WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Hurricane Lee is churning in the Atlantic on Monday as a powerful Category 3 storm but is expected to make a sharp turn north over the next couple of days and stay well away from Florida.
According to the 11 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Lee has maximum sustained winds of 115 mph. The storm is moving west-northwest at about 7 mph. Lee was about 410 miles north-northwest of the Northern Leeward Islands and about 580 miles south of Bermuda.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 75 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles.
A saildrone located to the west of the Lee's center in the last few hours reported a sustained wind of 70 mph and a wind gust of 88 mph.
WPTV First Alert Weather meteorologist Jennifer Correa said Lee is tracking northwest, but will turn to the north late Tuesday or Wednesday and stay away from the Bahamas and Florida. And Lee will pass near but to the west of Bermuda.
Dangerous surf, large swells, and strong rip currents will impact the Bahamas, U.S. eastern seaboard, and Bermuda this week. Expect large swells and dangerous rips to arrive on our coast by mid-week, Correa said.
Elsewhere in the tropics, Tropical Storm Margot strengthen into a hurricane on Monday but is forecsast stay out to sea. In thre 11 p.m. update, Margot had maximum sustained windsof 80 mph and was traveling north at 12 mph. Margot was about 1,295 miles northwest of Cabo Verde Islands.
There are also two areas of disturbed weather in the far eastern Atlantic. One has a 70% chance of development over the next seven days, and the other has a 10% chance.