Hurricane Lee’s track is now targeting New England and coastal Canada, with possible impacts this weekend. Elsewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Margot may have reached peak intensity. According to the latest forecast, a low pressure system will develop into a tropical depression in the Far East this weekend.
Lee will continue its turn north tonight, increasing the risk of coastal flooding rains in New England and Canada this weekend. The National Hurricane Center said the storm is expected to accelerate and expand along the U.S. East Coast in the coming days.
The National Hurricane Center said in its 2 p.m. update that tropical-storm-force winds could reach Long Island and southern New England by Friday night, and the storm would be on Cape Cod by Saturday morning.
The storm could turn slightly east Friday night and Saturday, bringing it closer to southern New England, forecasters said.
Jeff Berardelli, a meteorologist at WFLA-TV in Tampa, wrote on social media that “the biggest impact of these big fast-moving systems … is huge waves and significant upwelling.” He shared a map showing a 10-foot wave height at 16-foot Cape Cod on Long Island’s south shore.
The storm is expected to expand over time and continue to grow as it speeds north. Hurricane winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles.
The National Weather Service says there is a risk of high surf in Palm Beach County Friday through Sunday, and a risk of rip currents in Broward and Palm Beach counties Thursday through Sunday.
A tropical storm watch was in effect for Bermuda Wednesday as Lee moved to its west. Bermuda could get up to 2 inches of rain Thursday through Friday, forecasters said.
As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, Lee was 420 miles south-southwest of Bermuda, moving north-northwest at 9 mph, and maintaining sustained winds of 110 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
Last week, Lee intensified exceptionally quickly, going from a Category 1 hurricane with maximum winds of 80 mph early Thursday to a dangerous Category 5 storm with 165 mph winds in 24 hours.
The Far Eastern Caribbean, British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas and Bermuda are experiencing swell from Lee through Tuesday night, the hurricane center said.
“Dangerous surf and rip currents” are expected to move north over much of the coast and into Atlantic Canada over the next few days, forecasters said.
The weather service added that South Florida beaches will experience “deteriorating beach and boating conditions” by midweek, with a risk of dangerous rip currents.
As the swell gradually builds during the lee week, rough surf beating against the shore at high tide can cause some minor beach erosion.
Lee is expected to move the cooler sea temperatures left over from Hurricane Franklin later in the week. That, along with wind shear and dry air, is expected to weaken Lee steadily later this week and through the weekend, forecasters said.
Margot remains stable as a Category 1 hurricane in the Mid-Atlantic, but its path is forecast to meander in a circular pattern.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, hurricane-force winds extend outward 45 miles from Margot’s center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward 230 miles.
Forecasters said on Wednesday that meandering Margot may have reached its peak intensity and become a post-tropical cyclone early next week.
Forecasters are also watching for a wide area of low pressure moving west-northwest or northwestward across the Mid-Atlantic, which is likely to develop into a tropical depression.
As of 2pm Wednesday, the Hurricane Center said it had a 70% chance of developing over the next two days and a 90% chance over the next week.
The season officially runs through November 30. The next named storm is Nigel.