Hurricane Lee began to spin away from the northern Caribbean on Wednesday as the Category 3 storm aimed for Atlantic Canada and left big waves in its wake.
The storm was located about 430 miles (695 kilometers) south-southwest of Bermuda. It had winds of up to 115 miles per hour (185 kilometers per hour) and was moving north-northwest at 9 mph (15 kph).
Lee was expected to pass just west of Bermuda, prompting forecasters to issue a tropical storm warning for the island. Wind and heavy rainfall were expected to lash Bermuda starting late Wednesday or early Thursday, forecasters said.
Lee is then expected to grow in size and keep traveling north as it loses strength in cooler waters. It is expected to approach the coast of New England or Atlantic Canada on Friday and Saturday, and potentially make landfall in Nova Scotia, Canada, as a possible tropical storm.
“Slow weakening is forecast during the next few days, however Lee is likely to remain a large and dangerous hurricane into the weekend,” the National Hurricane Center said. “Lee’s expected post-tropical transition will not diminish potential wind, rain and coastal flooding impacts in New England and Atlantic Canada due to the system’s broad wind field.”
Hurricane-force winds extend up to 115 miles (185 kilometers) from Lee’s center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 240 miles (390 kilometers), the center reported.
Forecasters warned of dangerous surf and rip currents in Lesser Antilles, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, Bermuda and parts of the U.S. southeast coast. The conditions were expected to spread to the U.S. East Coast and Atlantic Canada in upcoming days.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Margot was spinning through open Atlantic waters on Wednesday. It was located 790 miles (1,270 kilometers) west-southwest of the Azores and had maximum sustained winds of 85 miles (140 kilometers). It was moving north at 12 mph (19 kph) and is expected to remain over open waters.
It is the 13th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane seasons and the fifth hurricane to form. The season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and peaked on Sunday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecast 14 to 21 named storms this season. Six to 11 of those are expected to strengthen into hurricane, and of those, two to five could develop into Category 3 storms or higher.
Source: The Yeshiva World (AP)