At 500 AM AST (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Lee was located near latitude 16.1 North, longitude 48.6 West. Lee is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph (22 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue through Friday. A slower motion toward the west-northwest is forecast over the weekend.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. Rapid intensification is expected to begin later today, and Lee is forecast to become a major hurricane by early Friday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km).
The estimated minimum central pressure is 989 mb (29.21 inches).
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The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based only on a hurricane's maximum sustained wind speed. This scale does not take into account other potentially deadly hazards such as storm surge, rainfall flooding, and tornadoes.
CategorySustained WindsTypes of Damage Due to Hurricane Winds
Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.
Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.
Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.
Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
157 mph or higher
137 kt or higher
252 km/h or higher
Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.