Tropical Storm Lee Expected to Become an “Extremely Dangerous” Hurricane by Weekend
Hurricane Lee was rapidly strengthening, with winds of 105mph (165km/h) on Thursday as it churned towards Caribbean islands with “life-threatening” conditions expected to develop in the coming days.
The hurricane is expected to continue to rapidly grow in intensity throughout the day and into the evening, according to the National Weather Service.
Swells created by Hurricane Lee will likely extend to portions of the Lesser Antilles on Friday, and then reach the British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas, and Bermuda over the weekend. The swells are expected to cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.
The Leeward Islands is the name for the group of islands located where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean and includes Puerto Rico, the US and British Virgin Islands, and Antigua and Barbuda.
The hurricane’s winds are extending approximately 25 miles (35km) from its centre, with tropical storm-force winds extending up to 90 miles (150km) from the centre.
Lee is the 12th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.
Earth experienced hottest summer on record in 2023
The sweltering summer of 2023 has been officially confirmed as the “hottest summer on record” for the northern hemisphere by the United Nations.
This August was found to be about 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than pre-industrial times, scientists from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the European climate service, Copernicus, announced on Wednesday.
The hottest August ever is also the second hottest month ever after this July, WMO said.
August marked the end of a brutal summer in the northern hemisphere with land and ocean heat records shattered across continents; extreme heatwaves and deadly wildfires.
“The dog days of summer are not just barking, they are biting,” United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “Climate breakdown has begun.”
Graig Graziosi7 September 2023 22:00
Meteorologist says eastern Canada, New Englanders are watching Hurricane Lee’s trajectory and hoping for an northeast swing
John Morales, NBC6’s hurricane expert, said residents of Canada’s easternmost provinces and New England in the US are likely watching Hurricane Lee’s expected trajectory as it intensifies, possibly to a Category 5 storm.
While Hurricane Lee is expected to miss landfall in the Caribbean and Florida, it may take a northward turn, which could bring its effects — like significant storm surges and high winds — to the northeastern portion of North America.
“…Residents of Canada’s easternmost provinces, and even New Englanders in the U.S., are aware of Lee and hoping that a northbound track will be followed by another turn to the northeast, sparing them,” Mr Morales said in his analysis.
Graig Graziosi7 September 2023 21:26
What is El Nino and why is it intensifying this year’s hurricanes?
After three years of the cooler La Nina pattern, which often lowers global temperatures slightly, the WMO announced on Tuesday that El Nino conditions were present and are expected to gradually strengthen into the winter.
The last significant El Nino event occurred in 2016, which has gone down as the warmest year the world has seen since records began.
Its recurrence in 2023, when global heating driven by man-made carbon emissions has only accelerated, threatens a “double whammy”, according to the WMO, which has warned there is a 90 per cent probability of it lasting to the year’s end.
That means the likelihood of extreme weather events that could prove life-threatening has also increased, prompting the organisation’s officials to caution world governments that they must be prepared.
Graig Graziosi7 September 2023 21:00
Hurricane Lee expected to reach Category 4 storm by this evening
After a day of rapid intensification, Hurricane Lee is being forecast to reach Category 4 by this evening.
The Atlantic’s warm waters — thanks to the El Nino climate pattern — are feeding Hurricane Lee, which is expected to become a Category 5 hurricane later this week.
The National Hurricane Centre reports that Hurricane Lee’s winds reached 120mph (193km/h) as of 3pm.
Graig Graziosi7 September 2023 20:39
Flamingoes were flung from Florida to Ohio in Hurricane Idalia
The long-legged wading birds have been sighted as far afield as Ohio, Kentucky, the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee and Texas in recent days, according to Audubon Florida, a nonprofit that is tracking their movements.
Flamingos are also cropping up in parts of Florida where they are rarely seen, such as the north central Alachua County and Collier County on the southern Gulf Coast.
Graig Graziosi7 September 2023 20:09
National Hurricane Centre warns 25 per cent chance of tropical storm-strength winds for Puerto Rico and surrounding islands
The National Hurricane Centre has warned there is still a 25 per cent chance that Puerto Rico and other nearby islands — including the Lesser Antilles and Hispaniola — will experience sustained tropical storm-strength winds caused by Hurricane Lee.
“The environment around the cyclone looks ideal for rapid intensification,” the NHC said. “The models are in fairly good agreement that significant strengthening should begin later today and continue into the weekend, when Lee will likely reach its peak intensity. Fluctuations in strength are likely from days three to five due to potential eyewall replacements, but Lee is still expected to be a dangerous hurricane over the southwestern Atlantic early next week.”
Graig Graziosi7 September 2023 19:49
Hurricane Lee: Will it turn north?
Forecasters are unsure of if, or when, Hurricane Lee will make a turn toward the north as it continues churning across the Atlantic, but they are watching closely.
Some computer models of Hurricane Lee’s expected trajectory show a northward turn, but it’s unclear when that might happen, and if it does, how close it will bring the hurricane to the US’s east coast.
Any possible impacts on the US east coast will become more clear in the coming days as Hurricane Lee continues its trek.
Graig Graziosi7 September 2023 19:26
Hurricane Lee: The latest update
Hurricane Lee was about 870 miles (1405km) east of the northern Leeward Islands with winds of 105mph (165km/h), according to the 11am (eastern) update from the National Weather Service.
The hurricane is expected to rapidly intensify through today and this evening.
Hurricane-force winds are extending outwards for 25 miles (35km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km).
Swells generated by Lee are expected to reach portions of the Lesser Antilles on Friday, and reach the British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas, and Bermuda this weekend. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Louise Boyle7 September 2023 18:47
Watch: Hurricane Lee rapidly strengthening
Hurricane Lee rapidly strengthening as it churns towards Caribbean islands
Louise Boyle7 September 2023 18:33
The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration warned in August that this year’s season would produce an above-normal number of storms. Between 14 to 21 named storms are forecast. Of those, six to 11 could become hurricanes, with two to five of them possibly becoming major hurricanes, the agency said.
Meanwhile, AccuWeather updated its forecast, predicting there would be three to five hurricanes Category 3 or stronger this season, compared with one to three in its previous analysis.
Louise Boyle7 September 2023 18:04