Hurricane Lee is expected to strengthen
- Hurricane Lee is expected to strengthen over the next day or two.
- It is too early to know what areas this hurricane may threaten late this week or the end of next week.
- Bermuda, Atlantic Canada and the northeastern United States should monitor the forecast closely.
- Dangerous high waves, rip currents and coastal flooding are possible along the East Coast this week.
Hurricane Lee will head north over the western Atlantic next week and interests in Bermuda, Atlantic Canada and possibly parts of the northeast coast should continue to watch the forecast closely.
The hurricane will send dangerous high waves and rip currents to the East Coast of the United States no matter where it tracks over the next few days.
Here’s where I am now: Hurricane Lee is centered more than 200 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, and is moving west-northwest.
Wind shear caused Lee to weaken to its maximum strength as a Category 5 late last week.
Wind strength is expected to decrease, which should allow me to boost some over the next couple of days.
This is where Lee will go over the next five days: Lee’s center will continue to pass north of the northern Leeward Islands, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, over the next day or two.
After that, the outlook gets murkier and will depend on where Lee eventually heads north during the middle part of the week. Lee should also start to weaken again by later this week as it heads north as it will encounter somewhat cooler water temperatures, due in part to Hurricane Franklin and the remnants of Adalia.
(more: 12 things you may not know about hurricane forecasts)
An uncertain northward direction will determine the effects in Bermuda, Atlantic Canada and possibly the northeastern United States: Lee is directed from west-northwest due to high pressure to the north at the moment. By the middle of the week, a northward turn will be triggered by a lowering jet stream sweeping across the eastern United States
It is uncertain where and when exactly this shift will occur, leading to a larger spread of computer modeling guidance during the latter half of the week.
Currently, trends in the computer model’s guidance of the group over the past few days indicate that the turn to the north will not be sharp enough to avoid all areas of the Earth. The hurricane will also grow in size, which means that its effects may extend far beyond its center.
Bermuda and Atlantic Canada have the highest chance of seeing some rain and wind impacts. Since track uncertainty remains high, we cannot rule out potential rain and wind effects along the northeast coast of the United States as well. Interests in all of these areas should continue to watch Lee’s outlook closely.
As with most hurricanes, These forecasts are subject to change. Check back with us at Weather.com for the latest information on this and the 2023 hurricane season.
Dangerous waves and rip currents will occur: The one sure thing about Lee’s path, no matter exactly where it heads, is that it will generate dangerous high waves, rip currents, coastal flooding, and even beach erosion along the East Coast for most of this week. This is particularly the case from the southeastern United States to New England.
Due to the storm’s initial slow motion and its increasing size, these coastal floods are likely to occur over several days and high tide cycles.
Keep this in mind if you have plans if you live near or plan to head to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean this week. Stay out of the water, especially if red flags are flying on the beach.
Date me so far
Lee became the 13th storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season on Tuesday afternoon and the fourth hurricane of the season late Wednesday afternoon. That was more than a week before the fourth average hurricane intensity on Sept. 16, according to National Hurricane Center data.
Then Lee underwent very rapid intensification, going from a Category 1 hurricane to a Category 5 hurricane in just 18 hours on Thursday. Only three other hurricanes have hit the Atlantic since 1982 It has seen its winds increase by 80 mph in 24 hours or less since 1982, most recently with Matthew in 2016. This was the fastest 24-hour intensification anywhere in the Atlantic basin outside the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea in 41 years, according to Kieran . Bhatia, Princeton scholar.
The Hurricane Survey recorded sustained winds of 160 mph Thursday night, making it the first Category 5 hurricane since Ian in 2022. Before Hurricane Lee, only 39 other Atlantic hurricanes reached Category 5 status over the past 100 years.
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