Hurricane Sam ‘quickly strengthening,’ upgraded to Category 2 hurricane

ORLANDO, Fla. — Hurricane Sam strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane overnight while a subtropical storm has formed. Read updates below:

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11 p.m. update

Hurricane Sam has been upgraded to a Category 2 hurricane and is forecast to become a major hurricane on Saturday, the National Hurricane Center tweeted Friday evening.

Channel 9 Certified Chief Meteorologist Tom Terry said Sam is “quickly strengthening,” and the long-term track shows it heading east of Florida. It could be a threat to the northeastern part of the U.S. late next week.


5 p.m. update

Subtropical Storm Teresa has formed off the East Coast and will be a short-lived system as it moves north this weekend, Channel 9 Certified Chief Meteorologist Tom Terry said.

Only two names are left.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Sam is showing “rapid intensification” with winds of 85 MPH, Terry said. An eye has also formed in the past few hours.

Sam is forecast to pass north of the islands of Puerto Rico next week. We’ll be tracking how close it gets, but Terry said it will stay off our east coast.

11 a.m. update

Hurricane Sam has paused in strengthening but the storm is forecast to intensify rapidly soon.

Forecasters said Sam’s winds are near 75 mph.

Rapid intensification is forecast to resume over the next several days and Sam is likely to become a major hurricane on Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said.

See: Tropical system terms explained

5 a.m. update

Sam is now a hurricane. The storm is expected to intensify rapidly over the next few days.

Forecaster’s said Sam’s winds are near 75 mph, with higher gusts.

READ: How many times has Walt Disney World had to close for a hurricane?

Sam is likely to become a major hurricane on Friday night or early Saturday.

Meteorologist Rusty McCranie said the storm is expected to become a Category 4 hurricane early next week.

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Models are showing that the storm may get uncomfortably close to the northeast Caribbean islands next week.

Visit our hurricane section: EYE ON THE TROPICS

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Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.