Hurricane Lee Expected To Rapidly Intensify, Could Become Category 5 Storm

Satellite view of Hurricane Lee

Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

As Hurricane Lee continues to churn in the Atlantic Ocean, forecasters are predicting it will rapidly intensify in the coming days and could become a monstrous Category 5 storm with sustained winds of at least 157 mph.

"All the ingredients are in place for the storm to really intensify," Jason Dunion, director of NOAA's Hurricane Field Program, told CNN. "This storm definitely has the potential to be a Category 5."

Forecasters aren't sure what path Lee will take, and it is unclear if the storm will make landfall in the United States. However, it could still produce dangerous rip currents and surf conditions along the East Coast and across the Caribbean.

"Swells generated by Lee are expected to reach portions of the Lesser Antilles on Friday, and reach the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas, and Bermuda this weekend. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions," the National Hurricane Center said.

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