OAN’s James Meyers
5:07 PM – Friday, September 8, 2023
Hurricane Lee has been upgraded to a Category 5 storm over the Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) announced on Thursday.
According to a Hurricane Hunter in the Air Force Reserve, the hurricane increased to the high end of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with winds reaching 160 miles per hour.
According to the NHC, the massive storm is expected to go through the west and northwest, hitting the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico over the next five days.
However, experts claim Lee will drop back down to Category 4 status, which would still keep it as a major hurricane for the potential of disastrous damage.
“Although there are some indications that Lee might begin a northward turn around the middle of next week, it is still way too soon to focus on specific model scenarios that far out into the future,” NHC said.
Additionally, computer models are determining that the storm could make a direct impact over the Mid-Atlantic, New England and Canada.
“Dangerous surf and life-threatening rip currents are likely in the northern Leeward Islands beginning Friday. These conditions will spread westward and northward, affecting Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Bermuda through the weekend,” the NHC said.
“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,” NHC said in another message.”Regardless, dangerous surf and rip currents are expected along most of the U.S. East Coast beginning Sunday. Continue to monitor updates to Lee’s forecast during the next several days.”
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to the end of November and Lee is the first Category 5 hurricane since last season.
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