(WKBN) — Hurricane Lee formed deep in the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023. Lee has gradually moved north and west over the past week and is now positioned west of the Bahamas. It currently is a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph.

Lee will begin to take a sharp turn to the north on Wednesday and eventually will affect the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Due to cooler ocean temperatures, Lee is forecast to weaken into a tropical storm before any potential landfall. Currently, it is forecast to make landfall as a tropical storm along the border of Maine and New Brunswick, Canada.

Hurricane Lee forecast path and intensity from the National Hurricane Center.

However, that does not necessarily mean that the impacts will decrease. Key identifiers of tropical systems are warmer temperatures at the center relative to their surroundings and the lack of a cold front or warm front. When tropical systems move into cooler water, they usually begin to acquire characteristics of a normal low-pressure system with cooler temperatures at the core and a cold/warm front.

When this happens, the area of strong winds can actually expand in size and affect a larger area. Therefore, while the winds will technically be weaker, the area experiencing higher winds is often larger after this transformation happens. Below is the probability of tropical storm-force wind gusts (≥ 39 MPH) through the morning of Monday, Sept. 18.

Probability of tropical storm force winds (≥ 39 MPH) through Monday, Sept. 18. Image courtesy of the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The storm system will also bring heavy rainfall and rough seas to the northeastern U.S. Our meteorologists will continue to track Lee throughout the week as it gets closer to landfall.