Tropical Storm Sam forms
Tropical Storm Sam, the 18th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, formed on Thursday, with forecasters already predicting it will become a hurricane by Friday.
Forecast models indicated that further strengthening could take place and Sam could become a Category 4 hurricane by Sunday as it moved westward toward the Leeward Islands.
It is uncertain, however, whether Sam posed a threat to parts of the Leewards or curl northward.
Simulations indicated Sam could make a right-hand turn and curve northward over the open Atlantic before reaching the Lesser Antilles, while other models showed the possibility of the weather system becoming a threat in the northern Caribbean.
The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said the newly formed storm, with maximum sustained winds near 50 miles an hour, was located about 1,745 miles east southeast of the northern Leeward Islands and was moving westward at 16 miles an hour.
“This general motion is expected to continue over the next several days, but with a gradual slowdown in forward motion,” the NHC said.
Tropical storm force winds extended outward up to 45 miles from the centre.
No coastal watches or warnings were issued.