Hurricane Sam hits Category 4
Hurricane Sam became a Category 4 storm early yesterday and packed winds of up to 184mph.
It is not ranked as a threat to the island at present – but the 6am forecast from the Bermuda Weather Service showed the storm moving west-northwest at 8mph, swinging on a more northwesterly course over the next few days to put it on a rough track towards Bermuda.
Most hurricane prediction models now have the hurricane passing to the east of Bermuda, but these remain long range forecasts.
Sam was 1,450 miles southeast of the island and well east of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean at 6pm tonight.
Sam is expected to be about 822 miles south-southeast of Bermuda at 6am on Thursday.
BWS predictions extend a maximum of 72 hours at a time.
But the storm has followed its predicted course over the past few days.
The US National Hurricane Centre said this morning that the storm was “small but intense”, with an eye of just under 12 miles across.
The NHC expected weather conditions to reduce the hurricane’s force and predicted Sam would become a Category 3 storm over the next few days.
But Category 3 storms, with winds from 111-129mph, are still rated as a major hurricane.