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Forecasters Warn of Potential for Hurricane Lee to Reach Category 5 Strength

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Hurricane Lee is currently moving through open waters and there is a warning from forecasters that it could become the first Category 5 storm of the Atlantic season.

Although Hurricane Lee is not expected to make landfall, it is projected to pass near the northeast Caribbean. There is a possibility of tropical storm conditions on some islands, but it is too early to provide specific details on potential rainfall and wind gusts.

The hurricane is currently a Category 4 storm and is located about 780 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands. It has maximum winds of up to 130 miles per hour and is moving west-northwest at a speed of 15 mph.

Forecasters predict that the storm will continue to intensify and remain a major hurricane throughout the week.

“Lee continues to strengthen at an exceptional rate,” said the National Hurricane Center.

U.S. President Joe Biden has been briefed on the hurricane’s trajectory and preparations by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Unidentified assets have been deployed to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Lesser Antilles, British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas, and Bermuda are expected to experience life-threatening surf as a result of the hurricane.

“We will see waves between 10 and 15 feet, so we don’t want anyone on the beaches,” warned Ernesto Morales of the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Dangerous surf and rip currents are also forecasted for most of the U.S. East Coast starting Sunday.

Hurricane Lee is the 12th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. In the Pacific, Hurricane Jova is currently a Category 4 storm but poses no threat to land.

Hurricane Lee is a reminder of the importance of staying updated on hurricane developments and taking necessary precautions to ensure safety.

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