by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Hurricane Sam, the seventh hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, strengthens and slows and is likely to become a major hurricane on Saturday (September 25), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s National Hurricane Center.
As of 5 p.m, Friday, Hurricane Sam was located over the tropical Atlantic Ocean about 1290 miles (2200 km) east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands. Sam is moving just west near 12 mph (22 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue with a gradual decrease in forwarding speed and turn toward the west-northwest over the weekend.
No coastal watches or warnings are in effect.
Sam’s maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the centre, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km). The island chain can expect to start feeling the effects of the winds as early as Tuesday (September 28) based on predictions.
Rapid intensification is forecast to take place during the next several days.