Hurricane Sam Strengthens to Category 4, Shows No Signs of Stopping

by Samantha Whidden

On Tuesday (September 28th) forecasters have confirmed that Hurricane Sam is strengthening to be a category 4 hurricane. It is not showing any signs of slowing down. 

According to National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Sam now has maximum sustained winds of nearly 130mph. It is currently located approximately 610 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands and moving towards the northwest around 9mph. 

The National Hurricane Center also predicts that Hurricane Sam will increase in forward speed beginning on Thursday. It will turn toward the north by Friday. Hurricane-force winds also extend outward up to 40 miles from the center. Its tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.

The Center then reported large swells generated by Hurricane Sam are affecting the Leeward Islands. It will spread to portions of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas, and Bermuda by Thursday or Friday. Significant swells are also likely to reach the east coast of the U.S. and Atlantic Canada by the weekend. 

Current warnings are that the swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. “Beachgoers and other interests along these coasts are urged to follow the advice of lifeguards and local officials through the upcoming weekend.”

AccuWeather Hurricane Experts Weigh on What to Expect from Hurricane Sam & Other Systems 

Meanwhile, AccuWeather experts are now predicting what is expected from Hurricane Sam and other systems that may pop up.

“There are three systems that have the potential to become tropical depressions and storms this week over the Atlantic basin,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski stated. He also said only two of the systems are likely to take on a new name for the 2021 Hurricane season list. 

AccuWeather also stated that the 2021 Hurricane Season has been at times neck and neck with the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The 2020 season had a total of 30 named storms. As of yesterday (September 27th), 2020 was in a five-way tie with 1887, 1995, 2010, 2011, and 2011 seasons for fourth place when it comes to the number of named tropical systems at 19. 

Along with Hurricane Sam, one of the current systems is located just a few hundred miles east of the Atlantic coast of the U.S. That system reportedly has a 50/50 chance of actually become a tropical depression or storm. Kottlowski said, “If it should reach tropical storm status, then it would likely retain the name of Peter. Since this is the old circulation center from the former tropical storm from earlier in September.”

AccuWeather did confirm that regardless of whether or not Peter will make a comeback, the system does not pose a threat to land. The system is likely to remain weak and keep its distance from the islands.