Click here for a new, updated story: Hurricane Lee's Risk To East Coast Rises: New Week-Long Projected Track
Lee, now packed with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, is located over the warm waters of the Central Atlantic, hitting Category 5 status before wind speeds lowered it to Cat 4.
It's expected to move over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Already the strongest hurricane of the 2023 season, Lee's reached Cat 5 status Thursday night, Sept. 7, just a day after it went from being a tropical storm to a hurricane.
After passing over the Caribbean, Lee is expected to maintain a north-northwest path, but in a statement Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center said "It's way too soon to know what, if any, level of impacts Lee might have along the US East Coast."
Most of the so-called spaghetti models that show a storm's long-term path have Lee curving northward and remaining over the open Atlantic, but some have it veering farther west, with its eye near eastern Long Island and the New England coast late next week.
"At this time, the storm is likely to pass far enough away from Puerto Rico and the northern Leeward Islands to avoid severe conditions," according to AccuWeather.com. "However, Lee's path will still be close enough to the islands that some rain and wind impacts will spread across Anguilla, Antigua, and Barbuda as well as the British and Virgin Islands this weekend."
For Lee's projected path through Wednesday morning, Sept. 13, see the image above.
Earlier report - 'Exceptionally Dangerous Weather Event': Lee Becomes Powerful Hurricane, May Hit Cat 5 In Days
The hurricane season began on Thursday, June 1, and ends on Thursday, Nov 30.
This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.
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