The potential effects of Hurricane Lee prompted the issuance of a Tropical Storm Watch for Bermuda on Tuesday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Lee was located at latitude 24.7°N and longitude 66.4°W which put it about 530 miles (860 km) south of Bermuda. Lee was moving toward the northwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 135 m.p.h. (215 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 946 mb.
A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for Bermuda.
Hurricane Lee completed an eyewall replacement cycle on Tuesday. A large eye with a diameter of 45 miles (75 km) was at the center of Lee’s circulation. The eye was surrounded by a ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms revolved around the center of Hurricane Lee. Storms near the center of Lee’s circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the hurricane.
The size of the circulation around Hurricane Lee increased on Tuesday after the eyewall replacement cycle. Winds to hurricane force extended out 125 miles (200 km) from the center of Lee’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 240 miles (390 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) was 20.6. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 36.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 56.8. Hurricane Lee was similar in size and intensity to Hurricane Ivan when Ivan hit the Gulf Coast in 2004.
Hurricane Lee will move through an environment that will be favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Lee will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 29°C. It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. The large size of the circulation around Hurricane Lee could limit changes of intensity during the next 24 hours. Lee could intensify a little on Wednesday. An upper level trough over the Great Lakes will cause the vertical wind shear to increase later this week.
Hurricane Lee will move around the western part of a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean. The high pressure system will steer Lee toward the north-northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, Hurricane Lee will move south-southwest of Bermuda on Wednesday.
Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Margot moved north over the Central Atlantic. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Margot was located at latitude 31.7°N and longitude 39.6°W which put it about 835 miles (1345 km) west-southwest of the Azores. Margot was moving toward the north at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (150 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 977 mb.