Hurricane Sam to kick up ‘life threatening’ surf along East Coast this weekend – USA TODAY

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  • Forecasters said large swells were already affecting the Leeward Islands.
  • As of Wednesday, Sam was the most powerful storm on the planet.
  • Tropical Storm Victor also formed Wednesday afternoon in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean.

Expect some dangerous surf if you’re headed to the beach this weekend along the East Coast. 

“Significant” swells from Hurricane Sam though hundreds of miles offshore “will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, and beachgoers are urged to follow the advice of lifeguards and local officials through the upcoming weekend,” the National Hurricane Center warned.

It is also possible that wave action may produce minor flooding at times of high tide in areas prone to taking on water during nor’easters, AccuWeather said.

“Right now we’re not forecasting it to make landfall over any coastal locations, but it’s certainly a big hazard for ships at sea, and again those swells are impacting a large area of the western Atlantic,” hurricane center senior specialist Richard Pasch said.

Forecasters said large swells already were hitting the Leeward Islands and will spread to portions of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas and Bermuda by Thursday or Friday as the storm curves northward.

As of Wednesday morning, Sam was the most powerful storm on the planet, according to AccuWeather.

The Category 4 hurricane, packing 145 mph winds, was churning 350 miles to the east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands and moving northwest at 12 mph as of 11 p.m. Wednesday. 

Tropics watch: Tropical Depression 20 forms in Atlantic; Hurricane Sam remains Category 4 storm

Sam should maintain major hurricane intensity status (Category 3 or higher) because of light wind shear and warm water along its projected path, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Adam Douty said.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Victor formed Wednesday afternoon in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean, the hurricane center said. The storm is expected to become Hurricane Victor within the next couple of days. The forecast for the storm, however, shows it curving north and staying away from land as it spins over the open ocean off the coast of Africa. 

Victor is the 20th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. Only one name – Wanda – remains on the regular list of storm names. A new supplemental list of names will be used if the regular list of names is exhausted before the season ends. 

Forecasters also were monitoring two other weather disturbances in the Atlantic, but neither appeared likely to form into depressions or storms as of Wednesday morning.

Track Hurricane Sam

Contributing: The Associated Press