Hurricane Lee, which is expected to reach Category 4 strength, continues to barrel toward the New England and Atlantic Canada coasts and could make landfall this weekend anywhere from the coast of Maine to Nova Scotia.
The storm is currently 430 miles south-southwest of Bermuda and is moving north-northwest at 9 mph. Bermuda is expected to be hit with tropical storm conditions later Wednesday through Thursday. The territory is under a tropic storm warning.
Lee rapidly intensified from a Category 1 to a major Category 5 last week before weakening to a Category 3 with sustained winds of 115 mph.
The hurricane’s center will pass west of Bermuda Thursday before approaching the coast of Atlantic Canada or New England Friday into Saturday. Dangerous surf and life-threatening rip currents are expected along portions of the East Coast and Atlantic Canada into the weekend, the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. ET advisory.
Impacts will be felt hundreds of miles away with places from eastern Long Island to Cape Cod bracing for tropical storm-force winds and heavy rain. As of Wednesday morning, hurricane-force winds extended 115 miles out from Lee’s center
In preparation, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that 50 state National Guardsmen will be deployed to Long Island.
“A major hurricane is currently churning in the Atlantic and we are keeping a close eye on this storm because it’s too early to predict what this potentially dangerous weather system will do,” she said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, I have deployed the National Guard and directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets and be ready to respond to local requests for assistance.”
“New Yorkers in coastal areas should watch the forecast and be ready to act, if necessary, to stay safe,” the governor continued.
Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee said Tuesday that the state’s Emergency Management Agency was in communication with weather agencies, including the National Weather Service in Boston.
“My team will continue to monitor the storm and keep Rhode Island informed,” he said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The 2023 hurricane season was predicted to be “above normal” compared to prior years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last month, citing “ocean and atmospheric conditions, such as record-warm sea surface temperatures.” This year, there have been 14 named storms, five hurricanes and three major hurricanes.