Hurricane Lee downgraded to Category 3
Hurricane Lee is pivoting and expected to travel up the US East Coast, bringing life-threatening rip currents and dangerous surf conditions in coastal areas.
Lee weakened to a Category 2 storm in the Atlantic on Wednesday afternoon but remained “large and dangerous”, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Tropical storm conditions are expected on Bermuda from Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported, as the storm swings past the island.
Forecasters believe Lee will make landfall in Nova Scotia, Canada as a tropical storm on Sunday. The risk of powerful winds, coastal flooding and rain are increasing for large parts of New England – Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts, southeastern New Hampshire and central and coastal Maine – and Atlantic Canada.
Swells are also affecting parts of the Lesser Antilles, the British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, and Bermuda.
Behind Lee is Hurricane Margot, the fifth hurricane of the 2023 season. Margot is tracking north for now, the NWS reported, but the forecast beyond Friday is “highly uncertain”.
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Cyclone that devastated Libya is latest extreme event with some hallmarks of climate change
The Mediterranean storm that dumped torrential rain on the Libyan coast, setting off flooding that’s believed to have killed thousands of people, is the latest extreme weather event to carry some of the hallmarks of climate change, scientists say.
Daniel — dubbed a “medicane” for its hurricane-like characteristics – drew enormous energy from extremely warm sea water. And a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor that can fall as rain, experts said.
It’s difficult to attribute a single weather event to climate change, “but we know there are factors that could be at play” with storms like Daniel that make it more likely, said Kristen Corbosiero, an atmospheric scientist at the University at Albany.
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 19:30
Hurricane Lee could make things worse in already sodden New England
Parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts were under a flash flood warning on Wednesday, with radar indicating storms and an expected rainfall rate of 2 to 4 inches (5-10 centimeters) an hour, the National Weather Service said. Additional rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are possible in some areas.
Rain from Hurricane Lee didn’t contribute to the flooding earlier this week. But it could inundate parts of the coastal Northeast during the weekend, forecasters said. Lee is traveling north and could make landfall in Nova Scotia, Canada, possibly as a tropical storm, forecasters said.
Up to 300 people were evacuated by Tuesday morning in Leominster, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Boston, Mayor Dean Mazzarella said. He said the city has not seen such widespread damage since a 1936 hurricane. Most buildings downtown flooded and some collapsed. Rail service also was disrupted.
A man surveys damage to a house on Hamilton Street in Leominster, Massachusetts. after heavy rain fall in the town at the start of this week
Leominster’s director of emergency management, Arthur Elbthal, said two dams out of 24 in the city sustained damage but held. He said the city is reinforcing them.
Belk said a trained spotter near Leominster recorded 9.5 inches (24 centimeters) of rain. The record for rainfall in a single day in Massachusetts was set Aug. 18, 1955, when Tropical Storm Diane dropped just over 18 inches (nearly 46 centimeters) in Westfield, Belk said.
Healey said she’s keeping a close eye on the forecast and how Hurricane Lee may affect the state as she toured flood damage in North Attleborough, about 55 miles (89 kilometers) south of Leominster.
“It was really scary, the amount of water that fell in just a short amount of time and the incredible devastation that it caused,” Healey said, adding she had reached out to the Biden administration, the state’s congressional delegation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance.
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 19:00
Satellites capture Hurricane Lee as the sun rises
The satellite program at Colorado State University has captured stunning footage of Hurricane Lee as the sun rose this morning in the western Atlantic.
The Category 3 storm is expected to remain “large and dangerous” until the weekend.
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 18:30
Watch: Which parts of the East Coast face the most danger from Hurricane Lee?
Which parts of the East Coast face the most danger from Hurricane Lee?
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 18:01
Hurricane Margot stalls
Hurricane Margot is not expected to move much over the next few days, according to the latest forecast.
The storm is packing 90mph winds and currently about 795 miles (1280km) west southwest of the Azores, a string of nine tiny islands in the north Atlantic.
Swells generated by Margot will begin to affect the Azores later on Wednesday and are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions on beaches.
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 17:30
The current locations of Hurricane Lee and Hurricane Margot
The locations of Hurricanes Lee and Margot in the Atlantic on Wednesday morning
(National Hurricane Center)
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 16:50
The latest from the US National Hurricane Center
The 11am (eastern) update on Hurricane Lee reports that it remains a Category 3 storm with winds near 115mph (185km/h) and higher gusts.
“Slow weakening is forecast during the next few days, however, Lee is likely to remain a large and dangerous hurricane into the weekend,” the agency reported.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 115miles (185km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240miles (390km).
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 16:30
Flash flood warnings begin
Parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts were under a flash flood warning on Wednesday morning, with radar indicating storms and an expected rainfall rate of 2 to 4 inches (5-10 centimeters) an hour, the National Weather Service said.
Additional rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are possible in some areas. (Associated Press)
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 16:10
Watch: Beach conditions deteriorating as Hurricane Lee barrels northward
Beach conditions deteriorating as Hurricane Lee barrels northward
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 15:50
New England braces for more rain after hourslong downpour left communities flooded and dams at risk
More heavy rain was in the forecast Wednesday in New England, where residents were cleaning up after downpours dropped nearly 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain in six hours and flooded parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The rainfall was a “200-year event,” said Matthew Belk, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boston. Two communities declared a state of emergency and officials ordered evacuations out of concern for a dam listed in poor condition.
Rain from Hurricane Lee didn’t contribute to Monday’s flooding but could inundate parts of the coastal Northeast during the weekend, forecasters said.
Martha Mchardy13 September 2023 15:30