MIAMI – A powerful category 5 Hurricane Lee is expected to pass well to the north of the northern Leeward Islands generating swells that could reach portions of the Lesser Antilles later on Friday, and affect the British and United States Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas, and Bermuda this weekend.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that the hurricane is expected to maintain its intensity and that while no coastal watches or warnings are in in effect, the third named storm of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane season, has sustained maximum winds of 165 miles per hour (mph).
Hurricane Lee is located about 630 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands and is moving towards the west-northwest near 14 mph. NHC said this motion is expected to continue through early next week with a significant decrease in forward speed.
“On the forecast track, Lee is expected to pass well to the north of the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico over the weekend and into early next week.
“Lee is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Additional strengthening is forecast today. Fluctuations in intensity are likely over the next few days, but Lee is expected to remain a major hurricane through early next week.”
The NHC said that swells generated by Lee are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. (CMC)