Forecasters predict Hurricane Sam will stay away from North Carolina coast

A map from the National Hurricane Center released at 11 a.m. Monday shows Hurricane Sam is forecast to turn to the north before it reaches North Carolina and the U.S. Atlantic coast. (NHC graphic)

NEWPORT — Hurricane Sam, now a major storm, is making its way over the Atlantic Ocean, but local meteorologists forecast clear skies for Carteret County for the several days.

The National Weather Service’s Newport office is calling for clear conditions through Friday. According to the extended forecast, conditions will be sunny and clear or mostly clear, with temperatures ranging from low 80s to upper 60s throughout the week.

This local forecast comes while Sam is moving northwest over the Atlantic. According to the National Hurricane Center, as of 11 a.m. Monday, the latest advisory available, Sam is about 745 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands. It has maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and is moving northwest at 8 mph. Its minimum central barometric pressure is 28.53 inches.

While Sam has strengthened enough to reach major hurricane status, NWS meteorologist Tony Saavedra said he and his colleagues don’t think it will make landfall or have any significant effects in North Carolina.

“It looks like there might be an increase in wave action in the next few days,” Mr. Saavedra told News-Times Monday, “but only about 5 feet; not enough to trigger any warnings.” 

According to the NHC, Sam is forecast to continue northwest until early Thursday. Then, it’s forecast to turn sharply to the north, staying over the open ocean. Sam is forecast to come near Bermuda by 2 a.m. Saturday, and there’s a chance it will hit the island directly.

The NWS provides forecasts, watches, warnings, outlooks, advisories and more information on its website, weather.gov/mhx.

 

Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email mike@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

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