Hurricane Sam’s eye expected to pass east of Bermuda

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Oct. 1 (UPI) — Hurricane Sam’s eye is expected to pass “well east” of Bermuda on Friday night, forecasters said.

In its 5 p.m. AST update, the National Hurricane Center said the Category 4 storm was located 240 miles southeast of Bermuda. It had maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, an increase of 5 mph from Thursday night, and was moving north at 20 mph.

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A tropical storm warning has been issued for Bermuda.

Sam formed as a tropical storm last week. At one point, it appeared that the storm could possibly take a track to the U.S. Southeast, but projections show it turning in a northerly direction, away from the East Coast.

The major hurricane made a turn toward the north Friday while picking up speed.

“A turn toward the north-northeast, at a slightly slower forward speed, is expected by tonight, followed by a northeastward motion Saturday night through Monday. On the forecast track, the center of Sam will pass well to the east of Bermuda tonight,” the NHC said.

In addition to affected Bermuda, the storm was expected to generate strong swells in the northern Leeward Islands, Greater Antilles and Puerto Rico in the next few days. Bermuda and the Bahamas could see swells Friday and the U.S. East Coast by the weekend.

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Sam is expected to be a major hurricane until Saturday with additional weakening forecast for later in the weekend, the NHC said.

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.