Miami, US, Sep 8 (EFE).- Hurricane Lee, which was moving over the southwestern Atlantic towards the eastern Caribbean, has developed into a “dangerous” category 5 storm, the US National Hurricane Center warned Friday.
Lee, which has strengthened dramatically after forming in the mid-Atlantic as a category 1 storm on Tuesday, is bringing sustained wind speeds of nearly 165 miles per hour (270 km/h), the NHC said.
“Additional strengthening is forecast today. Fluctuations in intensity are likely over the next few days, but Lee is expected to remain a major hurricane through early next week,” the NHC said.
Ocean swells caused by the hurricane are forecast to affect parts of the Lesser Antilles later on Friday, and by the weekend should reach the British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, and Bermuda.
“These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the NHC said, adding that “dangerous surf and rip currents are expected to begin along most of the US East Coast beginning Sunday.”
Dangerous beach conditions are expected to develop around the western Atlantic through Monday and Tuesday, the NHC warned.
So far, no coastal watches or warnings have been issued, but the Lesser Antilles remains on alert.
On its current path, the storm is not forecast to make landfall, although it is still expected to cause severe disruption in coastal areas across the southwestern and western Atlantic.
In an update released on August 10, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted an “above-normal” Atlantic hurricane season, with between 14 and 21 tropical storms, of which between 6 and 11 would be hurricanes. EFE