Conditions around Hurricane Lee 'ideal for rapid intensification' today, forecasters say

Conditions around Hurricane Lee ‘ideal for rapid intensification’ today, forecasters say

(As originally published with video and gallery, Thu, September 7th 2023, 11:25 AM EDT)

MIAMI (TND) — Hurricane Lee is expected to strengthen significantly on Thursday.

In fact, according to the National Hurricane Center, “The environment around the cyclone looks ideal for rapid intensification.”

Lee, which became a hurricane on Wednesday, had maximum sustained winds near 80 mph with higher gusts, early Thursday morning.

The storm is in the central Atlantic, moving west-northwest near 14 mph. That’s expected to continue through Friday and then slow down over the weekend.

Hurricane-force winds extend 15 miles out from the center and tropical storm-force winds extend 90 miles out.

Lee is forecast to become a major hurricane by early Friday and reach its peak intensity over the weekend, though “fluctuations in strength are likely – due to potential eyewall replacements.”

The “rapid intensification” may have already started.

Early Thursday, the National Hurricane Center reported “an eye feature appearing” and “a better-defined inner core seems to be taking shape.”

The center of the storm is expected to pass north of the northern Leeward Islands. That could bring tropical storm conditions, but there are no watches or warnings in effect.

Early September has been the height of hurricane season for nearly 80 years with more hurricanes and tropical storms in the ocean than at any other time.

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