Hurricane Lee is expected to restrengthen as Category 3.
According to satellite images and data from a hurricane hunter plane on Sunday, Hurricane Lee has once again regained intensity and is now a Category 3 hurricane with top sustained winds of 120 mph.
The National Hurricane Center predicts that the Hurricane Lee, whose strength shifted during its stay over the open Atlantic, would reach a highly hazardous Category 4 by late Sunday or early Monday morning.
Although Hurricane Lee will move well north of Puerto Rico, the British and US Virgin Islands, and the northern Leeward Islands, Hurricane Lee will still have an impact on those locations as well as other Caribbean islands.
It is still too early to predict Hurricane Lee’s long-term course for later this week and the potential magnitude of its effects on Bermuda, the Atlantic Canada, and northeastern US states.
Hurricane Lee is going to head to the north by midweek and move between Bermuda and the US East Coast before the end of the week.
The East Coast is preparing for rip currents and big swells similar to those already affecting the Caribbean.
The Lesser Antilles are being affected by Hurricane Lee‘s swells, the National Hurricane Center warned Friday night.
This weekend Hurricane Lee’s swells could bring dangerous surf and rip conditions to the Bahamas, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the British and US Virgin Islands.
According to the National Weather Service office in San Juan, Puerto Rico, waves breaking at 6 to 10 feet high were predicted for Sunday. Along east and north-facing beaches, larger waves were anticipated this week.
By 5 p.m., Hurricane Lee was approximately 285 miles to the north-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands. ET, traveling 8 mph to the west-northwest.
As it traveled west over the Atlantic, Hurricane Lee, a Category 1 storm on Thursday, quickly strengthened to Category 5, more than doubling its wind speeds to 165 mph in only one day.
Since then, the hurricane center said that the Hurricane Lee has weakened due to vertical wind shear and an eyewall replacement cycle, a process that affects the majority of long-lived significant hurricanes.