Well, it was a nice streak while it lasted for Sam. One of the most enduring major hurricanes in recent memory, Sam is losing its power and barely maintaining its status as it races across the North Atlantic at a good pace Monday.
At one point a Category 4 storm, Hurricane Sam has weakened to a Category 1 as of Monday evening, with an additional reduction in strength as it is anticipated to become a powerful post-tropical cyclone shortly.
The current path shows Sam moving over the far North Atlantic and swirling towards Iceland. The remnants of Sam could actually bring snow to parts of Iceland late this week and weekend.
The track of Hurricane Sam will be too far out to sea to bring any major impacts on Newfoundland, but still, the Avalon Peninsula won't escape it entirely. It will see wind gusts of 50-70 km/h along with dangerous swells through Tuesday evening.
"The northerly winds on the western side of the storm are also bringing cooler weather into Newfoundland, with temperatures struggling to reach the double digits early this week," says Dr. Doug Gillham, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
Monday evening’s update from the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) stated that Hurricane Sam is about 840 km east of Cape Race, N.L., and is tracking northeast at a hurried pace -- around 57 km/h. Its maximum sustained winds have decreased again, now near 150 km/h with higher gusts.
"Although gradual weakening is forecast during the next few days, Sam is expected to transition into a powerful post-tropical cyclone over the North Atlantic tonight," the NHC says.
Quite a far distant from the Caribbean, Swells generated by Sam will impact the northern Leeward Islands, the Greater Antilles, portions of the Bahamas, and southeastern Newfoundland through early Tuesday.
"These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions," warns the NHC.
Sam is the seventh hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic season. Hurricane season traditionally runs from the beginning of June through the end of November.
There will be a lull in tropical activity this week as Tropical Depression Victor continues to dissipate. The only other region that is being monitored for development later this week and weekend is north of the Bahamas.
"A disorganized area of unsettled weather could become better organized late this week and weekend," Gillham says. "This system will have some subtropical characteristics and will tap into some tropical moisture, but it is uncertain as to whether this will eventually become a named system as it slowly tracks north, offshore of the U.S. East Coast this weekend and early next week."
Following Victor, there’s just one name left on this year’s list of Atlantic storm names. The next and final name on the list is Wanda.
Once we exhaust this year’s official list of names, all subsequent storms will be named using an alternate list, beginning with Adria. This will be the third year since 2005 where such an overflow will occur, and the second in a row.
With its 20 named storms, this year is tied for third place (with 1933, in the pre-satellite era) for most active hurricane season on record, with two months still left to go. The year 2020, with its 30 named storms, remains in the top spot.
According to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University, Sam maintained its major (Category 3 or higher) hurricane status for seven days in a row. Only six Atlantic hurricanes in the satellite era — from 1966 onwards — have held major hurricane strength for longer consecutive spans.
The overall pattern across the tropical Atlantic during mid- and late-October still looks to be favourable for the development of a couple more tropical storms and possibly hurricanes.
Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the Atlantic hurricane season.