Hurricane Lee downgraded to Category 3
Hurricane and Tropical Storm watches were issued for much of coastal New England on Wednesday as Hurricane Lee pivots north.
Lee weakened to a Category 2 storm in the Atlantic today but remained “large and dangerous”, according to forecasters.
The storm is 380 miles (610km) south-southwest of Bermuda with conditions expected to deteriorate on the island’s beach areas by Thursday morning.
“On the forecast track, the center of Lee will pass west of Bermuda Thursday and Thursday night and then approach the coast of New England and Atlantic Canada Friday and Saturday,” the National Hurricane Center reported.
Forecasters said it’s possible that Lee will make landfall in Nova Scotia as a tropical storm on Sunday.
A Hurricane Watch was issued for portions of down-east Maine from Stonington to the US-Canada border.
A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for a large area of coastal New England from Watch Hill, Rhode Island to Stonington, Maine, including Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. A Storm Surge Watch was issued for Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Behind Lee is Hurricane Margot, the fifth hurricane of the 2023 season, which is “forecast to meander over the North Atlantic during the next few days”.
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One bumpy ride
The 403rd Wing of the US Air Force Reserve Command, otherwise known as the “Hurricane Hunters”, shared a video of their aerial weather reconnaissance of Hurricane Lee this past weekend.
Louise Boyle14 September 2023 04:59
New England braces for more rain after hourslong downpour left communities flooded
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.
Louise Boyle14 September 2023 04:02
What is Hurricane Lee’s ‘cone of uncertainty’?
Hurricane Lee is tearing across the Atlantic bringing strong winds and dangerous currents to parts of the Caribbean, before it is expected to pivot and travel up the US East Coast, potentially making landfall in Nova Scotia, Canada on Sunday.
The National Hurricane Center graphic below shows the probable path of Hurricane Lee. Areas under a hurricane warning are marked in red; hurricane watch in pink; tropical storm warning in blue; and tropical storm watch in yellow. The orange circle shows the current position of the cyclone’s center.
However NHC tropical cyclone forecast tracks have room for error, the agency notes.
This uncertainty is conveyed by the track forecast “cone” – the solid white and stippled white areas in the graphic.
The solid white area depicts the track forecast uncertainty for days 1-3 of the forecast.
The stippled area depicts the uncertainty on days 4-5.
The entire five-day path of the center of the tropical cyclone will remain within the cone about 60-70 per cent of the time, according to historical data.
Hurricane Lee’s ‘cone of uncertainty’
Louise Boyle14 September 2023 03:00
‘Peak’ Atlantic hurricane season
Last Sunday was the climatological peak of Atlantic hurricane season with conditions ripe for tropical storms and hurricanes.
This week has seen considerable action with two hurricanes – Lee and Margot – currently swirling across the Atlantic.
At “peak” season, ocean waters are typically at their highest temperatures, and the shearing winds which suffocate storms decline to a minimum, creating the perfect conditions to generate powerful cyclones.
Louise Boyle14 September 2023 02:04
‘Rapid intensification’ of more storms likely as ocean waters warm
Hurricane Lee is in rare company. Only two recorded storms – Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and Hurricane Felix in 2007 – strengthened faster than Lee over a 24-hour period.
Lee developed from a Cat 1 to a Cat 5 last week before slowly weakening to its current Cat 2 status (although it remains a “large and dangerous” storm, according to the National Weather Service).
Brian McNoldy, from the University of Miami, told NBC News that warm conditions in the Atlantic were ripe for the storm’s rapid intensification.
The “vertical wind shear was very low and the water temperature under it was very warm,” he said. Lee “took full advantage of both”, he added.
In 2022, Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified over two separate periods before striking Florida as a Category 4 storm. Last Last month, Hurricane Idalia recently strengthened from Cat 1 to Cat 4 within 24 hours.
“It’s a huge problem, and the past is not a good guide to what we should expect going forward,” Jeff Masters, a former hurricane scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told NBC.
Louise Boyle14 September 2023 01:05
Watch: Massachusetts city got nearly 10 inches of rain in 6 hours
Massachusetts city got nearly 10 inches of rain in 6 hours
Louise Boyle14 September 2023 00:02
‘Not taking any chances’
While the most severe impacts of Hurricane Lee were forecast for New England and Atlantic Canada this weekend, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said that she is “not taking any chances” and deploying the National Guard.
“It’s too early to predict how Hurricane Lee will impact New York, but we’re not taking any chances,” Governor Hochul posted on X, formerly Twitter.
“I’ve deployed [the New York National Guard] on Long Island & directed agencies to prepare emergency response assets. Please watch the forecast & be ready to act, if necessary, to stay safe.”
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 23:02
Watch: Hurricane Lee inches closer to New England
Hurricane Lee inches closer to New England
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 22:33
What to know about renters insurance and what it does and doesn’t cover
When the unexpected happens — whether fire, hail, or human error — renters insurance can provide much-needed stability.
But many choose not to purchase coverage, including in places most frequently and hardest hit by natural disasters, new research shows.
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 22:02
Watch: How does Hurricane Lee compare to past hurricanes that have struck New England?
How does Hurricane Lee compare to past hurricanes that have struck New England?
Louise Boyle13 September 2023 21:29