Hurricane Lee forecast to rapidly strengthen; expected to become a major hurricane later today

Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

Hurricane Lee is forecast to rapidly intensify as large swells are likely to reach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico throughout the weekend according to the National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. advisory.

Lee is moving toward the west-northwest at approximately 14 mph. This motion is expected to continue through Friday.

Rapid intensification is expected to begin later Thursday. Lee is forecast to become a major hurricane by early Friday.

Satellite view of Hurricane Lee. Credit: The Weather Authority

Maximum sustained winds have increased to 80 mph with higher gusts, NHC reports.

The Leeward Islands could be impacted by Hurricane Lee in the coming days. It remains to be seen how severe the storm could be.

According to the Weather Authority’s chief meteorologist, Hurricane Lee is expected to become a major hurricane.

“Tropical Storm Lee is expected to become a powerful storm this week, with the NHC calling for a Category 4 Major Hurricane in their first cone,” said Matt Devitt on his Facebook page, Tuesday. “I’m expecting, along with the NHC, this to become at least a Category 4 Hurricane. I also can’t rule out a Category 5 at peak strength, which a few models indicate.”

Meanwhile, an area of low pressure behind it now has an 90% chance of becoming a tropical development in the Central and Eastern Atlantic within the next seven days, according to the National Hurricane Center. If the development continues, Margot will be the next name for the storm. Post-Tropical Storm Franklin, a few hundred miles northeast of the Azores, has a 10% chance of formation.

Current projections from the WINK meteorologist state that the two disturbances would impact Florida.

Current tracking of Hurricane Lee shows no threat to Florida if a tropical development were to form.

Many model plots keep Lee out of the Caribbean but not all of them. For now, the American, European and other prominent models keep it well east of Florida.

The Weather Authority will continue to update any information regarding Hurricane Lee during its cycle.

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