Update: Hurricane Lee nears New England, Canada
Hurricane Lee, after a relentless journey spanning over a week across the vast Atlantic Ocean, is now drawing closer to the shores of New England and Atlantic Canada. It’s poised to make landfall, albeit likely as a tropical storm, bringing with it heavy rains, formidable winds, and a potentially perilous storm surge.
The Canadian Hurricane Center predicts that Hurricane Lee will make landfall in Nova Scotia around 3 p.m. ADT (1800 GMT) or possibly later in New Brunswick, with wind speeds below hurricane force. The storm’s path may even lead it into the Bay of Fundy, which lies between these two provinces and boasts some of the world’s highest tides, with variations of up to 12 meters (39 feet), or 16 meters at the head of the bay. Some of the storm’s bands could coincide with high tide, especially early on Sunday morning.
In response to this looming threat, the U.S. National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning that encompasses hundreds of miles of coastline, stretching from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia, affecting approximately 9 million people. The forecast anticipates surges of 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm) for much of New England.
Additionally, Hurricane Lee is expected to unleash rainfall ranging from 2 to 5 inches (5 to 12.5 cm), and tropical-force winds are projected to arrive in coastal areas starting Friday night.
In preparation for the storm’s arrival, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has declared an emergency in Maine, ensuring that the state receives federal assistance ahead of the impending weather event. “We encourage all those in the path of this large and dangerous storm to remain vigilant,” advised White Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a press briefing.
Hurricane Lee has been a formidable presence, circulating as a large hurricane over the Atlantic for more than a week, briefly posing a threat to Bermuda but largely sparing those on land.
As of Friday night, the storm was packing sustained winds of nearly 80 mph (130 kph) and is expected to pose a significant threat when it reaches eastern New England and Atlantic Canada, as cautioned by the National Weather Service.
This marks the second consecutive year that such a potent storm has reached Canada, following last year’s impact by Hurricane Fiona on eastern Canada.