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Bermuda Buffeted by High Waves as Hurricane Lee Targets New England and Atlantic Canada

by Sophia Chen
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Hurricane Lee

Late on Thursday, Bermuda experienced the initial onslaught of Hurricane Lee’s outer rainbands accompanied by formidable surf. The Category 2 cyclone is anticipated to make its landfall either on New England’s coast or in Atlantic Canada during the weekend.

Situated approximately 370 miles (595 kilometers) to the south-southwest of Bermuda, the storm boasted wind speeds reaching 105 miles per hour (165 kilometers per hour) and was progressing in a north-northwest direction at a rate of 9 miles per hour (15 kilometers per hour).

Meteorological experts have issued a tropical storm warning for Bermuda as Lee is forecast to pass slightly to its west. David Burch, the acting minister for national security, emphasized the gravity of the situation in a media briefing, urging the public to treat the storm with utmost seriousness.

Additional Coverage

New England Saturated by Possible Tornado in Advance of Hurricane Lee
The National Hurricane Center has activated a hurricane watch for parts of Maine and expanded a tropical storm watch to include a considerable stretch of New England’s coastline as Hurricane Lee advances toward the region.
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By Michael Casey

In preparation for the storm, Bermuda’s government declared that its airport would close at noon on Thursday and reopen on Friday. Banking institutions, municipal parks, and ferry services were also slated to suspend operations on Thursday, while public schools were ordered to close both on Thursday and Friday.

“We cannot risk the safety of 4,000 young citizens by allowing them to roam freely amid tropical storm conditions,” stated Burch.

Lee is projected to enlarge while gradually diminishing in strength due to colder ocean temperatures. However, it is still expected to pose a significant threat as it approaches New England and Atlantic Canada on Friday and Saturday. The National Hurricane Center classifies it as a “large and perilous hurricane.”

A hurricane watch is in effect from Stonington, Maine, extending to the United States-Canada border. A tropical storm watch has also been declared for a broad section of New England’s coastline, ranging from Watch Hill, Rhode Island to Stonington, Maine, and including areas such as Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. Additionally, a storm surge watch has been issued for Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket.

The National Hurricane Center has warned that due to the expansive nature of Lee, hazardous conditions will be experienced far from its core, making the precise point of landfall less crucial.

Wind speeds associated with hurricane conditions stretch up to 115 miles (185 kilometers) from Lee’s epicenter, while tropical-storm-force winds have a reach of up to 240 miles (390 kilometers), according to the center. It has also issued alerts for wind, precipitation, and coastal inundation affecting portions of New England and Atlantic Canada.

As Lee nears, New England is already grappling with the aftermath of unprecedented flooding caused by heavy rains that led Massachusetts’ governor to proclaim a state of emergency, although these events are not related to the hurricane.

Meteorologists have cautioned about perilous surf and strong rip currents affecting areas like the Lesser Antilles, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and the eastern coast of the United States. Similar conditions are beginning to affect Atlantic Canada.

Speaking on the community’s resilience in the face of serial storms, Burch referenced Idalia, a post-tropical cyclone that passed the island last Saturday and has since disintegrated. “I recognize the weariness and concern many are likely experiencing at this time,” he noted.

Simultaneously, Hurricane Margot was traversing the open waters of the Atlantic as of Wednesday, located about 790 miles (1,270 kilometers) west-southwest of the Azores. The storm exhibited sustained wind speeds of 90 miles per hour (150 kilometers per hour) and was advancing northward at 7 miles per hour (11 kilometers per hour), projected to remain over the open sea.

This year marks the 13th named storm and the fifth hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season, which spans from June 1 to November 30 and peaked last Sunday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has estimated that the season will witness between 14 and 21 named storms. Six to 11 of these are projected to escalate into hurricanes, with two to five potentially intensifying into Category 3 storms or higher.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hurricane Lee

What regions are in the direct path of Hurricane Lee?

Hurricane Lee is anticipated to make landfall either on the coast of New England or in Atlantic Canada during the weekend.

What precautionary measures has Bermuda taken in anticipation of Hurricane Lee?

Bermuda’s government has decided to close its airport at noon on Thursday and plans to reopen it on Friday. Banking institutions, municipal parks, and ferry services are also scheduled to cease operations on Thursday. Public schools in Bermuda will be closed on both Thursday and Friday.

How strong is Hurricane Lee?

As of the latest update, Hurricane Lee is a Category 2 storm with wind speeds reaching up to 105 miles per hour (165 kilometers per hour).

What warnings have been issued in the U.S. regarding Hurricane Lee?

The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane watch for parts of Maine and a tropical storm watch for a substantial area of New England’s coastline.

What kind of hazards are expected due to Hurricane Lee?

Hurricane-force winds extend up to 115 miles (185 kilometers) from Lee’s center, and tropical-storm-force winds reach up to 240 miles (390 kilometers). The National Hurricane Center has also warned of wind, rain, and coastal flooding affecting parts of New England and Atlantic Canada.

What other regions are expected to be affected by dangerous surf and rip currents?

Meteorologists have cautioned about hazardous surf and strong rip currents affecting areas like the Lesser Antilles, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and the eastern coast of the United States. Conditions are also starting to reach Atlantic Canada.

Is Hurricane Lee the only active storm in the Atlantic currently?

No, Hurricane Margot is also active and is traversing the open waters of the Atlantic. However, it is expected to remain over the open sea and is not currently a threat to any land areas.

How has the recent weather in New England impacted the situation?

New England is already grappling with the aftermath of unprecedented flooding caused by heavy rains, leading the governor of Massachusetts to declare a state of emergency. However, this event is unrelated to Hurricane Lee.

How many named storms have occurred in the current Atlantic hurricane season?

This year marks the 13th named storm and the fifth hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.

What is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) forecast for the current hurricane season?

The NOAA has estimated that the current Atlantic hurricane season will witness between 14 and 21 named storms. Of these, six to 11 are projected to escalate into hurricanes, with two to five potentially intensifying into Category 3 storms or higher.

More about Hurricane Lee

  • National Hurricane Center Updates
  • Bermuda Government Official Statements
  • New England Weather Forecast
  • Massachusetts State of Emergency News
  • NOAA Hurricane Season Predictions
  • Lesser Antilles Weather Warnings
  • Atlantic Canada Weather Alerts
  • The Impact of Hurricanes on the East Coast
  • Guide to Preparing for Hurricanes
  • Historical Data on Atlantic Hurricanes

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