Sam is now a hurricane, forecast to rapidly intensify. A depression could also form

Tropical Storm Sam became a Category 1 hurricane on Friday. It is expected to intensify rapidly into a major hurricane over the next 24 hours as it moves across Atlantic.
According to the National Hurricane Centers forecast track, Sam will be a Category 3 storm on Friday night or Saturday with sustained winds of 120 mph. As it moves across open Atlantic waters, it will briefly reach Cat 4 strength. Then it will weaken back to Cat 3.

Forecasters are also keeping an eye on three disturbances that could become a tropical depression next week. These systems are not expected to threaten Florida.

Here's more:

Hurricane Sam forecast

The National Hurricane Center stated that Sam will become a major hurricane by Friday night or Saturday. Once Sam is stronger, it should enter an environment that is slightly less favorable, which should help to level off its strength.

The hurricane centers forecast indicates that it will reach maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, which is the minimum required to make it a Cat 4 storm on Sunday. It will weaken to a Cat 3 storm on Monday.

The storm was approximately 1,365 miles east of the Northern Islands as of Friday's 11 AM advisory. Maximum sustained winds were near 75 mph, with higher gusts.

Although Hurricane Sam was able to slow down a little Friday afternoon, it is expected that the storm will continue intensifying rapidly.

Although Sam is moving closer to the Caribbean now, the forecast track suggests it will turn northwest as it approaches northern Leeward Islands next week. This will keep it in the Atlantic. New models show a northerly bend to the storm, which likely keeps it from Florida.

Forecasters recommend that you keep an eye out for Sam, as it is still too early to know for certain.

It's a great way to begin Friday. We can see overnight models in better agreement next week with a NW motion. This trend will continue, which will increase confidence in the outcome. However, there is still plenty of time for us to keep an eye on it. For now, threat to Northern Leeward Islands Craig Setzer (@CraigSetzer) September 24, 2021

Sam should be a Category-3 storm with sustained winds maximum of 120 mph by Saturday afternoon. No coastal warnings or watches are in place yet.

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Forecasters pointed out that Sam also has a small wind field. Its hurricane-force winds can extend up to 15 miles, while its tropical-storm force winds can extend up to 60 miles.

Forecasters are also monitoring Sam, the seventh tropical storm of the 2021 Atlantic Season. The hurricane center also monitors three disturbances.

Atlantic disturbances

A tropical wave, one of the disturbances, is expected to move westward off the coast of Africa this weekend. It could then become a tropical depression next week, as it swiftly moves west across the Atlantic.

It was at 8:08 a.m. and had a 40% chance of forming over the next five days.

Forecasters warned that a disturbance expected to affect the west coast Africa this weekend could become a tropical depression next Monday.

Forecasters are also keeping an eye on Odette's remnants, which lie about 600 miles west of the Azores. Forecasters believe that the system will have a short window of opportunity to develop into a tropical or subtropical cyclone when it crosses warmer waters.

Although the hurricane center has reduced its chances of formation by 20% to 20% over the next two-five days, it anticipates that higher-level winds will reduce development opportunities.

A disturbance is also producing thunderstorms and showers just a few hundred miles east from Bermuda. Although the system may develop tropical or subtropical characteristics, strong upper-level wind will likely reduce its formation chances. They were at 40% for the next two to 5 days.