Tropical Storm Lee, currently brewing in the Atlantic, is anticipated to elevate to category four hurricane status, signifying extreme danger, by the weekend, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).
NHC reports indicate that Lee is on track to attain hurricane status later this Wednesday, although it remains too early to determine its precise impact or the likelihood of it making landfall in the United States.
The NHC statement reads, “Lee is forecasted to escalate into a significant hurricane…and could have repercussions for the Leeward Islands.” However, specific details regarding location and extent of these potential impacts cannot be determined at this stage, with the NHC advising residents in the region to closely monitor Lee’s progress.
Projections indicate that Lee’s winds will reach speeds of up to 145mph (233km/h) later in the week, classifying it as a category four hurricane, a designation characterized by the NHC as “major” and one that portends “catastrophic damage” if it were to make landfall.
This development follows closely on the heels of Hurricane Idalia, which recently struck Florida, causing extensive property damage, power outages, and subsequent adverse weather conditions in Georgia and the Carolinas. In Georgia alone, over 200,000 people experienced prolonged power outages.
Notably, the mid-September timeframe represents the hurricane season’s peak, which concludes on November 30th.
Also, the first hurricane-proof town in Florida has been established as part of ongoing preparations for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which is predicted to be more active than average. As the season’s peak approaches, the influence of climate change on tropical storm frequency remains uncertain, but rising sea surface temperatures are contributing to warmer air, creating additional energy for intensifying hurricanes. Consequently, these storms are expected to be more formidable and associated with more pronounced rainfall.