FLORIDA
STORMS
Hurricane Sam
LOCATED
1215 MI ESE OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
WINDS
100 MPH
PRESSURE
982 MB
MOVING
WNW AT 14 MPH
From the National Hurricane Center at 1100 PM AST Fri Sep 24 2021
Sam now a category 2 hurricane.
TAP LINKS BELOW TO FOCUS
Alerts
hazards
summary
DISCUSSION

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

None.

None.

At 1100 PM AST (0300 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Sam was located near latitude 12.4 North, longitude 45.9 West. Sam is moving toward the west northwest near 14 mph (22 km/h). A motion toward the west or west northwest with a decrease in forward speed is expected over the weekend. A turn toward the northwest is forecast on Monday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph (155 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast, and Sam is expected to become a major hurricane on Saturday. Sam is a small hurricane. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 982 mb (29.00 inches).

At 1100 PM AST (0300 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Sam was located near latitude 12.4 North, longitude 45.9 West. Sam is moving toward the west northwest near 14 mph (22 km/h). A motion toward the west or west northwest with a decrease in forward speed is expected over the weekend. A turn toward the northwest is forecast on Monday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph (155 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast, and Sam is expected to become a major hurricane on Saturday. Sam is a small hurricane. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 982 mb (29.00 inches).

Sam developed a 10-n mi wide eye in infrared satellite images a few hours ago, surrounded by a ring of cloud tops as cold as about -70 degrees Celsius. The core of the hurricane remains compact. In fact, recent Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data indicated that the radius of maximum winds is only about 6 n mi. Dvorak estimates were T5.0/90 kt from TAFB and T4.5/77 kt from SAB at 0000 UTC, and given the additional clearing of the eye since then, Sam's intensity is raised to 85 kt.

Sam has been moving toward the west-northwest during the past 6 to 12 hours with a motion of 285/12 kt. The track forecast reasoning remains the same, and the model guidance is packed more tightly than normal through day 5. A blocking ridge lying to the north and northwest is expected to cause Sam to slow down over the weekend and maintain a motion toward the west or west-northwest. On days 3 through 5, the ridge is expected to shift eastward, with a deep-layer trough developing over the western Atlantic. This should allow Sam to turn northwestward toward the end of the forecast period. The NHC track forecast has not budged much and remains close to the TVCA consensus aid. Based on this forecast, and nearly all of the reliable guidance, Sam is expected to still be well to the east or northeast of the northern Leeward Islands through day 5.

Deep-layer shear is expected to be less than 10 kt for the next day or two, and Sam will be heading toward waters of higher oceanic heat content. These conditions favor continued strengthening, and the hurricane is forecast to become a major hurricane on Saturday and possibly reach a peak intensity in 2 to 3 days. For this period, the NHC forecast is close to the HCCA consensus aid and is near the high end of the guidance envelope. As is usually the case with hurricanes this small and strong, fluctuations in intensity due to eyewall replacement cycles will be possible. On days 3 through 5, some increase in shear as Sam approaches the deep-layer western Atlantic trough is possible, and modest weakening is shown at those times.

Sam developed a 10-n mi wide eye in infrared satellite images a few hours ago, surrounded by a ring of cloud tops as cold as about -70 degrees Celsius. The core of the hurricane remains compact. In fact, recent Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data indicated that the radius of maximum winds is only about 6 n mi. Dvorak estimates were T5.0/90 kt from TAFB and T4.5/77 kt from SAB at 0000 UTC, and given the additional clearing of the eye since then, Sam's intensity is raised to 85 kt.

Sam has been moving toward the west-northwest during the past 6 to 12 hours with a motion of 285/12 kt. The track forecast reasoning remains the same, and the model guidance is packed more tightly than normal through day 5. A blocking ridge lying to the north and northwest is expected to cause Sam to slow down over the weekend and maintain a motion toward the west or west-northwest. On days 3 through 5, the ridge is expected to shift eastward, with a deep-layer trough developing over the western Atlantic. This should allow Sam to turn northwestward toward the end of the forecast period. The NHC track forecast has not budged much and remains close to the TVCA consensus aid. Based on this forecast, and nearly all of the reliable guidance, Sam is expected to still be well to the east or northeast of the northern Leeward Islands through day 5.

Deep-layer shear is expected to be less than 10 kt for the next day or two, and Sam will be heading toward waters of higher oceanic heat content. These conditions favor continued strengthening, and the hurricane is forecast to become a major hurricane on Saturday and possibly reach a peak intensity in 2 to 3 days. For this period, the NHC forecast is close to the HCCA consensus aid and is near the high end of the guidance envelope. As is usually the case with hurricanes this small and strong, fluctuations in intensity due to eyewall replacement cycles will be possible. On days 3 through 5, some increase in shear as Sam approaches the deep-layer western Atlantic trough is possible, and modest weakening is shown at those times.

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