- Sam became the seventh hurricane of the season and the 18th named storm on Friday morning.
- It strengthened over open Atlantic waters and was forecast to become a major hurricane.
- Forecasters say it is too early to tell how it will affect land, but urged residents of the US East Coast to monitor the system.
Sam strong in a big storm The National Hurricane Center said it is likely to strengthen through Saturday and the weekend.
Sam was located about 2,300 miles southeast of Miami as of Saturday at 11 a.m. EDT. The Hurricane Center said a “small but dangerous” storm was moving to the west-northwest at 10 mph.
The system accelerated rapidly, From tropical depression to hurricane in less than 24 hours. Sam strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane by Saturday evening. . The hurricane’s maximum sustained winds are up to 140 mph.
A major hurricane is classified as one with winds of at least 111 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center, Sam is still a “small” hurricane, with hurricane-force winds extending up to 30 miles from the center of the storm.
According to the Hurricane Center, the storm is expected to strengthen further on Saturday night.
AccuWeather forecasters say the system could turn to the US in early October.
Sam is the 18th named hurricane and seventh hurricane of the Atlantic season. Hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University said that only one other hurricane season — 2020 — on record has 18 named storms as of September 23.
There have been three other major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger) so far this year: Grace, Ida, and Larry.
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Elsewhere in the tropics, the Hurricane Center is tracking three systems in the Atlantic, including a new one east of the Carolinas.
The remaining names on the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season list are Teresa, Victor and Wanda.
If those names are used, there is a supplementary list approved by the World Meteorological Organization, which replaced the Greek alphabet used during last year’s record-breaking season.
The supplement list includes Adria, Brelen, Caridad, Deshawan, Emery, Foster, Gemma and Heath.
Contribution: Susan Miller, USA Today