Hurricane Lee continues to churn in the Atlantic

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The WCNC Charlotte Weather Team continues to monitor the tropics on the peak of hurricane season.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hurricane Lee is now a Category 3 on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with max sustained winds of 115 mph. Lee is expected to weaken as it treks to the north with a potential landfall this weekend near Nova Scotia. Be then, it could be downgraded to a post-tropical storm. Still, impacts from the tropical system will be felt across parts of New England. 

Lee maxed out at Category 5 intensity nearly two weeks ago with winds of 165 mph. This makes it the strongest hurricane of the 2023 season so far. Fluctuations in intensity is common with hurricanes and tropical storms, in this case due to increased wind shear interrupting the storm’s center.

On the Saffir Simpson hurricane wind scale, a major hurricane is a hurricane with winds of at least 111 mph, which is equivalent to Category 3 or higher.

With the storm’s track towards the north and west, our team continues to closely monitor the storm’s long-term path over the week ahead. Lee is expected to brush pass Bermuda, yet impacts will be felt there. 

The National Hurricane Center even noted the level of uncertainty in their discussions on the storm. It is too early to know what, if any, impact there is to the U.S., Canada, or Bermuda this week. What we can tell folks in the Carolinas: 1) there is no model showing a Carolina landfall; and 2) the storm will produce dangerous beach conditions and elevated rip currents next week. How bad those conditions are will depend on the proximity of the storm.

The WCNC Weather Team notes there have been a few model shifts west, but the shifts back-and-forth are common with hurricane and tropical storm forecasting. There is a lot of uncertainty past five days because Lee is expected to slow down and potentially stall.

Like spaghetti models that predict a storm’s path, there are also intensity models that predict a storm’s strength. These models continue to show a powerful hurricane through next week, regardless of wind speed.

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The historical peak of hurricane season is Sept. 10. Hurricane season ends on Nov. 30.

It never hurts to be prepared. Having an emergency supply kit, whether for this storm or a future storm, is a great way to get prepared ahead of any natural disaster. 

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Contact Brittany Van Voorhees at and follow her on FacebookX and Instagram.

Contact KJ Jacobs at and follow him on FacebookX and Instagram.

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