Millions of people are nervously awaiting Hurricane Lee’s impact on the U.S. shoreline. Despite rapidly intensifying into a Category 5 storm, Hurricane Lee’s expected path has been pointing toward the East Coast for days.
Hurricane Lee Could Possibly Strengthen as Predicted by Scientist
The evidence implies that Lee will not go straight: Because of usual weather patterns, the East Coast may avert calamity. As of Saturday evening, Lee, a Category 3 hurricane, was moving west-northwest at 10 mph toward the United States. The storm was fading hundreds of miles out at sea, but scientists predicted it would strengthen.
The National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. prediction cone showed Hurricane Lee turning northward along the East Coast, still well offshore, around Wednesday. As the storm turns, the forecast ends. Jamie Rhome, deputy director of the National Hurricane Center, knows the fear when a large hurricane approaches the US. “Do people want a yes or no answer—is it coming?” Rhome remarked Friday. Hurricane Lee was hundreds of miles east of the Leeward Islands before a storm.
Over the next few days, hurricane Lee, a high-pressure ridge that expands and shrinks across the western Atlantic Ocean that steers hurricanes, and a southward jet stream dip that will push a low-pressure area toward Lee will determine the long-range forecast into next week. Rhome said sophisticated prediction models help meteorologists comprehend how these vast atmospheric systems may interact, but uncertainty persists. That’s why we can’t predict direct repercussions on the Northeast U.S. Coast and Canada.” “Except for the extreme rip current risk, East Coasters shouldn’t be afraid,” he added. “They must be informed and check back for details.” “Florida is likely out of wind and rain’s direct reach, but still in rip currents’ crosshairs,” Rhome added.
Too Early to Predict Where Exactly is Hurricane Lee Going
Most of the U.S. East Coast may avoid direct consequences beyond rip currents, strong surf, and erosion, but it’s too early to tell. Northeastern U.S. and Canadian coastal dwellers must stay vigilant and watch the forecast. Early on, direct repercussions to such locations may be the largest uncertainty. The National Hurricane Center said that Lee was 310 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, heading west-northwest with 115 mph winds about 5 p.m. Saturday.
Everything depends on these large-scale weather patterns that are continually changing in the high atmosphere, said University of Miami Rosenstiel School atmospheric science professor David Nolan. “Right now, every computer model is showing there’s a big dip in the jet stream over the United States that seems very likely,” Nolan told USA TODAY before catching a Saturday hurricane hunter flight to St. Croix. If so, Lee will be dragged north.
Alyson Hoegg, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather, told USA TODAY that the Atlantic high pressure will push Hurricane Lee south for many days. The eastern U.S. low-pressure region will arrive Wednesday and Thursday. Hoegg predicted that the two systems’ winds will push Hurricane Lee north by week’s end. The publicly available model plots suggest a north or northeast turn east of the Bahamas.