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Hurricane Sam Discussion Number 33
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL182021
500 PM AST Thu Sep 30 2021
Sam remains a formidable hurricane, with a well-organized
cloud pattern on satellite imagery. The 25 n mi wide eye is
surrounded by a fairly symmetric pattern of deep convective cloud
tops, and the upper-level outflow pattern is very well defined. An
Air Force Reserve Unit Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigated the
system and found peak 700-mb flight level winds of 133 kt, and a
highest unflagged SFMR-observed surface wind of 125 kt. Based on
these observations, the advisory intensity is kept at 125 kt.
Measurements from the aircraft also showed that the central
pressure remains quite low, near 938 mb.
Sam will continue to traverse waters of high oceanic heat content
for another 12-18 hours, and the shear should remain fairly low for
the next few days. Therefore, some intensification could still
occur overnight. In any event, the system is expected to maintain
major hurricane status for the next 36-48 hours. Over the weekend,
a gradual weakening trend should commence due to cooler SSTs.
However, Sam will likely remain a powerful cyclone with hurricane-
force winds until the end of the forecast period. By 120 hours,
simulated satellite imagery from the ECMWF and GFS models forecast
the system's cloud pattern to resemble that of an extratropical low,
and this is reflected in the official forecast, which shows
extratropical status at that time. The official intensity forecast
remains close to the HCCA corrected consensus model solution.
Center fixes continue to show a gradual increase in forward speed,
and the hurricane is moving northwestward, or about 320/12 kt.
During the next 24-36 hours, Sam should turn toward the north as it
moves around the western periphery of a large subtropical high over
the eastern and central Atlantic. Then, the cyclone is expected to
move generally northeastward in the flow between the anticyclone and
a trough near Atlantic Canada. There is fairly close agreement in
the track models through 60 hours or so. However, there are some
significant differences in the model-predicted track of Sam at
higher latitudes, probably due to variations in how the system
interacts with the trough in the various guidance. The NHC track
forecast follows the latest model consensus, TVCN.
Although the core of Sam is predicted to pass east of Bermuda early
Saturday, the tropical-storm-force wind field is forecast to expand
and could pass very close to the island beginning late Friday night
or early Saturday. Therefore, a Tropical Storm Warning has been
issued for Bermuda.
1. Swells generated by Sam will impact the Northern Leeward Islands
and the Greater Antilles, including Puerto Rico, during the next
few days. Swells are expected to reach Bermuda and the Bahamas by
Friday, and then spread to the United States east coast by this
weekend. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip
current conditions. Please consult products from your local
2. Tropical storm conditions are expected on Bermuda beginning
Friday night or early Saturday, and a Tropical Storm Warning has
been issued for that island.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INIT 30/2100Z 23.6N 60.9W 125 KT 145 MPH
12H 01/0600Z 25.6N 61.5W 130 KT 150 MPH
24H 01/1800Z 28.5N 61.9W 125 KT 145 MPH
36H 02/0600Z 31.3N 61.4W 110 KT 125 MPH
48H 02/1800Z 33.8N 60.1W 100 KT 115 MPH
60H 03/0600Z 35.8N 58.3W 90 KT 105 MPH
72H 03/1800Z 37.4N 56.2W 85 KT 100 MPH
96H 04/1800Z 42.5N 50.0W 75 KT 85 MPH
120H 05/1800Z 47.5N 46.0W 65 KT 75 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP