TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Tropical Storm Lee strengthened in the open tropical Atlantic waters Tuesday afternoon after achieving depression-level intensity earlier.
Wind within that center are sustained at 70 mph as it moves west-northwest at about 14 mph.
Lee will gain strength quickly as it continues the west-northwest movement over the weekend. It is projected to turn to the northwest through the weekend. Longer-range projections show Lee moving north over the Atlantic while paralleling the U.S. east coast.
There is a lot of confidence that this system will become a major category 4 hurricane as it rapidly intensifies by the end of the week.
The uncertainty lies with the direction of this storm as it approaches the Leeward Islands during this time. While an eventual northwest turn is shown in most forecast data, when it turns remains more uncertain.
While a gulf impact looks highly unlikely, we'll continue to keep watch on Lee as we approach the peak of hurricane season on September 10. We will closely monitor this and any storms that form.