Sept. 28 (UPI) — Hurricane Sam strengthened back into a Category 4 storm early Tuesday after weakening a day prior, forecasters said.
Sam had slightly weakened into Category 3 storm on Monday but regained its strength overnight, the National Hurricane Center said.
In its 5 a.m. AST update Tuesday, the NHC said Sam was located 610 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands and had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. It was moving northwest at 9 mph.
A storm is considered Category 3 strength when its winds reach 111 mph and Category 4 at 130 mph.
Sam formed as a tropical storm last week and has gained strength as it’s moved to the west. At one point, it appeared that the storm could possibly take a track to the U.S. Southeast, but projections now show that it’s expected to turn in a northerly direction and miss the United States.
It could, however, impact Bermuda late this week.
“On the forecast track, Sam will pass well to the northeast of thenorthern Leeward Islands Wednesday and Thursday,” the NHC said.
Although it is a major hurricane, forecasters say Sam is a small storm.
Sam is the 18th named storm and the seventh hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. A year ago, the “s” named storm, Sally, formed on Sept. 12.