For the latest information on storm activity in the Cayman Islands, as well as information on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit Storm Centre.

Sam has been upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane located east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands and set to become a major hurricane by Saturday, forecasters said.

Based on its current location, Hurricane Sam, at this time, does not pose a threat to the Cayman Islands.

Located 1,365 miles off the northern Leeward Islands, Sam is moving just north of due west near 14 mph and this motion is expected to continue through Friday night.

US National Hurricane Center forecasters, in their Friday morning advisory, said Sam is taking a “momentary pause in strengthening”, but it is forecast to rapidly intensify.

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“Maximum sustained winds remain near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts. Rapid intensification is forecast to resume over the next several days and Sam is likely to become a major hurricane on Saturday,” the NHC said.

A decrease in forward speed and a motion toward the west-northwest are expected over the weekend, it added.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles.

This graphic shows the earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical-storm-force winds. – Image: National Hurricane Center

“The latest NHC intensity forecast still shows Sam becoming a major
hurricane by tomorrow and currently has a peak intensity as a
category 4 hurricane in 48-72 hours,” the NHC discussion on the system stated.

It will be the fourth major hurricane of the season. So far Grace, Ida and Larry have reached major hurricane status in 2021.

At its current location, Sam does not pose any hazard to land.

Coming on the heels of Hurricane Sam is a a tropical wave which is expected to move off the west coast of Africa by the end of this weekend.

After this, the NHC said, environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for gradual development.

“A tropical depression could form by the middle of next week while the system moves westward at 10 to 15 mph over the far eastern tropical Atlantic,” it added.

Forecasters have given this system a 40%, or medium, chance of formation through the next five days.

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