Hurricane Sam was a Category 3 storm Monday night and will remain a powerful one in the Atlantic Ocean for a few more days.
Sam was centered well offshore and posed no threats to land, though it could generate dangerous rip currents.
Sam is located about 660 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands and is traveling northwest at 9 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.
Sam had maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, 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 — Category 3 or higher — through midweek.
The Miami-based hurricane center said Sam was a small tropical cyclone, with hurricane-force winds extending outward just 40 miles from its center.
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.
Meanwhile, forecasters were keeping an eye on two other potential systems in the Atlantic with a high chance of formation later this week.
One area of low pressure was several hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands and was likely to become a tropical depression later in the week as it moved west or north-west over the central tropical Atlantic, the NHC said.
Elsewhere, a tropical wave was moving offshore the west coast of Africa and was expected to become a tropical depression later in the week over the far eastern tropical Atlantic.