On Thursday, Tropical Storm Sam formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, becoming the 18th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
The National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Depression Eighteen to a tropical storm late Thursday morning.
Sam is located about 1,750 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands.
Sam's current maximum sustained winds are 50 mph with a central pressure of 1003 millibars.
The storm is expected to strengthen to a hurricane by the weekend and reach major hurricane status by Monday.
Sam will continue to move west-northwest over the next several days with no interference with any landmasses. Because it will move over coastal waters through at least Tuesday, there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect at this time.
Only one other season has had 18 or more Atlantic named storms by September 23, Meteorologist and hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach says.
The 2021 hurricane season had 23 named storms by this time last year.