The Atlantic hurricane season is inching closer to reaching the end of the main 2021 storm name list, with Sam chugging through the ocean as a major Category 4 storm. Sam continues to track westward, remaining quite distanced from any land at the present, but is a storm that warrants close monitoring for the next 10-14 days. Read on where things currently stand with Sam.
HURRICANE SAM MAINTAINS MAJOR STATUS
With an ample amount of warm Atlantic waters at its disposal, Sam is reaping the beneficial atmospheric conditions as it continues to churn in the ocean.
As such, Sam has undergone intensification since appearing last week. On Saturday, the storm crossed the Category 3 threshold, qualifying it as a major hurricane, then hit Category 4 later in the day.
As of the Sunday morning update from the U.S. National Hurricane Center, the hurricane was about 1,510 km east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands, moving west-northwest near 13 km/h. This general direction is expected to continue Sunday, followed by a turn toward the northwest on Monday. Then, a northwestward motion is forecast to continue through mid-week.
Sam remains a Category 4 hurricane, as maximum sustained winds are near 230 km/h, with higher gusts. Some fluctuations in intensity are expected during the next day or so. Thereafter, some slow weakening is forecast.
Forecasters are keeping an eye on Sam for potential Canadian impacts, but it is much too early to know whether Atlantic Canada will be threatened by Hurricane Sam in the next 10-14 days.
"The most likely scenario is that Sam will recurve and stay out to sea and not be a major threat to Canada or the U.S., but [pose] a threat to Bermuda. However, it is still possible that Sam will take a more southerly track and be a threat to the southeastern U.S. in roughly 9-12 days, or the storm could take a turn far enough to the west that it would be a threat to Atlantic Canada in 10-14 days," says Dr. Doug Gillham, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
Sam is the seventh hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic season. Hurricane season traditionally runs from June 1st to Nov. 30, with substantial flexibility on either side of that range.
Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the Atlantic hurricane season.