Hurricane Lee gains strength in the Atlantic

Lee is expected to reach major hurricane status. The storm is still far out in the Atlantic and there are minimal risks to land.
Hurricane Lee in the Atlantic Ocean
Posted at 7:14 PM, Sep 06, 2023

Tropical Storm Lee strengthened to a hurricane on Wednesday, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. It's the fourth hurricane of the 2023 Atlantic season.

The storm is currently in the northern Atlantic Ocean, west of the Lesser Antilles Islands, moving roughly west at about 14 mph.

The new intensity was expected, and forecasters say the storm will steadily and possibly rapidly intensify into a major hurricane within the next couple of days. Wind shear is expected to decrease and warm ocean temperatures lie in Lee's path, both of which contribute to a storm's ability to gain strength.

The National Hurricane Center cautions that the exact timing of any strengthening is difficult to know for sure, but it is likely to come within the next 72 hours.

NOAA upgrades Atlantic hurricane prediction to 'above-normal'
Satellite image of Hurricane Ian

NOAA upgrades Atlantic hurricane prediction to 'above-normal'

Forecasters made the adjustment, noting the warm surface water temperatures and the ongoing El Niño event.


Lee does not present major threats from wind, rainfall or storm surge at this point. Heavy waves are expected to reach parts of the Lesser Antilles on Friday, and may reach as far as Puerto Rico by the weekend. Dangerous surf and rip currents are possible.

Meanwhile, in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Category 4 Hurricane Jova is moving westward out to sea. The storm does not present any hazards to land.

It is expected to continue strengthening for the next couple days, and then will begin to dissipate.