Sept. 24 (UPI) — Lee, which degenerated into a remnant low last week, has intensified into hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday.
Lee became the 11th named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season on Sept. 16 but dropped into a depression and then a low. It became a hurricane for the first time in a 2:30 a.m. Sunday update and the eye has since then become more defined, the NHC said.
In its 5 a.m. advisory, the NHC said Lee had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and was traveling south at 1 p.m. It was about 860 miles east of Bermuda and 1,370 miles west of the Azores.
“Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 36 to 48 hours and Lee could be near major hurricane strength on Monday,” the NHC said.
Hurricane-force winds extend up to 10 miles from the center and tropical-force winds are outward up to 35 miles.
No coastal watches or warnings are in effect.
“At this point, it is hard to judge how long this period of rapid intensification will continue,” NHC meteorologist David Zelinsky said. “On one hand, Lee is expected to remain in a relatively unstable and low-shear environment for the next several days. On the other, despite the clearing of the eye, cloud tops have not cooled significantly overnight, and the slow motion of Lee allows the possibility that the storm could begin to interact with its own cold wake.”