US Watches as Hurricane Lee Targets Northeast as Prospects Rise for New Atlantic System – Orlando Sentinel

Hurricane Lee has dropped below major hurricane status in the Atlantic but is expected to target New England and Canada while the National Hurricane Center monitors Hurricane Margot and another system with increasing chances of becoming the next depression or tropical storm.

As of 11 p.m., Lee still had sustained winds of 105 mph making it a Category 2 hurricane located about 345 miles southwest of Bermuda and 920 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts and moving north-northwest at 9 mph. the hour. The wind range has also increased since Tuesday, with hurricane-force winds extending 115 miles and tropical storm-force winds extending 265 miles.

“A northward movement and an increase in forward speed are expected until Friday,” meteorologists said. “On the forecast track, Lee’s center will pass west of Bermuda on Thursday and then approach the New England and Canadian Atlantic coast on Friday and Saturday.”

NHC

Hurricane Lee Cone of Uncertainty as of 11 PM Wednesday, September 13, 2023. (NHC)

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Bermuda with winds expected tonight or early Thursday and 1-2 inches of rain. Also late Thursday, a hurricane watch was issued for parts of Maine up to the US-Canada border, and a tropical storm watch was in place for coastal New England from Watch Hill, Rhode Island to Stonington, Maine including Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. . A storm surge watch has been issued for Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket with some areas could see 2 to 4 feet.

“Friday night into Saturday night, Lee is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 1 to 4 inches across parts of eastern New England into parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This could lead to localized flooding and minor flooding in urban areas,” it said. The NHC stated in its warning.

The still powerful Category 3 hurricane remained as of Wednesday morning since it regained major hurricane status on Sunday. This came after an erratic up-and-down period last week that saw it jump from a Category 1 to a Category 5 hurricane in less than half a day before falling again over the weekend.

“Hurricane is expected to slowly weaken over the next few days, but Lee will likely remain a major and dangerous hurricane through the end of the week,” meteorologists said.

Waves from the storm caused dangerous surf and rip current conditions along the US coast.

The five-day cone of uncertainty has it remaining a hurricane off the coast as it heads toward the northeastern United States and Canada, but then it shifts shape away from a tropical cyclone, but it remains a system with a wide and dangerous wind field.

“A number of factors — including the broad structure of the hurricane, increasing shear, and potential upwelling of cold water — will likely lead to a very gradual decline in maximum hurricane winds over the next three days or so,” forecasters said. “In addition, Lee will likely begin an extratropical transition within two to three days, and this process is expected to be complete before the hurricane center reaches the coast of Maine, New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia in about four days.”

Wind, rain and coastal flooding threats remain in parts of New England and Atlantic Canada starting Friday and continuing through the weekend.

“Watching may be needed in parts of these areas later today or tonight,” meteorologists said. “Given the large size of the lee, the risks will extend far from the centre, and exactly where the center reaches the coast will be of little consequence.”

Hurricane Margot's cone of uncertainty as of 5pm Wednesday, September 13, 2023. (NHC)
Hurricane Margot’s cone of uncertainty as of 5pm Wednesday, September 13, 2023. (NHC)

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center continues to track Hurricane Margot.

At 5 p.m., the Category 1 hurricane developed to 90 mph sustained winds located about 790 miles west-southwest of the Azores and moving north at 7 mph. Its hurricane-force winds extend up to 70 miles, and its tropical storm-force winds extend up to 230 miles.

“This movement is expected to continue with a gradual decrease in forward speed through Thursday. Margot is then likely to meander within weak channeling currents through this weekend,” forecasters said. “Some weakening is expected over the next 72 hours. “

Waves are likely to impact the Azores today causing life-threatening surf and disruptive conditions.

Tropical forecast as of 8pm Wednesday, September 13, 2023. (NHC)
Tropical forecast as of 8pm Wednesday, September 13, 2023. (NHC)

The NHC is also tracking a broad area of ​​low pressure extending across the eastern and central tropical Atlantic that shows better organization with rain and thunderstorms.

“Environmental conditions are favorable for further development of this system, and a tropical depression is likely to form by the end of this week as the depression moves from west-northwest to northwest at a speed of 10 to 15 miles per hour across the central tropical Atlantic Ocean,” meteorologists said.

The NHC gives it an 80% chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm in the next two days and a 90% chance in the next seven.

If it reaches named storm status, it will become Tropical Storm Nigel, the 14th named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through November 30.

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