- Written by Brandon Drennon
- BBC News, Washington
Hurricane Lee has weakened slightly to a Category 4 storm, but will remain strong through early next week as it makes its way across the Atlantic.
The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said winds were nearing 155 mph (250 kph) and could lead to “hazardous coastal conditions” in the western Atlantic.
The storm is not expected to make landfall anywhere on its current path.
But its impact may be felt on the shores of some Caribbean islands.
Lee is the twelfth storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June to November.
It quickly intensified to Category 1 within an hour on Thursday. At one point, Lee reached Category 5, with wind speeds reaching 160 mph (260 km/h).
In its latest form to updateThe National Hurricane Center said the hurricane was expected to pass “northward” from the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico over the weekend and early next week.
While Hurricane Lee is not currently expected to make landfall anywhere, waves from the storm are expected to reach parts of the Caribbean — including the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Turks and Caicos Islands — starting Friday and through the weekend .
“These waves are likely to cause life-threatening waves and rip current conditions,” the update added.
Similar conditions are expected to begin on the US East Coast on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that it is “too early to know what level of impacts” the hurricane will have on the United States. Atlantic Canada or Bermuda so far.
On Friday afternoon, I was about 565 miles (910 kilometers) east of the northern Leeward Islands.
Meanwhile, Tropical Depression 14 turned into Tropical Storm Margot on Thursday.
Margot is expected to gain hurricane strength over the weekend, although it is expected to remain over open water.
In the Pacific Ocean, Cyclone Jova weakened from a Category 5 to a Category 2 storm. It is expected to weaken further over the weekend over cold waters.
Early Friday afternoon, it was located 755 miles (1,220 kilometers) southwest of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.
The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be more active than average.
The impact of climate change on the frequency of tropical storms is still unclear, but increasing sea surface temperatures are warming the air above them and providing more energy to propel hurricanes.
As a result, it is likely to be more intense with heavier rainfall.
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