September 23, 2023

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Lee charged by means of heat Atlantic waters on Friday and threatened to unleash heavy swells throughout the northeast Caribbean. It turned the season’s first Class 5 storm earlier than weakening barely.

Presently a Class 4 hurricane, it isn’t anticipated to make landfall, however meteorologists warned it will generate harmful waves of as much as 15 ft (5 meters) throughout the northern coast of Puerto Rico and different close by islands. Whereas Lee is on a path that might take it a pair hundred miles (kilometers) northeast of the Caribbean, tropical storm circumstances aren’t forecast for the area.

“Though the hurricane is extremely highly effective, its wind area is just not significantly massive,” the Nationwide Hurricane Middle stated.

The hurricane was positioned about 565 miles (910 kilometers) east of the northern Leeward Islands. It had winds of as much as 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour) and was transferring west-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph).

“Fluctuations in depth like what has occurred this morning aren’t unusual in intense hurricanes,” the middle stated.

Lee is predicted to strengthen and attain winds of as much as 180 mph (290 kph). Solely seven Atlantic hurricanes have had winds of that magnitude since 1966, in line with Colorado State College hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. Amongst these was Hurricane Dorian, which pummeled the northern Bahamas in 2019 as a Class 5 storm, hovering over small islands for about two days.

The middle stated harmful surf and lethal rip currents would seemingly hit the northern Leeward Islands later Friday. They might unfold to Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and Bermuda over the weekend.

“We’ll see waves between 10 and 15 ft (3 and 5 meters), so we don’t need anybody on the seashores,” stated Ernesto Morales with the Nationwide Climate Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Nationwide Hurricane Middle stated harmful surf and rip currents have been forecast for a lot of the U.S. East Coast beginning Sunday, however that it didn’t have additional particulars of what else the storm may unleash.

“It’s manner too quickly to know what degree of impacts, if any, Lee might need alongside the U.S. East Coast, Atlantic Canada or Bermuda late subsequent week,” the middle stated.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday was given the hurricane’s newest trajectory and particulars of preparations underway by the U.S. Federal Emergency Administration Company. About 4.5 million meals and practically 8.9 million liters of water can be found in Puerto Rico, and one other roughly 250,000 meals and greater than 600,000 liters of water within the U.S. Virgin Islands, the company stated Friday.

FEMA stated it has additionally deployed speedy response groups to each U.S. territories as a precaution.

Lee is the twelfth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and peaks in September.

Tropical Storm Margot turned the thirteenth named storm after forming on Thursday night. It was positioned about 580 miles (930 kilometers) west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. It had winds of as much as 40 mph (65 kph) and was forecast to strengthen right into a hurricane over the weekend. It was transferring west-northwest at 17 mph (28 kph) and is predicted to stay over open water.

The Nationwide Ocean and Atmospheric Administration in August forecasted between 14 and 21 named storms this season, with six to 11 of them anticipated to turn into hurricanes, and of these, two to 5 presumably creating into main hurricanes.

Within the Pacific, Hurricane Jova churned by means of open waters removed from Mexico’s southwest coast and posed no risk to land.

It was positioned about 755 miles (1,220 kilometers) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja, California, and was transferring west-northwest at 16 mph (26 kph) with winds as much as 100 mph (155 kph).


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