Tropical Storm “Lee” formed on September 5, 2023, as the 13th named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm is expected to rapidly intensify into an extremely dangerous hurricane by the weekend.
- Lee is forecast to become a major hurricane by late this week and could bring impacts to the Leeward Islands this weekend. While it is too soon to determine the location and magnitude of these possible impacts, interests in this area should monitor the progress of Lee and further updates to the forecast.
At 09:00 UTC on September 5, the center of Tropical Storm “Lee” was located about 2 040 km (1 265 miles) ESE of the Northern Leeward Islands. The system had maximum sustained winds of 100 km/h (65 mph) and was moving WNW at 22 km/h (14 mph). Its minimum central pressure was 997 hPa.
While there are currently no coastal watches or warnings in effect, interests in the Leeward Islands should monitor the progress of this system.
Swells generated by Lee are expected to reach portions of the Lesser Antilles on Friday, September 8. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
“Lee has already been strengthening fairly quickly despite some east-northeasterly vertical wind shear over the system,” NHC forecaster Cangialosi said.
“Since the shear is expected to relax while the storm remains over very warm water and in a moist environment, continued steady to rapid intensification is expected during the next few days. Most of the intensity models are very aggressive, bringing Lee to major hurricane status by the weekend, but they don’t show much change in strength in the short term. In addition, even the global models like the GFS and ECMWF show explosive intensification and forecast Lee’s minimum pressure to drop by more than 60 hPa by the end of the forecast period [5 days]. The NHC intensity forecast lies near the high end of the model guidance during the next 24 – 48 hours, but falls to near the middle of the guidance envelope after that. Regardless of the details, there is high confidence that Lee will be a powerful hurricane late this week and over the weekend.”
1 Tropical Storm Lee – Advisory Number 4 – NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL – AL132023 500 AM AST Wed Sep 06 2023
Featured image: Tropical Storm “Lee” at 12:10 UTC on September 6, 2023. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers
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