Tropical Storm Lee Expected to Rapidly Intensify into Extremely Dangerous Hurricane
Tropical Storm Lee is predicted to rapidly intensify into an “extremely dangerous” hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean by this weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center. As the Atlantic hurricane season approaches its typical early September peak, Lee could become a hurricane on Wednesday and a major Category 3 storm or stronger by the end of the week. Forecasters expect the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean to be affected by the storm over the weekend.
While it is too early to determine the exact location and magnitude of Lee‘s potential impacts, interests in the eastern Caribbean, including the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola, as well as the Bahamas, should closely monitor the progress of the storm. The hurricane center also warned that even if Lee stays out at sea and does not directly impact the US mainland, dangerous surf and rip currents could threaten the East Coast.
The islands that could be affected by Lee include the Virgin Islands, Saint Martin, and Antigua and Barbuda. Swells generated by the storm are expected to reach portions of the Lesser Antilles on Friday, causing life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Lee‘s winds could reach 150 mph on Sunday evening, making it an extremely powerful hurricane.
Rapid Intensification and Favorable Conditions
Lee became a tropical storm on Tuesday, forming in the central tropical Atlantic and moving through warm waters. The storm is expected to go through rapid intensification, which occurs when a storm’s winds strengthen quickly over a short period of time. This phenomenon is supported by warm ocean waters. As Lee continues to move west-northwest, it will enter conditions that are increasingly favorable for strengthening, including plenty of moisture, low wind shear, and abnormally warm water along its projected path.
The National Hurricane Center’s storm discussion notes that the intensity forecast for Lee is extremely bullish, and all indications suggest that it will become a strong hurricane by the end of the forecast period. If Lee reaches this status, it will be the fourth hurricane of the season, following Don, Franklin, and Idalia.
Atlantic Hurricane Season 2023
The Atlantic hurricane season typically peaks around September 10th, making this period the busiest on average. The 2023 Atlantic season has already been active, tracking above average for various metrics, including the number of named storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes. Researchers from Colorado State University have been monitoring the season’s activity, highlighting the importance of staying prepared and vigilant during this time.
In conclusion, Tropical Storm Lee is expected to rapidly intensify into an extremely dangerous hurricane, potentially reaching Category 3 strength or stronger by the weekend. The Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and the Bahamas should closely monitor the storm’s progress. The potential impacts on the US mainland remain uncertain, but the East Coast could face dangerous surf and rip currents. As the Atlantic hurricane season approaches its peak, it is crucial to stay informed and prepared for potential hazards.
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