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NOAA predicts Tropical Storm Lee will become dangerous hurricane in Caribbean

Lee is expected to slow down before getting closer to the American mainland, but it could cause damage to cruises and vessels at sea

Tropical Storm Lee developing in the Caribbean
Tropical Storm Lee developing in the Caribbean | Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

September 6, 2023 9:12am

Updated: September 6, 2023 9:12am

A new tropical storm developing in the Caribbean is expected to build into an “extremely dangerous” hurricane as it plows through the Caribbean, a force that could cause harm to traveling cruise lines.

Tropical Storm Lee developed in the Atlantic Ocean Tuesday, but NOAA meteorologists suspect it will build into a major hurricane by the end of this upcoming weekend.

“It will be a very strong storm very quickly,” Fox News Weather meteorologist Cody Braud told The New Post in an interview.

As of late Tuesday, had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph the tropical storm was an estimated 1,315 miles east of the Lesser Antilles islands in the Caribbean Sea. 

It was estimated to be moving west-northwest at 16 mph.

The National Hurricane Center warned that Lee is “expected to rapidly intensify into an extremely dangerous hurricane by the weekend.”

While the storm is not expected to make landfall in Cuba or Florida, meteorologists are alerting residents of the Leeward Islands since the storm is headed in that direction.

The outer bands of the storm, which can span hundreds of miles, are expected to be very powerful causing rain storms and heavy surf, according to Braud.

Still, some cruises at sea could be in danger.

“That’s something that we’re monitoring quite closely, just because you would not want to get anywhere close to a system this strong and, eventually, it’s going to be a very large system as well,” Braud told the Post.

Lee is expected to slow down before getting closer to the American mainland, but that remains to be seen, and forecasters are warning to remain on alert just in case.

“We can never rule out anything with hurricanes … Any kind of swings, say to the south further west could end up having major impacts down the line,” Braud explained.

Tropical Storm Lee is the twelfth named storm from this Atlantic hurricane season. It is tailing Hurricane Idalia, which struck Cuba and Haiti and then swung around the Gulf to strike the Florida Panhandle.

Idalia was the largest hurricane to hit Florida’s Panhandle area in more than 100 years with 125 mph gusts and a dangerous storm surge that left at least half a million residents without power.