Tropical Depression #18 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Sam today, and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects the system to rapidly intensify over the next 72 hours becoming a Major Hurricane by Sunday morning.
Right now, Sam is located about 1,745 miles east-southeast of the Northern Leeward Islands; with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, the storm is moving to the west at 16 mph. The minimum central pressure is 1003 mb or 29.62″.
The NHC expects Sam to continue to march off to the west and west-northwest in the coming days, intensifying into a hurricane and a major hurricane soon. Officially, the NHC expects Sam to become a hurricane tomorrow and be near major hurricane intensity by the end of the weekend. When this system formed as Tropical Depression #18 yesterday, it was expected to become a major hurricane too but not until early in the new week; with a stronger storm, it may have the tendency to track closer to the Caribbean Islands and the U.S. East Coast more so than a weaker system in this type of environmental set-up. It is still too soon to know where Sam will eventually go, but it is important for people across the Leeward Islands, the Bahamas, and the U.S. East Coast be prepared and have a Hurricane Action Plan in place should it become necessary to act on it in early October as Sam approaches from the east.
For now, there are no hazards affecting land and there are no watches or warnings tied with Sam at this time.
The NHC is also tracking other potential disturbances in the Atlantic Hurricane Basin for signs of possible development. However, no other system should threaten the United States or its interests within the next five days. The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs through to the end of November.