Tropical Storm Lee to become a major hurricane

Tropical Storm Lee has formed in the Atlantic Ocean and is expected to rapidly intensify into a major hurricane by this weekend.

The storm has already strengthened to 65 mph winds, and forecasters are warning of the possibility of "explosive intensification."

"It is becoming a question of when and not if rapid intensification occurs with Lee," the National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.

Winds are forecast to reach 150 mph, which is a powerful Category 4 hurricane.

That is 241 kilometer per hour!

The reason for the storm's rapid intensification is the above-average water temperatures in the area of the Atlantic it is churning through.

"The system should be moving over record-warm waters ... east of the Lesser Antilles," the NHC said.

This forecast — so far out in the Atlantic — with a prediction of strengthening this quickly is unusual. Still, it's too early to say with any certainty exactly where this storm will go.

Most of the long-range models have Lee eventually curving north - missing the Caribbean and remaining offshore of the United States.

However, forecasters are warning that it is too early to rule out a landfall in the Caribbean or the US.

Lee is the the 13th named storm of what is an above-average Atlantic hurricane season.

This is rare, but not that much.

As researchers note, only "4 other years on record have had 13+ Atlantic named storms by Sept. 5: 2005, 2011, 2012, 2020."

I hope you enjoyed this story about Tropical Storm Lee. It is a developing story, and we will continue to update it as more information becomes available.