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Hurricane Lee tracker: Latest forecast as category 3 storm’s path moves north toward East Coast


Hurricane Lee downgraded to Category 3

Hurricane Lee has slowed down slightly ahead of its expected turn northward as it moves away from land, the latest forecast shows.

The storm, which intensified to a Category 3 storm again as it whirls across the open Atlantic, is expected to go through “additional strengthening” within the coming days.

Lee exploded to a Category 5 storm within 24 hours last week before slowing down and reorganising over the weekend. Just behind Lee is Tropical Storm Margot, which is predicted to reach hurricane status imminently.

Lee is moving well north of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the northern Leeward Islands, though it still remains too early to determine whether the northeastern US coast and Canada could see any impacts, according to advisories from the National Hurricane Center.

Life-threatening surf and rip conditions are expected along the East Coast, while dangerous swells generated by the storm are spreading to the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas and Bermuda.

Lee’s historic intensification from an 80mph Category 1 to a Category 5 with 160mph winds last week makes it one the fastest-intensifying Atlantic storms on record.

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‘Rapid intensification’ of storms likely to accelerate with warming waters

Hurricane Lee is in rare company. Only two recorded storms – Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and Hurricane Felix in 2007 – strengthened faster than Lee over a 24-hour period, as Lee developed from a Cat 1 to a Cat 5 last week before degrading into its current Cat 3 status.

The storm is predicted to continue to regain strength after slowing down over the weekend.

Brian McNoldy with the University of Miami told NBC News that the warm conditions in the Atlantic were ripe for the storm’s rapid intensification last week.

The “vertical wind shear was very low and the water temperature under it was very warm,” he said, adding that Lee “took full advantage of both.”

Last year, Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified over two separate periods before striking Florida. Hurricane Idalia recently strengthened from a Cat 1 to a Cat 4 within 24 hours.

“It’s a huge problem, and the past is not a good guide to what we should expect going forward,” Jeff Masters, a former hurricane scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told NBC.

Alex Woodward12 September 2023 12:00

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Watch: Footage from inside the NOAA’s flight into Hurricane Lee

The NOAA sent a “hurricane hunter” aircraft into Hurricane Lee on Sunday night to gather data on the now Category 3 storm churning in the Atlantic.

The agency filmed a portion of the flight, which shows the researchers being jostled back and forth by the storm’s sustained 120mph winds.

Hurricane Lee is expected to remain a powerful hurricane until midweek, when forecasters believe it will begin to weaken.

Joe Sommerlad12 September 2023 11:00

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Hurricane Lee generates 15 foot waves

Hurricane Lee reportedly has generated 15 foot waves as it moves north of the Caribbean and into the waters off the US east coast, according to the Associated Press.

High surf and dangerous rip currents have already begun for some southeastern US states as the Category 3 hurricane continues on its trajectory further north.

Graig Graziosi12 September 2023 10:00

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Dangerous rip currents caused by Hurricane Lee begin to affect southeast US

Forecasters have warned for days that Hurricane Lee could produce dangerous rip currents on the US east coast, and those predicitions have come to pass.

The National Hurricane Centre reported Monday morning that dangerous rip currents — which can drag swimmers out to sea — have begun in the southeastern US.

“Dangerous surf and rip currents have begun to affect portions of the southeastern U.S. coast, and these conditions are forecast to spread northward along much of the U.S. East Coast during the next couple of days,” the centre warned.

Swimmers in southeastern US states should consult their local weather information providers before heading out for a swim over the next few days.

Graig Graziosi12 September 2023 09:00

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2023 sets the record for number of billion-dollar climate disasters

The NOAA has identified 23 seperate climate and weather disasters in 2023 that caused at least a billion dollars in damages, according to the agency.

Those events include Hurricane Idalia, which struck Florida’s western shoreline near Big Bend in late August, the devastating wildfire on Maui that killed more than 100 people, and a number of lesser reported but still highly damaging weather and climate disasters.

Severe storms, tornadoes, and hail blasted the Plains states in the spring, while California saw record breaking floods between January and March.

“There have been 23 confirmed weather and climate disaster events this year, each with losses exceeding $1bn. These disasters consisted of 18 severe storm events, two flooding events, one tropical cyclone, one winter storm and one wildfire event,” the NOAA reports. “For this year-to-date period, the first eight months of 2023 rank highest for disaster count, ahead of 2020 with 16 disasters. The total cost of these events exceeds $57.6bn, and they have resulted in 253 direct and indirect fatalities.”

An NOAA map detailing the 23 climate and weather disasters that caused at least $1bn in damages in 2023

(NOAA)

Graig Graziosi12 September 2023 08:00

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Path of Hurricane Margot

Margot which has strengthened into a hurricane now, is expected to continue to remain in open waters.

Here’s the path the storm is following:

Tropical Storm Margot’s forecasted path as it picks up speed in the Atlantic

(National Hurricane Centre)

Stuti Mishra12 September 2023 07:00

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Margot strengthens into a hurricane

Tropical Storm Margot intensified into a hurricane on Monday night with further strengthening forecast during the next 48 hours, the US National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.

The hurricane was located about 1,265 miles (2,035km) northwest of the Cape Verde Islands, packing maximum sustained winds of 75mph (120kph), the Miami-based forecaster said. Margot became a Category 1 storm Monday afternoon and was expected to continue to intensify to become the fifth hurricane of the season. It was forecast to remain over open waters.

Tropical storm Margot becomes a hurricane

(NOAA)

Stuti Mishra12 September 2023 06:24

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Hurricane Lee’s late-week impact on US east coast, Canada, still unknown

Hurricane’s Lee’s potential late-week impact on the US east coast and Canada is still unknown, according to the National Hurricane Centre.

“It remains too soon to know what level of impacts, if any, Lee might have along the U.S. East Coast and Atlantic Canada late this week, especially since the hurricane is expected to slow down considerably over the southwestern Atlantic,” the centre said on Monday.

It did note, however, that high surf and rip currents were still likely along the coast.

Graig Graziosi12 September 2023 04:59

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Heavy rains and high surf possible risk for Bermuda this week

Hurricane Lee may bring heavy rains, strong winds, and high surf to Bermuda later this week as it continues its journey through the Atlantic basin and along the US east coast.

“Lee could bring wind, rainfall, and high surf impacts to Bermuda later this week. Although it is too soon to determine the specific timing and level of those impacts, interests on Bermuda should monitor the latest forecasts for Lee,” the National Hurricane Centre said in a report.

Hurricane Lee is expected to gradually shift north by the middle of the week.

Graig Graziosi12 September 2023 04:00

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We’re in the ‘peak’ of Atlantic hurricane season

Sunday’s climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season – with conditions ripe for tropical storms and hurricanes – saw considerable action, with a strengthening Category 3 hurricane and soon-to-be hurricane tracking closely together, followed by two brewing systems to their west.

The “peak” date typically sees ocean waters at their highest temperatures, peak intensity in the atmosphere to generate thunderstorms, and shearing winds that can suffocate storms declining to a minimum, which tropical waves that fuel storms in the summer continue well into September.

Alex Woodward12 September 2023 03:00


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