Hurricane Sam pounded Aruba and the neighboring islands of Curacao, Heverlee and Sumba with heavy rain, tropical storm-force winds and gusts up to 90 mph. Sam’s maximum sustained winds are near 100 mph and the storm is expected to intensify to a Category 2 hurricane by Thursday. The system is expected to move across the Bocas del Toro Islands and then the northern coast of Venezuela as a hurricane on Wednesday.
Sam may not affect the rest of the United States, but this scenario would cause flooding in some of the tropical Atlantic surf zones due to the large amount of rain and strong winds.
The forecast track for the system takes it over western Florida Tuesday night or Wednesday, but the system is expected to retain its tropical characteristics and intensify further as it tracks westward and takes out the eastern portions of Cuba.
The system would bring heavy rain and strong winds to Texas, including the cities of Houston and Dallas, by Thursday or Friday.
This scenario would generate a greater threat of tropical storm-force winds and flooding in the northeastern part of Florida and much of North Carolina through next weekend.