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Hurricane Sam's Swells Are Expected Along Atlantic Beaches This Weekend

September 30, 2021

Update as of Friday 9:30am: The National Weather Service is warning of high rip current risks along Atlantic Beaches from the Georgia line southward to Palm Beach county. Swell from powerful Hurricane Sam east of Bermuda is reaching the coastline and is forecast to continue over the weekend. The swell is likely to generate rip currents that can be dangerous to swimmers.

The hurricane itself is maintaining category 4 intensity with 150 mph winds as of early Friday morning. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Bermuda, which will get brushed with the outer winds from the large hurricane as the core passes east of the island. Sam is forecast to slowly weaken over the weekend as it moves over progressively cooler water. It is forecast to lose its tropical characteristics over the open waters of the North Atlantic early next week.

Tropical Storm Victor is 630 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. It strengthened some Thursday. It could strengthen a little more, but it is no longer forecast to reach hurricane strength before turning northward over the open waters of the eastern Atlantic.

Original story from Thursday morning: Swells from Major Hurricane Sam are expected to reach the coast on Friday and continue into the weekend as it spins well offshore.

The category 4 hurricane strengthened again early Thursday, with its top sustained winds reaching 145 mph. It is still on track to pass east of Bermuda Friday and Saturday, but its larger size means there is a chance tropical storm force winds will reach the island. For that reason, a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Bermuda.

Swells are likely to contribute to a heightened rip current risk from Florida to the Carolinas lasting through the weekend before subsiding early next week.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Victor was located 550 miles from the Cape Verde Islands early Thursday. It is forecast to become a hurricane Friday and turn northward over the open ocean this weekend. The other tropical wave forecasters were monitoring a few hundred miles west of Victor has weakened considerably and is no longer expected to develop.

Neither Victor nor Sam are expected to directly affect the U.S. coastline, but hurricane season continues through the end of November. Climatologically, tropical storms are more likely to form in the Caribbean, southwest Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico during the month of October.

Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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