GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – According to the 11 p.m. advisory, Lee’s rapid intensification is complete. Lee went from a Category 2 hurricane this morning to a Category 5 in about 12 hours. Winds are now sustained at 160 mph with gusts up to 195 mph. Lee continues to move northwest at 14 mph in the Atlantic.
Lee stays a major hurricane heading into the weekend as it slows down north of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Lee’s forecast trends and model agreement has been consistent. Pretty rare for a system this far out but what you want to see especially since data continues to show Lee passing offshore. In fact, Lee may not touch land until Bermuda or Canada if the forecast holds. BUT….one thing to watch will be how long Lee stays north of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. If it takes too long to turn north, the upper air pattern could change which would change the track of Lee. We’re not in the clear but confidence is slowly growing the only impacts we’ll see are rough ocean conditions and high rip current risks next Thursday/Friday.
As for other areas, Tropical Storm Margot has also joined in the party. As of the latest update, it has winds up to 40 MPH, with gust up to 50 MPH, and is moving at the west-northwest at 16 MPH. As Margot is still a tropical storm, it is forecasted to become a Category 1 Hurricane by Sunday. Margot is not expected to be an issue towards the US.
Use this time to prepare your hurricane kits if you haven’t done so yet this year, but this is not a time to panic or worry.
Stay with WITN and WITN.COM as we continue to track the remaining name storms this hurricane season.