New York City suffers flooding after Hurricane Ida hits US
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Winds have reached incredible highs of 155mph so far, but any potential devastation will be kept at bay as the storm’s path will keep it largely out of harm’s way. Hurricane Sam, which first formed about midway between South America and Africa on September 22, formally became a tropical storm the next day, then rapidly intensified to become a fully-fledged hurricane.
Hurricane Sam is not expected to make landfall, and has weakened since hitting its peak at the weekend.
But a high surf and dangerous rip current conditions are both predicted on the east coast of America this week.
The USA’s National Hurricane Centre said there will be ”significant” swells from Hurricane Sam though hundreds of miles offshore.
It said: “[It] will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, and beachgoers are urged to follow the advice of lifeguards and local officials through the upcoming weekend.”
Minor flooding along coastal areas is also possible, with large swells already hitting areas prone to taking on water.
Hurricane centre senior specialist Richard Pasch said: “Right now we’re not forecasting it to make landfall over any coastal locations.
“It’s certainly a big hazard for ships at sea, and again those swells are impacting a large area of the western Atlantic.”
Hurricane Sam was churning 350 miles to the east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, which are in the Caribbean Sea, and moving northwest at 12mph as of 11pm on Wednesday.
An advisory from Cyclocane reads: “Large swells generated by Sam are affecting the Leeward Islands and will spread to portions of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas, and Bermuda by Thursday or Friday.
“Significant swells will likely reach the east coast of the United States and Atlantic Canada by the weekend. These swells will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, and beachgoers and other interests along these coasts are urged to follow the advice of lifeguards and local officials through the upcoming weekend.”
While the storm is not predicted to make landfall, it is expected to maintain major hurricane status due to light wind shear and warm water along its projected path.
The path curves around to the right, following a similar path to the USA’s eastern coastline, but hundreds of miles from the shore.
The National Hurricane Centre predicts the hurricane will also pass to the east of Bermuda early on Saturday, then south of Canada’s maritime provinces early on Monday.
Although Hurricane Sam poses less of a threat than some of this year’s other storms, such as Grace, Ida and Larry, it still demonstrates the severity of the 2021 hurricane season, which was predicted from the outset to be particularly harsh.
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The current season began on June 1 and will end on November 30.
At times, the 2021 season has been neck and neck with the record-setting Atlantic hurricane season of last year, which spawned 30 named storms.
But now the season is trailing behind last year for the number of named storms to date.
In 2020, 23 named storms had already developed as of September 30.
Experts also believe more storms are brewing in the Atlantic, with another named storm likely to appear in the coming days.
AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said: “There are three systems that have the potential to become tropical depressions and storms this week over the Atlantic basin.”
To the southwest of Hurricane Sam, there are two tropical waves that AccuWeather meteorologists are monitoring for further tropical development this week.
Both of these features recently emerged off the coast of Africa, and one has emerged as being more dominant, and could turn into a named storm over the weekend.
This system was dubbed Tropical Depression Twenty as of 11am EDT Wednesday by the National Hurricane Centre.
Hurricanes are the most powerful weather systems on Earth – during the life cycle, one hurricane can release as much energy as 10,000 nuclear bombs.
Hurricanes always form over tropical waters in areas of high humidity, light winds, and warm sea surfaces, typically a temperature of 26C or higher.
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