October 1 (WNN) — Forecasters warned early Friday that Hurricane Sam continued to strengthen as it slowly moved toward Bermuda.
In its 2 a.m. AST update, the National Hurricane Center said that the Category 4 hurricane was located 505 miles south-southeast of Bermuda. It had maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, an increase of 5 mph from several hours earlier, and was moving to the north-northwest at 16 mph.
A tropical storm warning has been issued for Bermuda.
Sam formed as a tropical storm last week. At one point, it appeared that the storm may possibly take a track to the US Southeast, but projections suggest it is turning in a northerly direction off the east coast.
Forecasters said the major storm is expected to turn north, gaining momentum on Friday.
“On the forecast track, Sam’s core will move east of Bermuda early Saturday,” NHC said.
In addition to affected Bermuda, the storm was expected to intensify into a strong swell over the northern Leeward Islands, Greater Antilles and Puerto Rico over the next few days. Swelling can be seen in Bermuda and the Bahamas along the US East Coast through Friday and over the weekend.
NHC said Sam is expected to be a major storm by Saturday and additional weakening is forecast for later in the weekend.
Sam is the 18th named hurricane and the seventh hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. A year earlier, the storm named “s”, Sally, formed on September 12.