Mighty hurricane Sam swirls offshore in Atlantic

Hurricane Sam, small but mighty, swirls offshore in Atlantic

Its maximum sustained winds dropped to 120 mph (193 kph) Monday afternoon

Representative Image. Credit: AFP File Photo

Hurricane Sam was a powerful Category 3 storm in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday but was centred well offshore and posed no threats to land, though it could generate dangerous rip currents.

Sam is located about 700 miles (1,127 kilometres) east of the northern Leeward Islands and is travelling northwest at 9 mph (14 kph), the US National Hurricane Center said in a late-afternoon advisory.

Its maximum sustained winds dropped to 120 mph (193 kph) Monday afternoon, making it a Category 3 hurricane. Forecasters said there would be little change in its strength over the next day or so, followed by a slow weakening. Sam is expected to remain a major hurricane through midweek.

The Miami-based hurricane centre said Sam was a small tropical cyclone, with hurricane-force winds extending outward just 30 miles (48 kilometres) from its centre.

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect. But swells from Hurricane Sam could cause dangerous rip current conditions off the coast of the Lesser Antilles early this week, forecasters said.

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