as Hurricane Lee Fluctuations in the intensity of the open Atlantic Ocean, the effects of which could soon be felt along the East Coast up and down the coast in the form of life-threatening rip currents and dangerous coastal conditions.
Lee is forecast to continue moving north of Puerto Rico, the British and US Virgin Islands, and the Northern Leeward Islands, but will continue to impact there and other Caribbean islands. It is too early to determine its long-term track later this week and how significant the impacts will be in the northeastern US states, Bermuda and Atlantic Canada.
However, the East Coast is expected to face increasingly large swells and currents this week – with the Caribbean now affected.
“Swells developed by Lee are affecting parts of the Lesser Antilles,” the National Hurricane Center warned Friday night. The British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas and Bermuda face swells that could bring life-threatening surf and rip conditions this weekend.
According to the National Weather Service office in San Juan, Puerto Rico, swells of 6 to 10 feet are forecast for Sunday. Big waves are expected this week along east and north facing coasts.
“Coastal erosion and coastal flooding possible” Office published On social media.
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Vertical wind shear and an eyewall overturning circulation — a process that occurs in long-lived major hurricanes — later led to Lee weakening, the hurricane center said.
Now a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, forecasters expect Lee to regain strength “over the next two days, gradually weakening,” the hurricane center said early Sunday. Lee is centered about 280 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands as of 5 a.m. ET Sunday and is moving west-northwest at 9 mph.
Computer model trends for Lee show the hurricane turning north early this week. But when that turnaround happens, and how far west Lee can control by then, will play a big role in how close the U.S. gets.
Several steering factors in the surface and upper levels of the atmosphere will determine how close Lee will come to the East Coast.
Lee’s likely path next week will be determined by several atmospheric factors, including a strong area of high pressure to its east (yellow circle) and the jet stream to its west (silver arrows).
An area of high pressure over the Atlantic known as the Bermuda High can have a major impact on how quickly the lee changes. A strong Bermuda High will keep Lee on its current west-northwest track and slow it down a bit.
As high pressure weakens this week, the lee will begin to move northward. Once that turn to the north occurs, the state of the jet stream — the strong upper-level winds that can change the direction of a hurricane’s path — will affect how close Lee gets to the United States.
Scene: Out to sea
Track view: An area of high pressure (yellow circle) east of Lee and a jet stream (silver arrows) west of Lee, tracking the storm between the two, away from the US coast.
If the high pressure weakens significantly, Lee could turn north quickly early this week.
If the jet stream forms along the east coast, it will act as a barrier to prevent the lee from approaching the coast. This scenario would keep Lee far from the US coast, but could bring the storm closer to Bermuda.
Scene: Near East Coast
Track view: A high pressure area to the east of Lee (yellow circle) and a jet stream (silver arrows) to the west of Lee, with the storm tracking near the US coast between the two.
Lee may slowly turn northward as high pressure strengthens, and the jet stream sets inland over the eastern United States. This scenario leaves parts of the East Coast, mainly north of the Carolinas, vulnerable to a much closer approach from Lee.