from late Thursday into Saturday as Sam passes to the east," AccuWeather meteorologist Adam Douty said.

Tropics watch: Hurricane Sam grows stronger; 'life-threatening' surf expected along US coast

Swells generated by Sam will impact the northern Leeward Islands and the Greater Antilles, including Puerto Rico, during the next few days, the hurricane center said.

Swells are expected to reach Bermuda and the Bahamas by Friday.

Hurricane Sam and Tropical Storm Victor continued to churn in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021.
Hurricane Sam and Tropical Storm Victor continued to churn in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Victor, which formed Wednesday afternoon, continued to spin in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean, the hurricane center said. The forecast for the storm shows it curving north and staying away from land as it swirls over the open ocean off the coast of Africa.

Victor is the 20th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. Only one name – Wanda – remains on the regular list of storm names. A new supplemental list of names will be used if the regular list of names is exhausted before the season ends.

Forecasters also were monitoring one other weather disturbance in the Atlantic, but it didn't appear likely to form into a depression or storm as of Thursday morning.

Track Hurricane Sam

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hurricane Sam will bring dangerous surf along the East Coast

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