September 11, 2023 Outlook: Lee turns north this week, with an out to sea escape scenario becoming increasingly unlikely

Just a quick note: We are aware of some email issues some of you are having where you get the post title and no other content. We’re investigating the reasons that may be causing this and hope to have a resolution soon. Sorry for any inconvenience!

One-sentence summary

Hurricane Lee should peak once again today or tomorrow before beginning a weakening trend but also a period that has it grow in physical size as it comes north, increasingly unlikely to turn out to sea.

Hurricane Lee: 120 mph, moving NW at 7 mph

Lee is wobbling between WNW and NW motion, which should continue through midweek before a more decisive turn north, passing west of Bermuda. (Tomer Burg)

What’s changed since yesterday?

Lee has re-intensified to a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 120 mph. It is expected to peak once more in intensity today or tomorrow before beginning a gradual weakening trend as it encounters more shear and cooler water temperatures. Lee’s track forecast continues to flop around some, keeping eastern New England through Atlantic Canada on guard for potential direct impacts late this weekend.

Lee’s intensity forecast

Lee is by no means a perfectly healthy storm, but it has gotten some of its act together since yesterday.

Sunrise on Hurricane Lee this morning shows a storm continuing to fight off shear and some dry air, trying to intensify further. (

Lee became a category 3 storm again yesterday, and it’s likely in the middle of a gradual intensification cycle that should peak today or tomorrow. After that, Lee begins to encounter cooler water and more wind shear from an approaching upper level trough in the jet stream which should allow for steady weakening.

It’s important to note that just because Lee is unlikely to be a major hurricane at high latitudes, it does not mean that Lee will not be a significant storm. Its wind field is likely to expand as it comes north. So it will compensate for weakening by growing in physical size. Folks potentially in the path of Lee should continue to watch it closely.

Lee’s track forecast

It’s becoming increasingly unlikely that Lee is going to turn out to sea. Over the next 2 or 3 days, Lee will track generally west-northwest or northwest, before turning northward. Lee will be steered around the western flank of weak high pressure in the Atlantic and toward a trough moving through New England.

The upper level map on Thursday morning shows some of the things we’ll be watching to determine where Lee ends up, but the “out to sea” solution is becoming increasingly unlikely. (Tropical Tidbits)

The trough is going to play an increasingly important role in Lee’s future, with the exact intensity of it this weekend up for some debate. That will determine if Lee is captured closer to New England or more toward Atlantic Canada. That may also determine how big, broad, and strong Lee’s wind field is when it gets there.

Lee’s track forecast spread has actually *widened* a little since yesterday, but confidence in a track, loosely somewhere between New England and Newfoundland is increasing. (Tomer Burg)

The bottom line at this point: Folks from eastern New England to Newfoundland should be closely monitoring Lee’s progress. Any direct impacts from Lee are likely to not arrive until Saturday if it tracks toward New England or early Sunday if it tracks toward Atlantic Canada.

Potential impacts through midweek

In the meantime, we have rough surf and rip currents that are expected to overspread most of the western Atlantic this week. This will impact most areas in the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and north facing shores of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and the Leeward Islands. Bermuda will also see this occur, but we’ll be watching to see there just how close the core gets to the island. For now, I would anticipate we’ll see Tropical Storm Watches hoisted for Bermuda by late tomorrow or Wednesday.

Elsewhere: Margot and what’s next?

Tropical Storm Margot is likely to become a hurricane today as it moves generally due north. It will not impact land over the next 5-6 days, but it may get tied up in awkward steering currents in the open North Atlantic that could lead to it wandering about well into next week.

Margot is likely to become a hurricane tomorrow as it tracks north. Eventually it will slam on the brakes and probably meander for a bit west of the Azores. (Tomer Burg)

Off Africa, the next system seems most likely to follow (broadly) Lee’s track, which hopefully keeps it north of the Caribbean and eventually turns it out to sea. It will merge with Invest 97L. I’m not sure if the protocol will be to tag it as Invest 98L or keep the 97L label, but whatever the case it comes broadly west-northwest through the week, and the vast majority of model guidance keeps it north of the Caribbean.

Other than that, we see absolutely no signs of any Gulf or Caribbean activity through midweek next week, with wind shear mostly ripping in that part of the basin.

10 thoughts on “September 11, 2023 Outlook: Lee turns north this week, with an out to sea escape scenario becoming increasingly unlikely”

  1. Fyi, I am one of those folks with the some email of just getting the post title. However, if you click on the title, you get the whole enchilada 😁

    • I signed up twice and have never gotten any email at all. Not in spam. I need to search for site to access. It’s ok, but email would be nice. This has become my main source for storms and keeping my sanity living in New Orleans…..

      • Hey Jay, I tried signing you up. See if you get a confirmation email in your inbox. Every so often there are weird things that happen and someone can’t get it into their inbox…it’s a little frustrating but, alas.

  2. Your missing image issue isn’t specific to your site. I receive notifications of new posts from Wordpress bloggers via gmail, and some of those emails suddenly are arriving without images. If you’re connected to WP in any way, that could point to the source of the problem.

  3. Matt, like Paul above, for the past several emails all that I’m receiving is the header. I have to double click the header and it that takes me to the “Eyewall” Web Page.

  4. Any thoughts on potential aviation impacts? I have a trans-Atlantic flight through Newark, NJ on Saturday. Likelihood it changes flights vs just a few bumps/altered flightpath?

    • It’s too soon to say with any specificity and I never like to predict airline behavior, but there will likely be some sort of alteration in flight path or timing if you plan to fly Saturday or Sunday to Europe. My guess is that they’d go farther north and cut back east, but I have no idea what they actually can do in those scenarios.

Comments are closed.