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Action Heating & Air Conditioning in Folly Beach, SC

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South Carolina is one of the most beautiful places in the United States to call home. However, our local weather can be extreme – high temps and thick humidity in the summer and chilly winter weather during cold months. As a local HVAC company in Folly Beach, SC, we know how crucial it is to have a quality HVAC system in your home and experienced technicians to keep it working correctly.

With more than 35 years of serving the Lowcountry, we are proud to be an active part of our local community. As your neighbors, we are here for all of your HVAC needs, whether you need a new AC unit installed this summer or a heat pump replacement this winter. With a reliable team of NATE-certified technicians and decades of experience in our industry, no HVAC project is too big or small for us to handle.

We offer highly competitive pricing and convenient financing options for all of our clients. At the end of the day, our goal is to make it easy and affordable to live comfortably in your home all year long. We are committed to hard work, honesty, and integrity with every service we offer. If you aren’t 100% satisfied with our work, we’ll do our part to make it right.

Service Areas

Here are just a few of the reasons why homeowners and business owners in South Carolina trust Action Heating & Air Conditioning:

  • We have been serving clients in South Carolina since 1983 – before many of our clients were even born!
  • We provide a wide range of HVAC services for both heating and air conditioning.
  • We are committed to giving our clients the highest quality products and services at affordable prices.
  • As a Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer, we have the best HVAC units available.
  • We are members of the South Carolina Association of Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors.
  • We are members of our local Chamber of Commerce and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

If you need a trusted AC repair company in Folly Beach, know that our team is geared up and ready to help you today. While you browse our website, have a look at just a few of our specialties here at Action Heating & Air Conditioning:

Air Conditioning Repair in Folly Beach, SC

Summers in the Lowcountry are hot, humid, and sticky. After a long day at the beach or downtown with your friends, nothing feels better than kicking back on the sofa while your air conditioning cools you off. On the other hand, nothing feels worse than walking into your home and feeling warm, stale air hit your face. Those who know, know – having your AC go out during a South Carolina summer is no joke. With time, a relatively minor inconvenience can turn into a real health problem.

In situations like these, something has probably gone wrong with your HVAC system. If your AC has stopped working in the middle of summer, it’s time to call Action Heating & Air Conditioning right away. Our team of certified HVAC professionals has years of experience repairing and servicing AC equipment. It doesn’t matter how old your unit is or what brand you bought – we have the skills to get your home comfort system up and running in no time.

Here are just a few of the AC issues that our talented team can help solve for you:
Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Over time, condensation builds up in your AC equipment because of its cooling process. This accumulated byproduct must be drained regularly, or the increased amounts of moisture can damage your air conditioner’s components.

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Air Conditioning Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant is the substance responsible for keeping your home nice and cool in the summer. When refrigerant levels drop due to a leak, it will affect your AC equipment’s ability to cool your home. If your HVAC unit isn’t blowing cold air, this could be a reason why.

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Heater Keeps Running

This is a common AC issue in South Carolina and the U.S. in general. Sometimes this problem is fixed by switching your thermostat to “auto.” If that doesn’t work, you may have a broken thermostat or a wiring issue that needs to be addressed quickly.

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Burning Odors

It’s normal for your heater to produce a slight burning smell if it hasn’t been used in a while. However, if you are experiencing a persistent burning smell during the summer months when your air conditioning is on, it could be a serious problem. Turn off your HVAC system immediately and call our office as soon as possible so that we may send out a technician to diagnose your problem.

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Broken Air Conditioning Compressor Fan

This fan plays an important role in your AC unit’s heat transfer process. When your air conditioning fan breaks, your AC equipment won’t be able to cool your home off in the summer when it’s needed the most.

Our Special Offers

One of our goals as a company is to provide HVAC repair services at fair and competitive prices. In addition, we want you to feel confident about investing in high-quality heating and cooling systems without having to worry a lot about the costs. We make sure to provide honest and accurate quotes and we offer a variety of financing options. We want you to get the best bang for your buck, so here are some special offers.

See Our Offer

If you are experiencing any of the problems above, be sure to hire a professional contractor to fix your issues. For your safety, don’t ever try to make HVAC repairs on your own unless you are trained. When the time come to have your air conditioning system repaired, our team of licensed AC technicians will handle all of the hard work on your behalf. That way, you can stay safe and have peace of mind knowing you’re in good hands.

Air Conditioning Install in Folly Beach, SC

Your HVAC system works hard all year long. If you have gone years without much maintenance or AC repair, you probably bought a great HVAC unit. However, with constant use and even normal wear and tear, even the highest-quality HVAC systems are prone to malfunctions. Eventually, it will need to be replaced.

If you need an energy-efficient, reliable cooling system for your home or business, you have come to the right place. We have decades of experience installing new AC systems for our clients and can handle any installation project you have. As a Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer, we have the most top-rated AC systems available in South Carolina.

At Action Heating & Air Conditioning, we know that buying a new air conditioner and installing it can be a huge source of stress. But when you work with us, it doesn’t have to be that way. We have made it our mission to make the AC installation process easy and efficient for our customers. That way, they can focus more on living life and enjoying their home while we work hard on their AC install in Folly Beach.

Whether you plan to replace a faulty air conditioning system or need a Carrier unit for your new construction home, we have got you covered. We will work with you directly to find the best fit for your home and budget. We are also happy to answer all of your AC installation questions prior to and during your initial service appointment.

Common Signs That You Need a New AC Install in Folly Beach, SC

Trying to figure out whether your air conditioner needs to be repaired or replaced can be a tricky decision to make. Most people have a hard time letting things go, and that includes AC units. It can be hard to know when to let go of the old and welcome in the new. To help save you time and make your decision a little easier, keep the following signs in mind. If you find yourself saying, “that sounds like my AC unit,” it might be time for a new air conditioning installation.

Strange Noises

Almost all air conditioners make a bit of low-level noise as they warm up and turn off. However, if you hear loud, unusual noises, it might be a sign that your air conditioner’s time is coming to an end. Buzzing and rattling noises are often indicators of a loose part. Grinding and whistling noises may mean something more serious is happening. Because these issues won’t dissipate over time, it’s crucial to have your air conditioner examined if you hear loud, strange noises.

Frequent Repairs

Folly Beach AC repair is essential for keeping your air conditioner working efficiently. Sometimes, however, it makes more sense from a cost perspective to install a replacement system. This is especially true if your repairs are racking up. Some AC experts suggest using the “$5,000 rule” if you’re considering a new AC install. Simply multiply the age of your air conditioner by the costs you have been paying to repair your unit. If that amount is over $5,000, it may make more financial sense to install a new air conditioner rather than pay for expensive repairs throughout the year.

Higher Energy Bills

If you notice that your energy bill has significantly increased in price, it could be a sign that your HVAC unit is struggling to cool your home effectively. Try to be mindful of your air conditioner’s cooling cycles. If you notice frequent cycles, even in the summer, it could be the reason for your increased energy bill. In these cases, it’s best to have an expert test your system to see if a repair or replacement option is best for your family.

Age of Air Conditioning Unit

This sign is a no-brainer and one of the easiest ways to tell if you need to install a new AC system. On average, your HVAC unit will have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. If your unit is more than ten years old and doesn’t have the “pizzaz” that it once had, it might be time to think about installing a new air conditioning unit.

R-22 Refrigerant

Old air conditioners usually require a type of refrigerant called R-22. This substance is very harmful to the environment and has been all but outlawed on newer HVAC systems. If your AC unit is old enough to require R-22, you should give serious thought to replacing your system with a newer, environmentally friendly solution.

Call Action Heating & Air Conditioning Today!

Over our 35+ year history, we have built our reputation on honesty, skilled workmanship, and reasonable pricing. If you are on the hunt for the highest quality air conditioning repair in Folly Beach, SC, give our office a call today.

Call us at (843) 890-0532

Protecting Your Investment

Your air conditioning system works very hard every day, all year long to keep your home comfy and cool. Machines that work hard year-round are going to require maintenance and ongoing services to stay operational.

As a family-owned and operated HVAC company in Folly Beach, SC, we know better than anyone how expensive it can be to maintain an AC unit. We know that money doesn’t grow on trees. We also understand that finding last-minute resources to fix an air conditioning system can be challenging. That is why we offer extended warranties for your new or existing AC equipment. With an extended warranty from Action Heating & Air Conditioning, you benefit from repairs, replacement, and additional services covered under warranty. That way, you can enjoy your HVAC products as long as possible.

If you’re having second thoughts about purchasing an extended warranty, consider these points:
  • Generally speaking, HVAC equipment lasts anywhere from 10 to 15 years. However, warranties provided by the factory will often expire before the service life of your cooling unit is over. With an extended warranty, your indoor comfort system is covered even if the factory warranty expires.
  • Having an extended warranty on your AC system gives you the chance to project and plan for any HVAC costs. This helps you balance your budget and anticipate expenses so you aren’t caught off guard. Having a warranty will also help protect your budget against increases in labor and parts costs due to inflation.
  • If you’re thinking of selling your home, having an extended warranty may help raise your home’s value. You may also be able to transfer your extended warranty to your new home if you choose to do so.

Latest News in Folly Beach

Editorial: Great Folly tree massacre provides a teachable moment — even beyond the beach

Starting Monday, crews working for Dominion Energy are scheduled to begin cutting down about 550 mature palmettos inside the city limits of Folly Beach, and people understandably are unhappy with the loss of so many healthy trees whose only flaw is that they’re growing into overhead power lines. We see few good options here, other than channeling our frustration toward steps to minimize this sort of cutting in the years to come. There are important lessons to learn here.The first may be the most obvious: Certain species of trees...

Starting Monday, crews working for Dominion Energy are scheduled to begin cutting down about 550 mature palmettos inside the city limits of Folly Beach, and people understandably are unhappy with the loss of so many healthy trees whose only flaw is that they’re growing into overhead power lines. We see few good options here, other than channeling our frustration toward steps to minimize this sort of cutting in the years to come. There are important lessons to learn here.

The first may be the most obvious: Certain species of trees should not be planted under power lines. Dominion has a list of 26 species of trees — such as Japanese maples and certain species of holly, magnolias and viburnums — that won’t exceed 15 feet when fully mature, and the list is not all-inclusive. Species that grow taller than 15 feet eventually will be subject to pruning that may render them unsightly or, as in the case of palmettos, which can’t be pruned, result in outright removal. All property owners should be mindful of what they’re planting under or even near power lines. (Dominion has a special number for customers with questions or concerns about trees and power lines: 800-251-7234).

The second lesson is more subtle. Property owners anywhere who have palmetto trees growing under power lines should consider moving them now — before they get taller and Dominion comes calling. These mature trees can be transplanted with proper care, but the ones on Folly already are too close to the lines to do that safely, says Dominion spokesman Paul Fischer.

Transplanting the Folly trees would involve de-energizing lines for a private contractor to do the work; only OSHA certified contractors may work near energized lines. “Our goal isn’t to take down trees,” he says. “It’s to safeguard lines for our customers and the general public. With those high-voltage lines above them, even one extra foot toward that high-volt line can increase the hazard and potential for injury.”

The third lesson is the most complex, and that’s our need to continue the long, costly work to place more of our power lines underground. This is the lesson the city of Charleston pursued earlier this year when Dominion announced it would have to cut down more than 170 palmetto trees downtown that also had matured to the point where their fronds were touching power lines. In response, Charleston not only planted replacement trees but also revisited its policies for moving more power lines underground.

Folly Beach should follow suit, and we’re encouraged that Mayor Tim Goodwin plans to hold a City Council work session soon to lay out the costs and complexities of undergrounding lines. That would be a good start, though as it was in Charleston, there’s nowhere near enough time to put lines underground to save these tall palmettos.

Mayor Goodwin notes that City Council and city voters need to know more about the costs involved. He said one estimate from last year indicated it would cost about $400,000 to bury power lines along just two blocks on one street. And that doesn’t include property owners’ costs to tap into the newly buried line and possibly even upgrade their electrical service. “It’s not as easy as you think it is,” he says.

It may not be easy, but that shouldn’t stop Folly Beach and other cities from working toward burying more of their electrical lines. The benefits extend beyond sparing trees from removal or ugly pruning jobs and include greater (but not total) immunity from outages, particularly during storms with high winds.

We’re learning more than ever about the specific ways trees enhance where we live, from providing beauty and shade and cooling to wicking up stormwater that otherwise would make local flooding a little bit worse. It’s a shame Folly will lose these 550 palmettos — and it’s a shame more palmettos likely will meet similar fates as Dominion continues to inspect what’s growing under other power lines across its service area.

The sooner we take these lessons to heart, the sooner we can put a stop to losses like these.

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

Longtime family-owned Folly Beach inn sold for $3.35M

FOLLY BEACH — For nearly three quarters of a century, members of the Holliday family owned and operated a small lodging that started as a weekend island-resort rental to raise extra money to fund improvements to the beach house.Now, the 16-room Holliday Inn at 116 W. Ashley Ave., a few steps away from the Atlantic Ocean, is under new ownership.Folliday Inn Holdings LLC of Eatonton, Ga., bought the two-building rental accommodation Sept. 21 for $3.35 million, according to Charleston County land records.Jim Moring wi...

FOLLY BEACH — For nearly three quarters of a century, members of the Holliday family owned and operated a small lodging that started as a weekend island-resort rental to raise extra money to fund improvements to the beach house.

Now, the 16-room Holliday Inn at 116 W. Ashley Ave., a few steps away from the Atlantic Ocean, is under new ownership.

Folliday Inn Holdings LLC of Eatonton, Ga., bought the two-building rental accommodation Sept. 21 for $3.35 million, according to Charleston County land records.

Jim Moring with RestaurantBrokers.info handled the sale for the seller and said the new lead owner is Matthew Baldino, a restaurant and bar owner from Chicago. He bought the inn in a partnership with his brother, Shane Baldino of Georgia, and Charleston real estate developer Spencer Nash of Bowmen LLC.

Nathan Buttrick with Carolina One Real Estate represented the buyers and said the owners plan to continue to operate it as a small inn.

“We bought it to save it,” said Matt Baldino, who first stayed at the inn in 2015. “We are going to continue to run it as a family business, and we want to inject new life into a place that is a piece of Americana.”

Baldino, who owns Commonwealth Tavern and Guthrie’s Tavern in the Windy City, first made an offer in 2017 and finally closed on the deal this year.

“It took a long time to get Mr. Holliday to a place where he felt comfortable to sell,” Baldino said.

Guests who show up next spring will see a few changes. Room renovations are planned during the winter.

“It will see a significant facelift while keeping its core character,” Baldino said. “We want to make it more customer friendly, but not change the identity.”

The previous owner was Louis C. Holliday, a trustee of the Louis C. Holliday Living Trust.

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He declined to talk about the property sale, but said he would no longer be living on the island locals refer to as “The Edge of America.”

“Folly Beach is not the same anymore,” the former inn owner said. “It’s a completely different atmosphere than it was.”

He pointed to more traffic and larger crowds while acknowledging that nothing stays the same.

“Times keep changing,” he said.

According to the inn’s website, his mother, Louise Holliday, started renting rooms in 1949 over a Fourth of July weekend to make new friends and earn a few extra bucks for home improvements.

Holliday said he didn’t remember the exact date the inn started, but he believes the website might be off by a couple of years and the rentals could have started in the early 1950s.

The concept took hold and eventually expanded from a four-room beach bungalow to a two-building property that includes enclosed common areas, an outdoor covered patio and a large backyard with umbrella-shaded patio tables, stone fire pit and a large swimming pool.

The small lodging is not associated with the Atlanta-based Holiday Inn chain that is owned by InterContinental Hotels Group.

The chain’s first accommodation opened in Memphis, Tenn., in 1952, three years after Louise Holliday began renting rooms on Folly, based on the inn’s website.

Dominion Energy plans to cut down more than 500 palmetto trees on Folly Beach

FOLLY BEACH — Approximately 550 palmetto trees that have grown too close to overhead power lines are scheduled to be removed by Dominion Energy, starting this month.The utility said trees that reach too close to the lines pose a fire hazard and an issue of employee and public safety.Topping palmettos would likely kill them, so the removal of the ones identified on Folly Beach and in the surrounding area is the safest option, according to Dominion Energy.This decision has proven disturbing to some residents as these...

FOLLY BEACH — Approximately 550 palmetto trees that have grown too close to overhead power lines are scheduled to be removed by Dominion Energy, starting this month.

The utility said trees that reach too close to the lines pose a fire hazard and an issue of employee and public safety.

Topping palmettos would likely kill them, so the removal of the ones identified on Folly Beach and in the surrounding area is the safest option, according to Dominion Energy.

This decision has proven disturbing to some residents as these trees are an icon of the state.

Nina Fair has lived in the Oak Island community, an unincorporated part of Charleston County near Folly Beach, for almost 30 years and said there has never been a “wholesale cutting” of palmetto trees like the one planned now. She hates to see any trees be removed.

“I think we need to be very intentional and selective about the trees that we do take down, both for water absorption and shade purposes,” Fair said.

Trees have already begun to be removed in her neighborhood. She said on heavily wooded lots, a few palmettos being cut down probably won’t make much of a difference. But some people have grass or prairie lots where the trees are a significant part of the landscape.

Bari Zelizer, who also lives in the affected area, had seven palmettos removed from her property. The stumps were left behind.

“So, in addition to changing the landscape of our neighborhood, it leaves us with a costly problem to get rid of the stumps, to grind the stumps, which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars,” Zelizer said.

She tried speaking with Dominion to suggest alternatives like moving or replanting the mature trees in another location, but was disappointed when she was not given a chance to talk about it.

Dominion Energy spokesman Paul Fischer said the utility understands and appreciates the passion surrounding trees across the Lowcountry, but safety remains a top priority.

The company trims and cuts trees on a five-year cycle. And the process has sparked anger in several communities that don’t want to see the greenery go.

Beyond not being given much notice before the tree removals started, Zelizer said Dominion was not amenable to talking. Some residents say they were only given a six-week notice.

“And had we been given an opportunity (to talk), we would have been able to get our landscape guy out to trim the palms,” Zelizer said.

Fischer said the utility works hard to ensure municipalities and customers are aware of this type of work in advance. Dominion customers with immediate concerns about trees on or near their property can call the utility at 800-251-7234.

Trees and limbs are the No. 1 reason for power outages. Fischer said safeguarding the overhead facilities is critical to help ensure a safe, resilient and reliable electric system and to keep the lights on for all of Dominion’s customers.

The utility said trees exceeding 15 feet are not suitable for planting along distribution rights of way or near overhead lines and are subject to removal.

Earlier this year, Dominion set out to cut away more than 170 palmettos from the Charleston peninsula’s power lines. Mayor John Tecklenburg said he would work with city leaders to greenlight a plan for underground lines so that Dominion could begin burrowing under the trees rather than trimming them.

The utility said it is always willing to consider underground lines as long as the engineering is technically feasible, system reliability is not compromised and there is a plan to cover the additional costs.

A list of considerations for planting along the utility’s right of way can be found on Dominion’s website.

Follow Shamira McCray on Twitter @ShamiraTweets.

Enjoy A Laid Back Day On The Shores Of Folly Beach, SC

Have you visited Folly Beach, SC? No matter what kind of beach trip you are looking for, you can find it on the barrier islands of Charleston, South Carolina. Folly Beach is your best bet for the perfect mix of relaxing beaches and spots to dine. Folly Island is 18 square miles of sand and sun, just 20 minutes from the tourist attractions of Charleston. Join us as we tour Folly Island and its beaches with Kidding Around’s Melanie – who spends a good bit of her time in the Low Country of South Carolina...

Have you visited Folly Beach, SC? No matter what kind of beach trip you are looking for, you can find it on the barrier islands of Charleston, South Carolina. Folly Beach is your best bet for the perfect mix of relaxing beaches and spots to dine. Folly Island is 18 square miles of sand and sun, just 20 minutes from the tourist attractions of Charleston.

Join us as we tour Folly Island and its beaches with Kidding Around’s Melanie – who spends a good bit of her time in the Low Country of South Carolina.

This article includes:Public Beach Access on Folly IslandFolly Island Places to Eat

Take A Trip To Visit More Beaches That Are Located Not Far From The Upstate!

Folly Island On The Coast Of South Carolina

The beaches of the Low Country offer something for everyone when it comes to a beach trip. For a quiet, non-commercialized beach experience, Kiawah Island’s Beach Walker Park is my go-to option. However, if a tourist-heavy, commercialized expertise is what you seek, Isle Of Palms fits the bill.

If a sandy spot somewhere in the middle of both is what you want, then the beaches of Folly Island are perfect. They are family-friendly, quiet, and some access points have restrooms and showers for beachgoers to use.

Here’s a Great Map of Folly Island To Show The Kids

Where to Stay Near Folly Beach, SC

This map contains Stay 22 affiliate links.

Accessing The Beach On Folly Island

With six miles of shoreline, there’s no shortage of sand to spread out on when visiting Folly Beach. Finding beach access isn’t difficult, but depending on your family’s needs, one access might be more suitable than another.

Located on the southern tip of Folly Island, the county park offers families all of the amenities they might need including showers, restrooms, a seasonal concession stand, seasonal lifeguards, and chair rentals.

The parking fees range from $5-$10, depending on the season, and are $15 on summer holidays. Park gates are open from 8 am to sunset.

The Folly Beach Ocean Park is located at the end of West Arctic Avenue. It offers beachgoers restroom and shower facilities that are free and open to the public (currently only open during the summer.)

At the end of nearly every block on the island there is a beach access pathway. Some spots include parking if space permits, otherwise you can park streetside.

The further you drive away from the pier, the less the metered parking costs. By quite a bit. If you aren’t trying to be right next to the pier and center street, drive a few miles north to find cheaper meter rates. The parking meter fees can be paid through a kiosk, or with the Park Folly Beach app.

The centerpiece of Folly Island is currently undergoing a rebuild and is projected to re-open in the Spring of 2023. Right now the gift shop and amenities are open while the pier is built. Amenities at Folly Beach Pier include restrooms, showers, changing rooms, and wheelchair beach access.

The Pier 101 Restaurant is closed and is scheduled to re-open in the spring of 2022.

Swimming is permitted on the beach that flanks the sides of the pier, however, the undertow can become dangerous near the pier causing unsafe conditions. Also, when the pier reopens and fishing resumes, people will be throwing baited hooks off of that pier looking to catch “a big un”. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer not to be swimming near where people are reeling in jaws.

The parking fees range from $5-$10, depending on the season, and are $15 on summer holidays. Park gates are open from 9 am to 9 pm.

Places To Eat On Folly Island

There are plenty of spots to choose from when it comes to meals on Folly Island. These are just a few of our favorites when we head out to spend the day on Folly Beach.

Taco BoyAmeri-mex style food with a kid’s menu, and a full bar. Great spot for nachos and margs after a day on the beach.

The Lost Dog Cafe

The perfect spot for breakfast or brunch, The Lost Dog has sandwiches, burgers, breakfast (all day), and more.

Saint James Gate Proper Irish Pub & Three Monkey’s Ice CreamThe menu here has a little bit of everything, including tacos. It’s kid & dog-friendly! Plus they have some delicious dessert options.

The Pineapple HutIf you spend any time on Folly Island, you are bound to see people walking down the street with a pineapple in their hands. This food truck is where it came from, filled with Dole Whip, or one of their weekly special flavors of soft-serve style ice cream. (March through October)

Wiki Wiki Sandbar

Hawaiian-inspired food, including spam sliders, and pupu platters! They also have burgers on the menu, a kids’ menu, and a full bar.

For More Information, Check Out The Kidding Around Travel Guide to Charleston, SC: Things to Do, Where to Stay, and Places to Eat

Hurricane Sam: Storm expected to become major hurricane soon, no threat to land

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WFLA) — Sam, the 18th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, reached hurricane strength on Friday morning.Hurricane Sam strengthened from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph maximum sustained winds as of 5 a.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center. Sam is about 1,470 miles east-southeast of the Northern Leeward Islands and currently poses no threat to land.Rapid intensification is now forecast, according to the NHC, and Sam is expected to become a major hurrican...

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WFLA) — Sam, the 18th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, reached hurricane strength on Friday morning.

Hurricane Sam strengthened from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph maximum sustained winds as of 5 a.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center. Sam is about 1,470 miles east-southeast of the Northern Leeward Islands and currently poses no threat to land.

Rapid intensification is now forecast, according to the NHC, and Sam is expected to become a major hurricane by Friday night or early Saturday.

The storm is moving west over the Atlantic at about 15 mph but is expected to slow down over the weekend as it turns to the west-northwest.

Sam is the seventh hurricane of the year after Elsa, Grace, Henri, Ida, Larry and Nicholas.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic basin, the NHC is monitoring three areas for potential tropical development.

The first area is the remnants of Odette, now described as a “gale-force, non-tropical low pressure system.” The system is just more than 600 miles west-northwest of the westernmost Azores and only has a “brief window of opportunity to become a subtropical or tropical cyclone” as it moves over warmer waters, according to the NHC. Forecasters have given the system a medium 40 percent chance of development.

The second area being monitored is a large area of showers and thunderstorms a couple hundred miles east of Bermuda. The NHC says there could be some tropical or subtropical development before it’s forecast to meet strong upper-level winds on Saturday. The disturbance has been given a 20 percent chance of development.

A tropical wave is the third area being watched. According to a tropical weather outlook issued Friday morning, the wave is expected to move off the coast of Africa by the end of the weekend. Once it does, environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for gradual development. A tropical depression could form by the middle of next week, according to the NHC. Forecasters have given it a low, near zero percent of formation through 48 hours and a medium 40 percent chance of formation through five days.

There are now just three names left on the list for the 2021 hurricane season: Teresa, Victor and Wanda. If the names on the regular list run out, any additional storms will be named using an alternate list of names that was approved this year by the World Meteorological Organization. In the past, storms were given names using the Greek Alphabet.

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