(WKBN) – The tropical Atlantic Ocean continues to be active this week. Hurricane Lee rapidly intensified into a category 5 storm overnight with sustained maximum winds of 165 MPH. The satellite loop below shows the incredible structure of Hurricane Lee:
The big question is: Will Lee have an impact on the United States? The current forecast for Major Hurricane Lee is for the storm to continue to push west closer to the United States.
The storm is forecast to sustain its status as a major hurricane throughout the projected path. The extended path of Lee is more uncertain. Right now, it appears that Lee will definitely take a hard turn to the north later next week. A storm system that will affect the Valley will act to push the storm to the north by the end of next week.
One of the ways that meteorologists track the extended forecast of tropical systems is by utilizing the projections of several weather forecast models. These graphs are often called “spaghetti plots” because the different line tracks have the appearance of spaghetti noodles! The spaghetti plots of Lee is shown below:
The graph below shows that all of the models have Lee taking a dramatic turn to the north, which should help it avoid landfall in the southeastern U.S.
In fact, most of the models push Lee into the northern Atlantic keeping the storm at sea. However, there is still some chance that the storm could have major impacts on the northeastern United States. The storm is still too far out to determine what the exact impacts will be. Our meteorologists will continue to track this storm in the Storm Team 27 Weather Center.