Update: We Finally Know If Hurricane Lee Will Strike Central New York
After spending days trying to figure out if Hurricane Lee was going to strike the East Coast head on, we finally have an answer.
It's been about a week since Hurricane Lee formed in the Atlantic Basin and intensified into a powerful Cat 5 hurricane within hours. At the moment, Lee is Cat 3 with sustained winds of 115 mph.
Its winds are currently extending 240 miles from its eye and the storm is leisurely churning at 6 miles per hour north. The system is expected to speed up come Thursday and Friday.
While this storm was different in a myriad of ways, the biggest issue forecasters had was the unpredictable nature of this system. For days, experts tried nailing down the storm's correct path via spaghetti models and cones of uncertainty. Some thought it was going to strike New York while others warned Lee could wreak havoc upon our neighbors up north. After a week of speculation, the National Weather Service has finally figured out where this insane storm is headed.
Lee isn't going to pass over Central NY
The current models from the NWS says Lee is going to remain over the Atlantic as it skirts by New England. Places like the Massachusetts and New Hampshire coastline, as well as Cape Cod, may endure the outer edges of Lee, which could bring strong winds, rip currents and tidal surges Friday evening through Saturday morning.
Lee is expected to maintain hurricane status through 8 a.m. Saturday before turning into a tropical cyclone over Maine. That's right, if you have family in Maine, you might want to let them know that they should cancel their weekend plans.Practically the entire state will be blanketed by Lee's winds and rains. The NWS predicts the storm will carry wind speeds between 39 to 73 miles per hour. From there, Lee will meander over the Canadian provinces directly above and to the right of Maine, striking the Canadian Maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Lee will then blow out to sea.
What New York can expect over the weekend
Central NY will not see any residual effects of Hurricane Lee. However, potions of New York's coastline could see a different story.
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Areas along the Long Island Sound could experience strong rip currents on the coastline as well as beach erosion.
Areas close to the shoreline, as well as portions of Connecticut and New Jersey may feel some effects of the storm on Friday evening, such as additional heavy rainfall, storm surge, and tropical-force winds.
This could trigger flooding in those regions, as they have already been soaked by near-historic rainfall over the summer. Making matters worse is the region will get at least one more rain storm before Lee arrives, which may prime the ground for dangerous conditions.
Lee's winds are expected to reach up to 60 mph as it passes by New England Friday night into Saturday morning. Additionally, with leaves still on the trees, the likelihood of winds being able to rip roots out of the ground remains high.
Meaning, these areas should prepare for potential power outages and take care of their errands such as grocery shopping before Friday.
In all, Central New York has lucked out and will enjoy a relatively dry weekend, with current temperatures forecasted to be in the high 60s and low 70s.
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