Sept. 28 (UPI) — Forecasters said early Tuesday that Hurricane Sam is getting stronger as it moved westward in the Atlantic Ocean, but its track is expected to take the storm to the north and away from the U.S. mainland.
In its 11 p.m. EDT update, the National Hurricane Center said Sam was located 490 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands and had maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. It was moving northwest at 9 mph.
The NHC also said a U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft found that the storm is increasing in strength.
Late Monday, Sam weakened to a Category 3 storm but regained strength early Tuesday.
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 and easterly direction, away from the East Coast.
The NHC projects that Sam could, however, impact Bermuda late this week.
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.