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Tropical Depression Twenty could form into the season's 8th hurricane, forecasters say. Hurricane Sam remains powerful

Robin Webb And Angie DiMichele, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

Sam, the fourth major hurricane of 2021, is expected to maintain its movement to the northwest and speed up, then head north Friday then northeast, turning it well away from Florida and the Caribbean, but bringing it closer to Bermuda.

Though Hurricane Sam remains out over open water, it has the potential to create life-threatening surf and rip currents that could reach the U.S. East Coast this week, impacting Florida north to New York.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sam was about 405 miles east of the islands of the northeastern Caribbean, moving northwest at 9 mph, with its hurricane-force winds extending 40 miles from its center.

Sam was the fifth storm this season — along with Elsa, Grace, Ida and Larry — to undergo rapid intensification, meaning that its top winds increased by 35 mph or more within 24 hours. On Saturday, it swiftly intensified from a Category 2 hurricane to a Category 4. On Sunday, Sam’s maximum sustained winds were less than 10 mph from the minimum threshold for a Category 5 hurricane.

The 2021 hurricane season is currently in a five-way tie for fourth place “in terms of the number of named tropical systems at 19 in one season,” the others being 1887, 1995, 2010, 2011 and 2012, AccuWeather experts said.

 

With 19 named storms already this season, that’s well above the long-term average of 10.5 named storms by Sept. 28 in previous years, for the period 1999 through 2020, according to Klotzbach. The record-setting 2020 season had 30 named storms in all.

As of Wednesday, conditions were no longer favorable for the remnants of Tropical Storm Peter to redevelop, according to the hurricane center.

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©2021 South Florida Sun Sentinel. Visit at sun-sentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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