Hurricane Lee likely to pass New England's coast by the end of the week

Hurricane Lee, right, in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. (NOAA via AP)
Hurricane Lee, right, in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. (NOAA via AP)

Hurricane Lee is forecast to make its way northward from the Caribbean and might reach the waters off the Massachusetts coast this weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center.

It is too early to predict how it will affect New England, said Torry Dooley, a Boston-based meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

"The cone of uncertainty, which is a historical [margin of] error of where hurricanes travel, is anywhere from Nantucket two-to-three-hundred miles east of Nantucket," said Dooley, adding that meteorologists would be able to make better predictions later this week.

The tropical depression started forming last week and quickly grew into a massive Category 5 hurricane.  Last night, Lee dropped to Category 3 delivering sustained winds of 111-129 MPH as it crossed over several islands in the northeastern part of the Caribbean. Winds at that speed caneasily uproot trees, damage roofing and cause power outages.

The hurricane is expected to cause dangerous surf conditions over much of the East Coast in the coming days. Dooley said most impact on southern New England would come on the weekend.

"Now is a good time to review safety action plans that families may have if they are in a vulnerable coastal area," he said. "[And] to see if they are in an evacuation zone."

Dooley said Massachusetts residents would benefit from grabbing extra supplies and bottles of water over this week, even if they live away from coastlines.

"The winds won't be destructive everywhere, but gusty winds could expand further away from the storm," he said, adding that residents might lose power as a result. "It is definitely something that everyone should be aware of."

The hurricane is also expected to cause large waves on Massachusetts beaches. Dooley said residents should be aware of the "dangerous marine conditions heading into this weekend."

Dooley said residents should stay alert for weather updates in the coming days, as Lee heads further north and its path becomes clearer.


Irina Matchavariani WBUR Newsroom Fellow
Irina Matchavariani is a newsroom fellow at WBUR.


Amy Sokolow Associate Producer, All Things Considered & Weekend Edition
Amy Sokolow is an associate producer for All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.



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