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Sam Remains Major Hurricane; Tropical Storm Victor Forms in Southeastern Atlantic

This NOAA satellite image from Sept. 24, 2021, shows hurricane Sam swirling in the southern Atlantic.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Sam remains an intense Category 4 storm heading northward as it churns in the Atlantic.

In its latest report, the Miami-based center said Thursday Sam was 575 kilometers northeast of the northern Leeward Islands in the Caribbean and about 1,175 kilometers southeast of Bermuda. Its maximum sustained winds are about 230 kilometers per hour.

Forecasters expect the storm to turn to the north by late Friday, and on that forecast track, Sam will continue to pass well east of Bermuda early Saturday. The storm – which, at its peak, last Sunday – was the strongest recorded so far this season, is forecast to remain a major hurricane through Saturday.

Meanwhile, the hurricane center says Tropical Storm Victor has formed in the eastern Atlantic, with maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour and higher gusts. Officials say additional strengthening is forecast, and Victor could be near hurricane strength by Friday. It is already the 19th named storm of the season.

Meteorologists with The Washington Post Capital Weather Gang say the naming of Victor leaves just one name – Wanda - left on the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) storm naming list for this season.

After 2020’s record-breaking 30 named storms exhausted the regular list and forced meteorologists to dip into the Greek alphabet for names for only the second time in history, the WMO this year developed a supplemental list of names.

According to the new list, should a “Wanda” form, the next named storm after that would be Aidan.