CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Tropical Storm Lee strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday afternoon. It is the fourth hurricane of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.
In its 5:00 p.m. update, the National Hurricane Center said Lee was moving at around 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. The storm is located approximately 1130 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands.
Forecasts show the storm likely becoming an “extremely dangerous” major hurricane by the end of the week, possibly on Saturday.
So-called “steering currents,” as well as warm waters and weak wind shear, will have an influence on Lee’s impact on the U.S.
“The important part is it’s making that turn to the north. We know stronger storms tend to make that turn earlier and we’ve also got some steering currents out there that are helping guide that system to the north,” said Tracking the Tropics meteorologist Rebecca Barry.
“We’ve also got the jet stream coming off of the southeast of the US and that’s going to make it a pathway for this system to go,” Barry added.
Lee is the 12th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.