ORLANDO, Fla. – Most models have Tropical Storm Sam curving and missing both the Caribbean Islands and the U.S. While that is obviously a good thing, this is far from a guarantee at this stage in the game. Here’s why: First and foremost, this writing is to not hype the storm or add unnecessary anxiety but to let you inside of the meteorology meteorologists are looking at to pinpoint the storm.
The long-term future of Sam is in question for a couple of reasons. The first is the lack of good Hurricane Hunter data sampling the storm itself and its environment. Typically, the storms need to be much closer before the reconnaissance missions can fly.
The second and main reason for the uncertainty with Sam is the steering pattern and how exiting-weather systems off of the Continental U.S. can impact the movement.
Trends to watch for Sam’s future
- A weaker system through the weekend would favor a more westerly/southerly track as it won’t have the tendency to be picked up by the steering ridge
- If Sam gets strong fast, it will favor a quick exit out to sea
- A slower Sam will allow high pressure to build off of the East Coast of the U.S., allowing Sam to move closer to the Continental U.S. These steering mechanisms are still out over the Pacific Ocean
With all of that said, the most likely outcome for Sam is to not directly impact the lower 48, but there is too much in play to write the storm off just yet.
There are two other areas in the tropics that could develop in the coming days as we continue through the peak of hurricane season. Currently there is nothing threatening Florida in the short term.