Sam expected to become Category 4 hurricane this weekend; Teresa dwindling


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) —Sam, now a major Category 3 hurricane, is forecast to strengthen further over the weekend and become a Category 4 storm by Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, Sam was about 1,095 miles east-southeast of the Northern Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph and hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 25 miles from the storm’s center. It was moving west-northwest at 10 mph.

“A slower motion to the west-northwest is expected over the weekend, followed by a turn to the northwest on Monday,” the hurricane center said. “Additional strengthening is expected over the next day or so, and Sam is forecast to become a category 4 hurricane by Sunday. Some fluctuations in the hurricane’s intensity are possible early next week.”

Swells generated by Sam are forecast to reach the Lesser Antilles early next week and have the potential to cause life-threatening and surf and rip current conditions, according to the hurricane center.

No coastal watches or warnings are in effect.

Meanwhile, Teresa has weakened to a subtropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean and is forecast to become a remnant low by Saturday night. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

The hurricane center is also monitoring an area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms associated with the remnants of Peter several hundred miles south of Bermuda. The system has a low 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression over the next five days.

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