Hurricane Lee is expected to get a great deal stronger in the record warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday and will likely become a major storm by early Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center, however it may miss the Caribbean. That’s the latest news from the expert forecasters.
The Category 1 storm, packing maximum sustained winds of 80 mph as of early Thursday, could reach near Category 5-strength as it approaches the eastern Caribbean.
Lee is located about 965 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands, the hurricane center said in its 5 a.m. Thursday update.
There is increasing confidence that the center of Lee will pass to the north of the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this weekend and into early next week. There is a potential for tropical storm conditions to occur on some of these islands over the weekend.
Swells generated by Lee are expected to reach portions of the Lesser Antilles on Friday, and the British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas, and Bermuda this weekend. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
The hurricane looks like it might just stay out at sea and also miss the state of Florida on the US mainland, but all areas from the US east coast to Bermuda are still potentially at risk of being hit by a very severe storm.
Sources: CNN, National Hurricane Center, BBC.