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Forecasters said on Wednesday they believe Hurricane Lee will be heading toward New England over the next several days.
Heading into the weekend, the storm brings the risk of wind, coastal flooding, and rain impacts for parts of New England as well as Canada’s Atlantic Coast as Lee’s core passes west of Bermuda and moves north, according to the National Hurricane Center. The National Weather Service forecast office in Boston/Norton, Massachusetts, additionally warned of increasing surf and rip currents.
Atmospheric conditions are expected to prompt Hurricane Lee to “gradually increase in forward speed” and may cause it to “turn slightly to the left Friday night and Saturday, which will likely bring Lee close to southeastern New England before it reaches Maine and Atlantic Canada later in the weekend,” NHC said in a discussion post.
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 13, 2023
“Confidence is increasing in the forecast track, and the model spread is mostly along-track, associated with the system’s forward speed/timing,” NHC added, emphasizing how the forecast has become more certain over time. “Overall, little change was made to the previous NHC track forecast, and it remains very near the various consensus models.”
Lee weakened from its peak Category 5 status last week but has grown in size over the past few days, meaning its hurricane-force winds are stretching out farther away from its center. Forecasters with NHC said the storm would bring rough surf and rip currents to a wide area in the Caribbean —including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico — and tropical storm conditions to Bermuda in the coming days.
“Due to Lee’s large size, hazards will extend well away from the center, and there will be little to no significance on exactly where the center reaches the coast,” NHC stressed.
The storm clocked in as a Category 3 hurricane with sustained maximum winds of 115 miles per hour as of midday on Wednesday, but forecasters believe it will continue to diminish as it gets closer to New England and Canada. Still, they warned, Lee will pose a danger to people in those areas.
“[Lee] is still a major hurricane & poses a serious threat to New England & the Canadian Maritimes. Although weaker this weekend, expect high surf, coastal flooding, beach erosion, & periods of high winds. Lee will be moving quickly, with [effects] being intense but short-lived,” Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Bettes said in a post to X.
#Lee is still a major hurricane & poses a serious threat to New England & the Canadian Maritimes. Although weaker this weekend, expect high surf, coastal flooding, beach erosion, & periods of high winds. Lee will be moving quickly, with affects being intense but short-lived. pic.twitter.com/phvQrwfUwi
— Mike Bettes (@mikebettes) September 13, 2023
The Atlantic hurricane season, which stretches from June 1 to November 30, is currently at its peak. Another second hurricane, Margot, is churning around the central Atlantic Ocean and is not expected to go very far over the next few days. And a disturbance over the eastern Atlantic Ocean has an 80% chance of forming into a tropical cyclone in the next week.