"Hurricane Lee will remain a powerful storm after undergoing rapid intensification," according to a report by AccuWeather.com on Saturday, Sept. 8. "As Lee turns northward next week dangerous surf will develop along the East Coast while the risk for direct impact rises in New England."
For a look at Lee's projected path through Saturday, Sept. 16, see the image above.
Lee is now a Category 3 hurricane packed with maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, is moving north-northwest at 12 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said.
It had hit Category 5 status late Thursday night, Sept. 7 before its wind speeds lowered.
It's expected to move "well over" the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this weekend and into early next week, according to the National Hurricane Center.
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.
"Changes in Lee's eye structure will result in some fluctuation in the strength of the hurricane through this weekend," AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said. "However, it is not likely to dip below major hurricane intensity (Category 3 or greater) and could spend much of the weekend at Category 4 intensity or greater."
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