Hurricane Lee advanced through open waters in the northeastern Caribbean on Sunday night, unleashing intense waves on several islands as it regained strength and increased in size.
The forecast does not predict the Category 3 storm will make landfall; instead, it expects it to remain over open waters through Friday. Additionally, on Sunday night, its center was about 500 kilometres (310 miles) north of the northern Windward Islands. It had maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h (120 mph) and was moving northwest at 13 km/h (8 mph).
Category 3 storm stays at sea
Last week, Lee strengthened from category 1 to 5 in a single day. “We had perfect conditions for a hurricane: warm waters and almost no wind shear,” said Lee Ingles of the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
It had weakened to a Category 2 hurricane on Saturday night but began to regain strength on Sunday. According to the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC), the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Lee to continue strengthening in the coming days and then weaken again.
The size of Lee's vortex was also increasing, with hurricane-force winds extending about 120 kilometres (75 miles) from the eye, while people felt tropical storm-force winds as far as 280 kilometres (175 miles).
Authorities forecast waves of up to 6 meters (20 feet) for Puerto Rico and nearby islands starting this week and warned people to stay out of the water. The National Weather Service in San Juan also anticipates flooding in areas of the northern coast of Puerto Rico and the eastern part of the island of St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands.
The NHC highlighted that most of the east coast of the United States can expect dangerous waves and currents starting Sunday, but any additional impact related to the storm remains unknown.
Lee's path uncertain, impacts unclear
The NHC added that no one knows what level of impact, if any, Lee could cause along the east coast of the United States, the Atlantic coast of Canada, or Bermuda, particularly after the hurricane is expected to slow down considerably over the southeastern waters of the Atlantic.
Lee is forecast to turn north on Wednesday. However, his subsequent career is not entirely clear.
"The NHC said, 'We expect dangerous waves and currents along most of the east coast of the United States during this week as the size of Lee increases, regardless of what happens."
The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov., has named Lee as the 12th storm. 30 and peaked Sunday.
Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Margot became the 13th named storm after forming Thursday night, but it is far away in the Atlantic and poses no threat to coasts. On Sunday, it was 1,910 kilometres (1,185 miles) west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands. The winds were 100 km/h (65 mph) and meteorologists forecasted that it would become a hurricane on Monday. It was moving north at 13 km/h (8 mph).
The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted between 14 and 21 named storms for this season. Additionally, meteorologists expect between 6 and 11 of them to become hurricanes. Out of those, two to five could reach Category 3 or higher.
In the Pacific, Jova weakened to a remnant as it rotated over open waters off the southwest coast of Mexico and poses no threat to land.
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