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Sam Wants To Sit And Spin Into Category 4 Hurricane Then Deflate To A Cat 3

MIAMI — HURRICANE Sam has strengthened from a tropical storm over the Atlantic and is now expected to be a major storm today.

Sam strengthened into a hurricane shortly before 5am Friday morning, and became a major hurricane this afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Right now Sam is a Category 4 hurricane about 1,300 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands but is heading west toward them.

Although Sam became a Category 4 hurricane today, it is forecast to decline to a Category 3 hurricane on Monday, the NHC said.

It could be days until the storm reaches the Caribbean islands, according to the Weather Channel.

A hurricane warning has been put in place for the Atlantic.

The hyperactive hurricane season of 2021 continues and is expected to rapidly intensify into a Category 4 hurricane in just two days. Sam is just the latest hurricane adding to the overabundance of storms that have rapidly intensified in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Sam — which strengthened into a Category 2 storm late Friday, the National Hurricane Center tweeted — is the 18th named system of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. It is one of the earliest 18th named storms to form, beaten only by last season, which was the most active hurricane season on record. The 1990-2020 average for named storms per season is 14 — and there are still more than two months left in our current hurricane season.

The majority of computer model guidance keeps Sam far out to sea. However, some model runs have been showing a westward track towards the Caribbean. If that materialized, it could put the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in jeopardy. 

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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