Lee May Soon Become 'Extremely Dangerous'

Tropical storm is set to evolve into a Category 4 or 5 hurricane by the weekend in the Caribbean
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2023 9:50 AM CDT
Lee May Soon Become 'Extremely Dangerous'
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/buradaki)

At the moment, Lee is a mere tropical storm churning its way through the Atlantic. By later Wednesday, however, it could be upgraded to a hurricane, and by Friday, it's expected to transform into an "extremely dangerous" one, reports Axios. "There is high confidence that Lee will be a powerful hurricane late this week and over the weekend," the National Hurricane Center warned early Wednesday. Per Axios, "computer models are virtually unanimous in calling for this storm to become a major Category 4 or 5 hurricane," though the NHC noted that it's "too soon to determine the location and magnitude of these possible impacts."

The storm—aka "Tropical Depression 13"—is on a northwest course toward the Caribbean, with a path currently set to track north of Puerto Rico and the Leeward Islands (the northern part of the Lesser Antilles). As of now, the storm isn't expected to hit the US mainland and will instead probably be pushed offshore from the East Coast by a cold front—though that could change in a week's time. Lee is expected to quickly evolve into a hurricane thanks to the super-warm waters it's entering, alongside atmospheric conditions that will likely further ramp up the storm's intensity.

The AP reports that, as of Wednesday morning, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 65mph and was moving west-northwest at a clip of about 14mph, per the NHC. Still, "it's too soon to worry," notes Judson Jones for the New York Times, adding that "for now, there are too many unknowns and too many things that could change before the storm comes close to North America." Jones says whatever form Lee ends up ultimately taking, it will likely create stormy conditions, including "rip currents and big waves" along the East Coast of the US, but while "this storm is worth monitoring," at this point, it's "not worth freaking out about." (More Tropical Storm Lee stories.)

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