The U.S. National Hurricane Center reports that Hurricane Lee remains a major hurricane, and, while still far from land, is creating dangerous conditions in the northern Caribbean and will do the same for the U.S. east coast in the coming week.
In its latest report Monday, the hurricane center said Lee is about 545 kilometers north of the U.S. Virgin Islands and 1045 km south-southeast of Bermuda. Its maximum sustained winds are 195 km per hour, making it a Category 3 hurricane.
The storm reached Category 5 status with hours of its formation in the very warm waters of the south Atlantic last week.
The hurricane center expects Lee to strengthen over the next day or so, followed by gradual weakening. It reports that as the storm weakens, its tropical wind field will likely expand, affecting a wider area.
Forecasters say Lee will create dangerous surf and life-threatening rip currents to the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, and Bermuda through much of the week.
The forecasters say Lee could also bring wind, rainfall, and high surf impacts to Bermuda.
They say it is too soon to know what impact, if any, Lee might have along the U.S. east coast and Atlantic Canada.