On Thursday, Tropical Storm Sam - the 18th named system in a busy season - formed in the Atlantic Ocean and is expected to gain more strength, becoming a hurricane by this weekend.

Effect of tropical storm
(Photo : Getty Images)

Tropical Storm Sam 

The National Hurricane Center said the storm had gained strength all through the day with about 70 mph maximum sustained winds as of 11 p.m. EDT and more strengthening is expected.

Around 1,560 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands was where the storm was centered and it was propelling west around 15 mph. There is a possibility that before Sam approaches the islands of the northern Caribbean next week it will whip up into a major hurricane. 

 The Hurricane Center said: "Sam is rapidly intensifying, and maximum sustained winds have increased. Rapid intensification is forecast to continue through early Saturday. Sam is likely to become a hurricane very soon and then could be a major hurricane by Friday night or early Saturday."

The time Tropical storms become hurricanes is when maximum sustained winds get to not less than 74 mph and this means Sam is almost at hurricane strength. 

Also Read: Storm Watch: Two Systems May Develop Into a Tropical Depression Within the Week

The Forecast

Accuweather said the storm was anticipated to use west to west-northwest track across the central Atlantic over the ending of the week. It is still not certain if will make landfall, but forecasters advise the Bahamas, Bermuda, and the U.S. East Coast to stay alert.   

Weather.com said most computer model forecasts reveal when Sam is moving away late next week from the East Coast and this is due to a Bermuda high over the Atlantic and a southward jet stream plunge that could move Sam north and northeast rather than westward toward the U.S.

Forecasters said there is a chance that earlier this month Sam will mimic Hurricane Larry and kick up risky surf and rip currents along the Eastern Seaboard.

Effect of hurricane
(Photo : Getty Images)

Three Major Hurricanes This 2021

Both tropical depressions Peter and Rose have fallen apart. Accuweather said a storm that initially formed off the East Coast the previous week named Odette could gain tropical storm status again over the north Atlantic's open waters.

As per Colorado State University hurricane researcher named Phil Klotzbach, the 13th named storm to form in the Atlantic since the 11th of August is Sam. And apart from this, only one other recorded hurricane season has had 18 named storms by the 23rd of September, he said. By that date, 2020 had recorded 23 named storms. 

So far this 2021 there have been three major hurricanes (Category 3 or  more intense ones): Ida, Grace, and Larry; and then six hurricanes.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publicized its new hurricane season forecast for the year in August: 15 to 21 named storms; seven to 10 hurricanes. 

Related Article: 2021 Busy Tropical Season: Tropical Depression Seventeen Intensifies into Tropical Storm Rose

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