Thursday, September 7, 2023 at 3:28 am
Miami– On Wednesday, Lee swept into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean as it approached the Caribbean Sea, intensifying into a hurricane.
The storm was located about 1,035 miles (1,665 km) east of the northern Leeward Islands. It had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 km/h) and was moving west-northwest at 14 mph (22 km/h), according to the National Hurricane Center.
It is not expected to make landfall, but is expected to pass over the northeastern British Virgin Islands, which are still recovering from Hurricanes Maria and Irma, which struck in September 2017.
Lee is expected to develop into an extremely dangerous major hurricane by Friday.
“Storm Lee continues to intensify rapidly,” the center said, noting that the storm is moving through very warm waters and wet conditions.
Lee is the 12th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season (June 1-November 30).
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned in August that this year’s hurricane season will be above normal. Between 14 and 21 named storms are expected. Of these, 6 to 11 could become hurricanes, of which 2 to 5 could become major hurricanes.
In the Pacific Ocean, Chova intensified into a hurricane off the southwestern coast of Mexico and posed no threat to land. The wind was 85 mph (140 km/h). It was about 640 miles (1,035 kilometers) south of the southern tip of Baja California and was moving west-northwest at 9 mph (15 km/h).
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