Hurricane Lee’s Track: Lee raises a tropical storm and hurricane watch for coastal New England as threat grows


Hurricane and tropical storm watches are now in effect for much of coastal New England as Hurricane Lee threatens to strike parts of the region as well as Atlantic Canada later this week and into the weekend.

“Hurricane conditions, heavy rain and coastal flooding are possible in parts of eastern Maine on Saturday,” the National Hurricane Center said. He said. She added that a hurricane warning had been issued for the area.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills urged residents on Wednesday to “exercise caution and take common-sense steps to ensure they have everything they need to stay safe as the storm approaches.”

The hurricane center also warned of the potential for life-threatening storm surge flooding in parts of southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and Nantucket, late Friday and Saturday. A storm surge watch has been issued there.


A satellite image of Hurricane Lee on Wednesday shows its massive size compared to the United States.

The center added that a tropical storm warning has now been issued for much of coastal New England.

Lee winds could arrive early Friday evening for parts of New England.

The massive storm, which remained a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday evening, was moving about 370 miles southwest of Bermuda, according to an 8pm update from the Hurricane Center. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Bermuda ahead of Hurricane Lee approaching the island on Thursday. Bermuda is expected to experience tropical storm conditions by early Thursday, the center said.

“On the projected track, Lee’s center will pass west of Bermuda on Thursday and then approach the New England and Canadian Atlantic coast on Friday and Saturday,” she added.

Lee will weaken, but the effects of the storm outside its center will be significant due to its massive size, which has grown significantly since the weekend. Hurricane winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center, and tropical storm winds extend outward up to 265 miles.

For this reason, a weaker storm is no less dangerous. A larger storm has the potential to impact a more widespread area, increasing the likelihood of Lee impacting New England. The flooded area is particularly vulnerable to damage from strong winds and additional rain.

“It’s exciting, and I think it’s scary for anyone, any coastal area that might be affected by the storm,” Lt. Josh Ranenberg, who flies through Hurricane Lee, told Erin Burnett on Wednesday evening. “Normally, when a major hurricane, as you’ve seen, makes landfall, a lot of the … severe damage can be relatively localized. When a storm spreads like that, it can be scary, in the sense that the damage will be more widespread.”

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Regardless of its exact path, the storm’s impacts are expected to be widespread in New England, even if it does not make landfall.

“Given Lee’s large size, the hazards will extend far from the center, and exactly where the center reaches the coast will be of little importance,” the hurricane center said.

The soil in most parts of New England is already wet. Rainfall in parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire has been more than 300% above normal over the past two weeks, according to weather service data. Devastating flooding has already occurred in parts of Massachusetts earlier this week.

More rain this week ahead of Hurricane Lee will set the environment for flash flooding, so moderate amounts of rain from Lee could be dangerous.

The combination of tropical storm-force winds and saturated soil will also cause trees to fall more easily, especially since trees across New England are still in full leaf. This increases the risk of a greater number of power outages across the region.

Meanwhile, dangerous surf is affecting the southeastern coast of the United States from Florida through the Carolinas. The danger of rip currents now extends to the East Coast from Florida to the Massachusetts coast.

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