The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Depression 13 has organized and intensified into Tropical Storm Lee.
As of the Tuesday evening update at 11 p.m., the system was 1,230 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. The tropical storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was moving west-northwest at 16 mph.
Lee is forecast to become a hurricane by tomorrow night and a major hurricane by Friday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center.
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It is forecast to strengthen into an “extremely dangerous” hurricane by Friday as it moves over very warm waters and pass just northeast of the Caribbean region, the center said.
The atmospheric and oceanic conditions appear extremely favorable for rapid intensification (RI) during the next several days, particularly once the northeasterly shear over Lee subsides in a day or so.
Preliminary forecasts are not predicting any landfall, although the center warned that “it is too early to determine exactly how close this system will be to the Leeward Islands.”
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“Lee is forecast to become a major hurricane by late this week and could bring impacts to the Leeward Islands this weekend. While it is too soon to determine the location and magnitude of these possible impacts, interests in this area should monitor the progress of Lee and further updates to the forecast,” according to the NHC.
Lee is the twelfth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
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