The Hurricane Lee Strengthens, Travel Could Be Affected
All eyes in the Atlantic are currently on Hurricane Lee, which has strengthened to a category 4 storm and could reach a category 5 as early as Friday. Hurricane Lee is the 13th named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season and the 4th hurricane. It is projected to reach its peak intensity over the weekend and will pose a threat to the Southwest Atlantic during the early portion of next week.
Hurricane Lee strengthened rapidly throughout the day on Thursday, intensifying from a category one, early the same morning. Though the storm is currently forecasted to make a turn, potentially missing the Southern United States, it could affect parts of the Caribbean, as it intensifies. Marine warnings are in effect throughout the Caribbean Sea and travel may be impacted during shoulder season.
How close the storm will get to reaching land may not be determined until late in the weekend. Computer models show Lee moving to a west-northwestern track, keeping it away from the US, but possibly moving it closer to Bermuda. If Lee makes a slower turn to the North, the Eastern US could be vulnerable to intense wind and rain, particularly areas north of the Carolinas.
It’s still too early to tell just how the hurricane will affect the Northern Caribbean, but travelers are encouraged to watch Lee closely and to be prepared for possible delays and changes to travel arrangements.
Depending on the trajectory, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Hispaniola, and the East Coast could experience dangerous rip currents and high surf. The British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will likely stay safe from the more damaging effects of Hurricane Lee, but could experience rain and some high winds. Though the recent models are promising, this storm has the potential to be extremely dangerous and disruptive, so care should be taken when traveling to the Caribbean and Southeastern US.
Dangers of Hurricanes Such as Hurricane Lee
Hurricanes are powerful storms that can cause widespread damage and loss of life. The most common dangers associated with hurricanes are:
- Storm surge: This is a rise in sea level caused by the winds of a hurricane. It can inundate coastal areas with water, flooding homes and businesses. Storm surge is the leading cause of death in hurricanes.
- Winds: Hurricanes can produce winds of up to 150 mph, which can cause extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure. High winds can also knock down trees and power lines, creating hazards for people and property.
- Rainfall: Hurricanes can produce heavy rainfall, which can lead to flooding and mudslides. Rainfall can also contaminate drinking water and cause health problems.
- Tornados: Hurricanes can spawn tornadoes, which can cause additional damage and injuries.
- Rip currents: Rip currents are strong currents that can pull swimmers out to sea. They are a major hazard for people who are recreating in the ocean during a hurricane.
It is important to be aware of the dangers of hurricanes and to take precautions to stay safe. If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, you should have a plan in place for how you will evacuate or shelter in place. You should also have a supply of food, water, and other essentials on hand.
Here are some additional tips for staying safe during a hurricane:
- Listen to local news and weather reports for updates on the storm.
- Follow the instructions of local officials.
- Evacuate if you are told to do so.
- If you stay, find a safe place to shelter in place.
- Stay away from windows and doors.
- Do not drive through flooded areas.
- Be aware of the dangers of rip currents.
By taking these precautions, you can help to stay safe during a hurricane.