Tropical Depression 13, which formed in the central Atlantic yesterday, Tuesday, September 5, has strengthened in recent hours and has become Tropical Storm Lee. According to the US National Hurricane Center, it will strengthen into a severe hurricane by the end of this week.
The storm is located approximately 2,115 kilometers east of the Lesser Antilles and is moving west-northwest at a speed of 26 kilometers per hour, a path expected to continue over the next few days. Lee has a maximum sustained wind speed of 47 mph and NHC forecasters expect the storm to rapidly intensify and become a severe Category 3 hurricane by Friday.
The development of the cyclone put the Leeward Islands (including Antigua and Barbuda, Monserrat and the Virgin Islands) on alert, although the NHC indicated in the system’s first bulletin that it was too early to assess the impact on this group of Caribbean islands to be determined with certainty.
Lee’s formation during the current Atlantic hurricane season, which ends Nov. 1, comes after powerful Hurricane Idalia made landfall in northwest Florida last Wednesday and continued to move across the southeastern United States. NHC meteorologists are already monitoring another strong tropical wave off the coast of West Africa, which could develop into a tropical depression by the middle of this week.