Hurricane Lee WILL hit US east coast, forecasters say

Hurricane Lee grows even larger as it barrels north with US East Coast braced for huge waves as forecasters warn it could slam into Maine on Sunday

  • Hurricane Lee continues to grow with its winds being felt up to 300 miles from the center of the storm
  • Lee has already lashed the Caribbean and now could have New England in its sights, experts warn 

Latest projections appear to show that the growing Hurricane Lee is bearing down on Maine and could impact the New England-area in the very early hours of Sunday. 

As of Wednesday, the storm has triggered a tropical storm watch in Bermuda, and is now less than 500 miles from the island nation bringing with it winds of 155 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

The storm continues to grow as it moves out of the Caribbean with its Category 3 winds being felt up to 125 miles from its center and Tropical Storm winds being felt up to 240 miles away, that’s expected to increase to 300 miles by the weekend. 

In just 12 hours, the storm has extended its reach by 55 miles. 

Analysts say that the storm will weaken slightly by Thursday when it impacts cooler waters along the eastern seaboard of the United States. The same analysts say that although the intensity will decrease, the storm will continue to grow in size as well as pick up speed. 

Some models show the storm remaining offshore close to the Maine/Canada border on Sunday as a post-tropical storm. 

Shocking footage showed torrential waist-high floodwaters thanks to Hurricane Lee barreling through Cumberland, Massachusetts in a sign of what could impact Maine this weekend

The worst of the storms struck Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with further wet and wild weather forecast to extend through the week across New England

Experts believe that they will have a clearer projection of the storm’s path as it moves more northward on Wednesday. 

‘It is still expected to significantly increase in size, and hazards will extend well away from the storm center by the end of the forecast period,’ National Hurricane Center Director Michael Brennan said in an update on Monday.

‘It is still expected to significantly increase in size, and hazards will extend well away from the storm center by the end of the forecast period,’ the weather service said.

‘There’s still a lot of uncertainty as to the exact track of how close it will get to the coast of New England and Atlantic Canada over the next several days,’ Brennan said, before adding that there remains ‘certainly the chance for significant impacts with a growing storm.’

AccuWeather has predicted the storm will make landfall in Nova Scotia. ‘A significant storm surge will occur along with the strongest winds and risk of property damage,’ the forecasters said in a statement.

Even if the storm remains offshore, it’s size will cause rip currents, rough surf, massive waves and erosion through until the weekend. 

Strong gusts and rainfall are expected in Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts and southeastern New Hampshire.

In this satellite image provided by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration via NASA, the hurricane is shown moving north

In preparation, New York Governor Kathy Hochul is deploying the National Guard to the eastern end of Long Island in preparation for flooding. 

‘It’s too early to predict what this potentially dangerous weather system will do. Out of an abundance of caution, I have deployed the National Guard and directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets and be ready to respond to local requests for assistance,’ the Democratic leader said in a statement. 

The storm has already left is mark in the Caribbean in the Bahamas, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, as well as most of the US East Coast, generating dangerous surf, heavy rainfall and rip currents. 

Severe flood warnings remain in effect across central Massachusetts in what officials said could be life-threatening – although there have not been reports of any deaths in the region as a result of the severe weather.

Parts of lower Leominster – around 50 miles from Boston – were evacuated Tuesday as the flooding caused issues with the Barrett Park Dam.

The mayor of the town, Dean Mazzarella, said over 11 inches of rainfall deluged the area, and shocking footage showed deep floodwaters submerging cars and streaming down the streets at high currents.

‘Everything’s just one big lake,’ Mazzarella said on Monday. ‘Find a high spot somewhere. Find a high spot and stay there until this is over.’

Massachusetts’s Governor Maura Healey also issued emergency boat rescue and response teams to the city.

‘My heart goes out to residents and public safety officials in Leominster and other communities experiencing catastrophic flooding tonight,’ she posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Similarly dangerous scenes were seen in footage from Cumberland, Rhode Island, as residents were forced from their homes amid torrential waist-high floodwaters.

One person who shared footage of the flash flooding said they ‘lived here for 20 years and it’s never flooded this bad.’

In another image shared to social media, a huge sinkhole had opened up in the town of 40,000 that one woman said she was lucky not to drift into due to the high currents.

The severe weather caused damage to Leominster's Barrett Park Dam in Massachusetts, leading to evacuations of the town by emergency crews

A huge sinkhole opened up in the central Massachusetts town that one woman said she and her vehicle were almost swept into due to the torrential currents

Lee is the 12th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and peaked on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Margot became the fifth named hurricane of the season on Monday. It was located some 835 miles west-southwest of the Azores. It had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and was moving north at 14 mph. Margot is forecast to remain over open waters. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecast 14 to 21 named storms this season. Six to 11 of those are expected to strengthen into hurricanes, and of those, two to five could develop into Category 3 storms or higher.

Forecasters say the hurricane is continuously strengthening and weakening as it spirals towards the US, partly through a process called an ‘eyewall replacement cycle.’

While a natural process, the widening range of the hurricane has led to varying estimates over how much damage the storm could cause.





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