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Sam Becomes A Hurricane And Expected To Rapidly Intensify Over Weekend

Sam rapidly intensified overnight and is forecast to become a major hurricane over the weekend. While models suggests Sam may stay out to sea, it is still too soon to credibly predict whether there will be impacts to Florida.

WINDS
145 MPH
PRESSURE
943 MB
MOVING
WNW AT 8 MPH
ALERTS
HAZARDS
SUMMARY
DISCUSSION

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.


SURF: Swells generated by Sam are forecast to reach the Lesser Antilles early this week. These swells could cause life threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.


At 500 AM AST (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Sam was located near latitude 13.8 North, longitude 49.7 West. Sam is moving toward the west northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h). This general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the northwest on Monday. Then, a northwestward motion is forecast to continue through midweek. Maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph (230 km/h) with higher gusts. Sam is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are expected during the next day or so. Thereafter, some slow weakening is forecast. Sam is a small hurricane. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 943 mb (27.85 inches).


Sam remains a small but intense hurricane this morning, with a well-defined 10 n mi-wide eye. A 0500 UTC AMSR-2 microwave pass reveals Sam has a compact inner core of deep convection surrounding its eye, with curved convective bands primarily extending around the northern and eastern portions of the circulation. Infrared cloud top temperatures briefly warmed overnight in portions of Sam's central dense overcast, perhaps due to some intrusions of drier mid-level air. The 06z objective and subjective satellite estimates ranged from 113-127 kt, but Sam's satellite presentation has improved in recent infrared imagery as cloud top temperatures are cooling around the eye. Thus, the initial intensity is held at 125 kt for this advisory. NOAA aircraft are scheduled to investigate Sam later this afternoon, which should provide helpful information about the structure and intensity of the hurricane.

Sam is moving toward the west-northwest, or 295/7 kt. A deep-layer subtropical ridge to the north and northeast of Sam should generally steer the hurricane west-northwestward to northwestward for the next several days. By midweek, an amplifying upper-level trough will move off the east coast of the U.S. and dig southward over the western Atlantic, which will erode the western extent of the steering ridge. The deep-layer southerly flow ahead of the trough should cause Sam to begin recurving, with a somewhat faster north-northwestward motion forecast by day 5. The latest NHC track forecast is very similar to the previous one and generally lies between the HFIP corrected consensus approach (HCCA) and TVCA aids. At days 4-5, there is more spread in the track guidance, with the ECMWF on the far left side of the guidance envelope and the GFS on the far right. The NHC forecast track has been nudged just slightly to the left at 96 and 120 h, but it still lies to the right of HCCA.

The hurricane will likely experience some fluctuations in intensity during the next day or two. On the one hand, Sam remains over warm sea-surface temperatures of around 28.5 deg C, with vertical wind shear less than 10 kt as diagnosed from the SHIPS guidance. However, GOES-16 water vapor imagery shows some drier mid-level air in the surrounding environment that may periodically entrain into the inner core of Sam. Additionally, the onset of an eyewall replacement cycle remains a distinct possibility at this stage of Sam's life cycle, although the latest microwave data does not suggest one is imminent. The official NHC intensity forecast lies on the high end of the guidance for the first 36-48 h of the forecast period. Thereafter, the NHC forecast trends closer to the HCCA and IVCN consensus aids. Some gradual weakening is forecast later in the period as the southwesterly vertical wind shear begins to increase, but Sam is still forecast to remain a major hurricane through the 5-day period.

WINDS
35 MPH
PRESSURE
1010 MB
MOVING
E AT 5 MPH
ALERTS
HAZARDS
SUMMARY
DISCUSSION

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.


None


At 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the center of Post Tropical Cyclone Teresa was located near latitude 34.4 North, longitude 64.3 West. The post tropical cyclone is moving toward the east near 5 mph (7 km/h). A turn to the northeast is expected this evening. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. The remnant low is expected to dissipate Sunday morning. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1010 mb (29.83 inches).


Teresa has continued to consist of just a swirl of low-level clouds since last night. Although a convective band persists a couple hundred miles northeast of the low center, the system no longer meets the definition of a tropical cyclone. Strong west-southwesterly wind shear should prevent any regeneration of convection near the center. All of the global models show the remnant low degenerating into an open trough by Sunday morning.

Teresa has been moving eastward or 090/4 kt during the past 12 hours. A turn to the northeast is expected within the next couple of hours as the cyclone moves in the southwesterly flow ahead of a deep-layer trough. The northeastward motion should continue until the low dissipates Sunday morning.

Additional information on Post-Tropical Cyclone Teresa can be found in High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service, under AWIPS header NFDHSFAT1, WMO header FZNT01 KWBC, and online at ocean.weather.gov/shtml/NFDHSFAT1.php

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Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
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