Hurricane Lee Achieves Category Five Status, Becoming the First of the Atlantic Season

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Hurricane Lee has swiftly escalated to a category five hurricane, boasting wind speeds of up to 160mph (260km/h) as it courses through the Atlantic Ocean.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued warnings of “life-threatening” conditions in specific areas within the region over the upcoming weekend.

As of its current trajectory, Hurricane Lee is not anticipated to make landfall anywhere.

Lee marks the 12th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, spanning from June to November. Its transformation from a category one hurricane to category five took place in just one hour last Thursday.

In the latest update provided by the NHC, the hurricane’s path is predicted to veer “well north” of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico during the weekend and early next week.

While Hurricane Lee is currently not projected to make landfall anywhere, it is expected that the swells generated by the storm will impact parts of the Caribbean, including the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Turks and Caicos, on Friday.

The update emphasizes that these swells could pose life-threatening risks through surf and rip currents.

Similar conditions are forecasted to manifest along the east coast of the United States on Sunday. The NHC, via its Twitter platform, known as “X,” has stated that it’s “too early to determine the extent of the hurricane’s impact” on the United States, Atlantic Canada, or Bermuda.

As of Friday morning, Hurricane Lee’s position is approximately 630 miles (1,013km) east of the northern Leeward Islands.

Meanwhile, what was initially Tropical Depression 14 has now evolved into Tropical Storm Margot as of Thursday.

Projections indicate that Margot is likely to attain hurricane’s strength over the weekend but is expected to remain over open waters.

Across the Pacific Ocean, Hurricane Jova has slightly weakened from a category five to a category four storm. It is anticipated to further weaken over the weekend.

As of early Friday morning, Hurricane Jova is positioned 650 miles (1,046km) southwest of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.

The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season is anticipated to be more active than the historical average.

The precise impact of climate change on the frequency of tropical storms remains uncertain. Nonetheless, elevated sea surface temperatures contribute to warming the air above, thereby providing more energy for the intensification of hurricanes. Consequently, hurricanes are likely to exhibit greater intensity and produce more extreme precipitation.

Hurricane Lee Achieves Category Five Status, Becoming the First of the Atlantic Season

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