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Lee’s Hurricane Causes Large Waves in Northern Caribbean as it Moves Through Open Seas

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Lee generated waves exceeding 15 feet (5 meters) on Monday as the Category 3 storm moved through open waters just north of the Caribbean region.

The storm is not expected to make landfall this week, although forecasters advised those in New England and nearby areas to closely monitor Lee, as its future path remains uncertain. Lee was located approximately 340 miles (545 kilometers) north of the northern Leeward Islands, with winds of up to 120 mph (195 kph) and a northwest movement of 7 mph (11 kph).

A high surf advisory was in effect for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with the National Weather Service warning of breaking waves up to 15 feet (5 meters) for north and east-facing beaches.

The National Hurricane Center also cautioned about dangerous surf and rip currents along most of the U.S. East Coast throughout the week, but the storm’s potential impact beyond that remains unclear.

“It remains too soon to know what level of impacts, if any, Lee might have along the U.S. East Coast and Atlantic Canada late this week, especially since the hurricane is expected to slow down considerably over the southwestern Atlantic,” the center said.

Lee rapidly intensified from a Category 1 storm to a Category 5 storm last week within 24 hours before weakening slightly.

The storm is expected to gain some strength in the coming days before weakening again.

On Wednesday, Lee is forecasted to turn north, raising concerns that Bermuda could experience strong winds, rainfall, and high surf. However, the specific timing and level of these impacts are yet to be determined.

Lee is the 12th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which spans from June 1 to Nov. 30 and reached its peak on Sunday.

In August, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration increased its forecast probability to 60% for an above-normal hurricane season. The forecast predicts 14 to 21 named storms, with six to 11 becoming hurricanes. Among these, two to five are expected to evolve into major hurricanes.

Tropical Storm Margot is also present in the open Atlantic, projected to become a hurricane on Monday night. The storm is positioned 1,215 miles (1,955 kilometers) northwest of the Cabo Verde islands, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) and a northward movement of 8 mph (13 kph). It is predicted to remain over open waters.

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