Hurricane Lee has grown in intensity rather quickly presenting a weather challenge for most of the East Coast. Currently a Category 4 storm, it has weakened slightly from its Category 5 status hours prior. As we prepare for the weekend, many Philadelphians are wondering what impact, if any, it will have along the U.S East Coast.
The first Category 5 storm of the season, Hurricane Lee was originally expected to reach wind gusts of upward 180 mph. Nevertheless, the now Category 4 storm is still ‘incredibly powerful’ with wind gusts now at 155mph.
As meteorologists monitor the growth and path of the storm, current predictions state it isn’t expected to make landfall.
“It is way too soon to know what level of impacts, if any, Lee might have along the U.S. East Coast, Atlantic Canada, or Bermuda late next week, particularly since the hurricane is expected to slow down considerably over the southwestern Atlantic,” the NHC’s John Cangialosi wrote in his discussion of the forecast.
The National Hurricane Center said dangerous surf and rip currents were forecast for most of the U.S. East Coast starting Sunday.
Notably, dangerous surf and life-threatening rip currents are likely in the northern Leeward Islands beginning today. As these conditions spread westward and northward, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Bermuda will be affected through the weekend.
U.S President Joe Biden was briefed on the hurricane’s latest trajectory. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency is preparing for whatever outcome. FEMA has deployed rapid response teams to both U.S. territories as a precaution.
A Wet Weekend
Indeed, Philadelphians can expect a wet weekend. Friday will be the last day of the heat wave and 90 degree weather. Saturday will still be very humid with a high of 87 degrees and more scattered thunderstorms and downpours, especially later in the day.
Sunday follows the same pattern with a high of 84 degrees, less sun, and scattered thunderstorms.