Pictured Above: The National Hurricane Center’s warning cone for Hurricane Lee as of its 2 p.m. Thursday briefing.
Update 2:30 p.m. Sept. 15:
Lee is now tracking north-northeast on an approach path to New England and Atlantic Canada through Saturday, with maximum sustained winds near 80 miles per hour. Hurricane-force winds extend 105 miles out from the center of the storm, and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 320 miles. Storm surge here is still expected to be 1 to 3 feet in Long Island Sound and 1 to 2 feet on the South Shore.
A high surf advisory is in effect for the East End through 8 p.m. Saturday, with high rip current risk in effect through Saturday evening and a coastal floood advisory in effect from 6 p.m. Friday through 3 a.m. Sunday. Here are the details.
Update 6 p.m. Sept. 14:
As of the National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. briefing on Thursday, the Tropical Storm Watch has been extended westward to Westport, Mass, and northward to the U.S. Canada Border, as Hurricane Lee picks up forward speed to the north but decreases in strength, with top winds of 85 miles per hour, making it a Category 1 hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend 105 miles out from the center of the storm, with tropical storm-foce winds extending 345 miles out from the center.
Update: 3 p.m. Sept. 14:
Southampton Town has declared a state of emergency through Sunday, “given the strength of the tides and the winds against the barrier island,” in order to enable the town to take “whatever actions are necessary to protect life and property, and public infrastructure and to perform other such emergency assistance as deemed necessary.”
“It is imperative that Dune Road, and any other road, or portion thereof, is closed and/or cleared for emergency vehicles, according to the Declaration of State of Emergency.
East Hampton Town has closed all of its beaches to swimming, “due to dangerous surf and rip currents related to Hurricane Lee offshore.”
“Currently we are not experiencing severe conditions,” said Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc on Thursday afternoon. “We are continuing to monitor impacts and are planning to build a sand berm at the end of South Edison Street in Montauk, which is prone to overwash and flooding.”
Alerts and information will be issued to the public on the East Hampton Town website, ehamptonny.gov, and through the town’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter social media feeds. Residents can sign up for text or email alerts from the town at ehamptonny.gov/130/Notification-System-Alerts.
The East End will be under a Coastal Flood Advisory from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Sunday, with coastal inundation of 1 to 2 feet possible at times of high tide and breaking waves of 3 to 5 feet that “will locally exacerbate shoreline flooding, particularly in more exposed areas such as Orient Point.”
Here are the times of high tides for Friday through Sunday:
Plum Gut Harbor: 11:28 a.m., 11:45 p.m.
Montauk Harbor: 10:36 a.m., 10:53 p.m.
Greenport: 12:05 p.m.
Mattituck Inlet: 12:36 a.m., 12:54 p.m.
Sag Harbor: Noon
New Suffolk: 1:07 a.m., 1:27 p.m.
South Jamesport: 1:14 a.m., 1:34 p.m.
Shinn. Bay Entrance: 10:33 a.m., 10:37 p.m.
Shinn. Inlet: 8:42 a.m., 8:46 p.m.
Plum Gut Harbor: 12:05 p.m.
Montauk Harbor: 11:13 a.m., 11:30 p.m.
Greenport: 12:22 a.m., 12:42 p.m.
Mattituck Inlet: 1:12 a.m., 1:27 p.m.
Sag Harbor: 12:17 a.m., 12:37 p.m.
New Suffolk: 1:44 a.m., 2:04 p.m.
South Jamesport: 1:51 a.m., 2:11 p.m.
Shinn. Bay Entrance: 11:04 a.m., 11:09 p.m.
Shinn. Inlet: 9:13 a.m., 9:18 p.m.
Plum Gut Harbor: 12:22 a.m., 12:41 p.m.
Montauk Harbor: 11:49 a.m.
Greenport: 12:59 a.m., 1:18 p.m.
Mattituck Inlet: 1:49 a.m., 2:02 p.m.
Sag Harbor: 12:54 a.m., 1:13 p.m.
New Suffolk: 2:21 a.m., 2:40 p.m.
South Jamesport: 2:28 a.m., 2:47 p.m.
Shinn. Bay Entrance:
Shinn. Inlet: 9:45 a.m., 9:52 p.m.
Update 3 p.m. Sept. 13:
Block Island and the New England coast are now facing a Tropical Storm Watch, while Downeast Maine north of Stonington is expected to take a direct hit from the hurricane, which is now a Category 2 storm with top winds of 105 miles per hour. On Long Island, we’re under a high surf advisory through 8 p.m. Saturday, with a storm surge between 1 and 3 feet expected here.
Update 9 a.m. Sept. 13:
The National Hurricane Center is warning of wind, coastal flooding and rain impacts for portions of New England as Hurricane Lee steers northward, with the potential for “watches” to be issued at some point today. Watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the onset of tropical storm or hurricane force winds.
As of the National Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. briefing Wednesday, the storm was slated to “pass west of Bermuda Thursday and Thursday night and then approach the coast of New England or Atlantic Canada late this week. Interests in the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada should monitor the progress of Lee. Watches may be required for a portion of these areas later today or tonight.”
Maximum sustained winds remained near 115 miles per hour, and the storm remained a Category 3, with “slow weakening forecast during the next few days.”
“However,” the Hurricane Center’s public advisory said, “Lee is likely to remain a large and dangerous hurricane into the weekend. As of the 8 a.m. briefing, hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 115 miles form the center of the storm, and tropical storm force winds extended outward 240 miles from the center.
Pictured Above: The National Hurricane Center’s warning cone for Hurricane Lee as of its 8 a.m. Wednesday briefing.
Update 8 p.m. Sept. 11:
As of the National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. briefing Monday, the storm, still a Category 3 with maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, is projected to experience “a steady decay in strength late this week and over the weekend” as it contends with “cooler sea surface temperatures, an increase in sheer and dry air entrainment.” The storm is still expected to significantly increase in size.
Original Story, Noon Sept. 11:
As Hurricane Lee continued to churn up the Atlantic just north of the Caribbean as a powerful Category 3 hurricane Monday morning, hurricane forecasters are not yet able to predict the degree to which the storm will affect the East Coast of the United States. But the National Hurricane Center is urging residents to watch the storm’s development closely in the upcoming days, and warning that dangerous rip currents and surf will affect the East Coast “through much of the week.”
“Dangerous surf and rip currents have begun to affect portions of the southeastern U.S. coast, and these conditions are forecast to spread northward along much of the U.s. East Coast during the next couple of days,” according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. advisory on Monday, Sept. 11.
As of the 11 a.m. briefing, the storm had maximum sustained winds near 120 miles per hour and was moving toward the northwest at 7 knots, and was anticipated to turn toward the north and increase in forward speed by mid-week, on a forecast track that would place it just west of Bermuda late Thursday into Friday “and be situated offshore of the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the end of the forecast period” this coming weekend.
“Beyond a couple of days… progressively cooler waters and a notable increase in shear should cause Lee to gradually weaken,” according to the Hurricane Center. “Although the weakening is forecast later in the week, Lee is expected to significantly increase in size and hazards will extend well away from the center of the storm by the end of the forecast period.”
The Hurricane Center advised that, while “it remains too soon to know what level of additional impacts Lee might have along the Northeast U.S. coast and Atlantic Canada late this week and this weekend… wind and rainfall hazards will likely extend well away from the center as Lee grows in size.”
As of 11 a.m. Monday, hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 75 miles from the center of the storm, and tropical storm-force winds extended outward 185 miles from its center.
The Hurricane Center advised that residents here “should continue to monitor updates in the forecast of Lee during the next several days.
The next update is expected at 5 p.m. Monday, and further maps and tracking data on the storms are on the National Hurricane Center’s website. We will update this post as more information becomes available.