Hurricane Sam grows stronger, hits Category 4 status as it marches west

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Hurricane Sam grows stronger, hits Category 4 status as it marches west
Hurricane Sam grows stronger, hits Category 4 status as it marches west

The Atlantic Hurricane season took a step closer to overrunning the main 2021 storm name list, with both Hurricane Sam and, briefly, Subtropical Storm Teresa meandering through the Atlantic. Sam is by far the larger of the two, hitting major hurricane status Saturday as it continues to track westward. See below for a summary on where things stand with Sam.

HURRICANE SAM INTENSIFIES INTO MAJOR STORM

With a vast 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 gone from strength to strength since appearing last week. On Saturday, the storm crossed the first the Category 3 threshold, qualifying it as a major hurricane, then hit Category 4 later in the day.

As of the Saturday evening update from the U.S. National Hurricane Center, the hurricane was about 1,655 km east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands, moving west-northwest near 17 km/h. A slower motion to the west-northwest is expected over the weekend, followed by a turn to the northwest on Monday. The storm featured maximum sustained winds of 220 km/h, with additional strengthening expected overnight.

Sam Track (1)
Sam Track (1)

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Some fluctuations in the hurricane's intensity are possible early next week.

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.

SamSteering
SamSteering

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.

Thumbnail courtesy of NOAA.

Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the Atlantic hurricane season.