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- Photo via the National Hurricane Center -

Hurricane to hit U.S.-Canada border

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International news
Published on Wednesday, September 13, 2023
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hurricane Lee will bring perilous rip currents and surf conditions at beaches along the U.S. East Coast this week, according to a Public National Public Radio (NPR) report.

And while the strong storm has yet to make landfall anywhere, forecasters are warning people along its path to be ready for potential floods and high winds.

Lee has weakened into a Category 2 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. But it's also much larger than it was just a few days ago: Lee's hurricane-force winds now extend up to 115 miles from its center, with tropical-storm-force winds extending for some 240 miles. Compare that to last Friday, when its hurricane-force winds extended just 35 miles.

The current forecast track shows Lee's center moving toward the coast in northern Maine and New Brunswick, Canada but along the way, its winds are expected to hit shores as far south as New York. It's forecast to be much weaker by then, but the threat of flooding and wind damage will persist.

Here are key things to know about Hurricane Lee, as it starts to move north along the U.S. coast:

Early Wednesday morning, Lee was moving northwest at a virtual crawl of just 6 mph. It has now started to speed up, and it's expected to keep turning more northward and increase its forward speed this week. The timing of that move will influence how it affects the U.S. Northeast and Atlantic Canada. As things stand now, the chances for storm conditions on land have been rising.

"There is an increasing risk of wind, coastal flooding, and rain impacts from Lee in portions of New England and Atlantic Canada beginning on Friday and continuing through the weekend," the NHC said in its 2 p.m. EDT update. 

The good news is that the storm will likely show "significant weakening" by this weekend as it runs into unfavorable conditions, including cooler waters north of the Gulf Stream.

As it loses steam, Lee is expected to complete an extratropical transition "before the cyclone's center reaches the coast of Maine, New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia in about 4 days," the NHC said.

But even as it noted that welcome development, the center cautioned, "Lee's expected post-tropical transition will not diminish potential wind, rain, and coastal flooding impacts in New England and Atlantic Canada due to the system's broad wind field."

Even a glancing blow from Lee is dangerous.

With such a massive storm, Lee's eyewall doesn't have to make landfall or come within 100 miles of the shore to make an impact on land.

Even in areas that remain far from the storm's core, the NHC said "Since wind and rainfall hazards will extend well away from the center as Lee grows in size, users should continue to monitor updates to Lee's forecast during the next several days."

Bermuda is under a tropical storm warning

Lee's forecast track sees the storm staying west of Bermuda. But its huge wind field is still expected to affect the island. 

The Bermuda Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning on Wednesday, warning that people on and around the island could see average wind speeds from 34 to 63 knots (39 to 72.5 mph), along with "significant waves & swell."

Local conditions are expected to start to improve by Friday, the agency said.

The storm rapidly intensified last week.

Lee remained a major hurricane for nearly a week, having vaulted to Category 4 status last Thursday and persisting as a Category 3 through early Wednesday.

Just one day after Lee became a named storm last week, it became a hurricane and intensified at a startlingly rapid pace, quickly becoming a Category 5 storm. It later lost some of that strength but the storm also got bigger as it slowed down.

The frequency of intense and damaging tropical storms and hurricanes has been linked to climate change. As NOAA has stated, "Warming of the surface ocean from human-induced climate change is likely fueling more powerful tropical cyclones."

The storms' destructive power is then magnified by other factors related to global warming, from rising sea levels to more intense rainfall totals

National Public Radio is a U.S. privately and publicly funded nonprofit media organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

What have you heard about the Canadian and U.S. governments plans to reduce the expected impact of the Hurricane? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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