Hurricane Lee lost some strength Friday but still poses a threat approaching the southwest Atlantic.
Forecasters say the storm remains a major hurricane, Fox Weather reported Saturday, noting the National Hurricane Center said winds were sustained at approximately 115 miles per hour.
It has been deemed a Category 3 storm, and the Fox article said if it strengthens again, “This could cause dangerous surf and rip currents along the majority of the U.S. East Coast on Sunday, which may worsen throughout the week.”
Fox Weather Hurricane Specialist Bryan Norcross said Thursday, “This has all the identifying markers of a super strong hurricane,” while showing viewers the storm’s track:
He said the good thing about its track is it is headed north of nearby islands.
In a social media post early Saturday, the National Hurricane Center shared images of Lee:
11AM AST Sep 9: @NOAA_HurrHunter & @53rdWRS find #Lee maintaining strength this morning. Hazardous beach conditions are expected around the western Atlantic through next week. Visit https://t.co/tW4KeGe9uJ for the latest information pic.twitter.com/xXiy8NY8Ux
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 9, 2023
“It is way too soon to know what level of impacts, if any, Lee might have along the U.S. East Coast, Atlantic Canada, or Bermuda late next week, particularly since the hurricane is expected to slow down considerably over the southwestern Atlantic,” the agency stated.
Per the Fox report, the storm developed extremely fast on Thursday. It went from a Category 1 at 80 miles per hour late Wednesday to a Category 5 at 165 miles per hour over the course of 24 hours.
Video footage from the U.S. Air Force’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron shows the storm’s eye wall on Thursday with intense lightning flashes in the darkness:
“When you see a storm that is wrapped up like that, then you know, you’ve got a storm in the upper echelon,” Norcross explained. “And this has been really one for the record books in so many ways. And just thankfully, it’s not heading for land, at least there in the short term.”
A WWLTV meteorologist said on Saturday it was hard to tell where the storm would end up, but officials would continue monitoring the situation:
As of Saturday morning, there are no watches or warnings for landmasses near the storm, per the Fox report.