The latest update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in the United States indicates that Hurricane Lee has intensified to a Category 1 hurricane on the evening of September 6 and is expected to rapidly escalate into an extremely dangerous major hurricane by the morning of September 10.
Extremely dangerous storm forecast is increasing in the Atlantic Ocean
According to hurricane forecast experts, it is still too early to predict the exact path of Hurricane Lee or the potential impact it may have.
As of 5:00 PM on September 6 (US time), Hurricane Lee is still moving west-northwest at a speed of 22.5 km/h over the southern Atlantic Ocean, with maximum sustained winds of 120 km/h. The storm’s center is located north of the Leeward Islands, between the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 1,818 km to the east.
Earlier on September 6, the center of Hurricane Lee was located 2,035 km north of the Leeward Islands, moving west-northwest at a speed of 22.5 km/h, and had maximum sustained winds of 104 km/h, with a rapid increase in wind speed by 24 km/h in just a few hours.
Hurricane Lee intensified just a few days after Hurricane Idalia wreaked havoc across the southeastern United States. Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida the previous week, causing extensive damage to homes and knocking down power lines. Subsequently, Hurricane Idalia turned northeast, impacting Georgia, flooding many beaches in South Carolina, and pushing seawater into the streets of downtown Charleston.
Satellite image of Typhoon Lee on September 6. Photo: NOAA
In North Carolina, heavy rainfall of up to 228 mm flooded Whiteville, inundating buildings in the city center.
Hurricane Idalia claimed the lives of at least two people, one in Florida and one in Georgia.
According to Moody’s Analytics, Hurricane Idalia caused economic losses ranging from $12 billion to $20 billion.
According to the latest CNN hurricane report, Hurricane Lee is the fourth hurricane to reach a significant hurricane category in this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, following Don, Franklin, and Idalia.
The storm is expected to significantly strengthen over the weekend and is predicted to become a Category 3 hurricane or possibly even a stronger hurricane by the end of this week.