Hurricane Sam a threat to Bermuda, but expected to brush past early Saturday
Hurricane Sam is now a potential threat to Bermuda and has moved back up to a Category 4 storm.
The Bermuda Weather Service said that Sam was about 1,068 miles southeast of Bermuda moving northwest at about 9mph at 6am todayo.
The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 132mph and gusts of 161mph with its closest approach in the next three days predicted to be at 3am on Saturday when it will be about 220 miles to the east-southeast of the island.
Mark Guishard, the director of the BWS, said: “It is forecast to remain a Category 4 for the next 24 hours at least, before weakening to a Category 3 storm and recurving east of Bermuda.”
He added: “Confidence is high that the storm will go east of us, in a similar fashion to Hurricane Larry a few weeks ago.
“The most likely closest passage beyond 72 hours would be on Saturday in the early morning and is currently predicted to be somewhere around 200 miles away to the east.
“These estimates will firm up once Sam gets closer, to within three days of its closest passage to Bermuda.”
Dr Guishard said last night: “For now, because it is forecast to come within 460 miles within three days, we have officially deemed Hurricane Sam a potential threat.”
He added there was a one in four chance that Bermuda would see tropical storm force winds – winds of 39mph, equivalent to a low-end winter gale.
The US National Hurricane Centre reported at 5pm: “A turn towards the north is forecast by Friday.
“On the forecast track, Sam will pass well to the east or north east of the northern Leeward Islands through Wednesday.
“Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.”
The NHC added that large swells were expected to affect Bermuda’s coastline.