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'Large and dangerous' Hurricane Lee to bring high winds and coastal flooding to New England

The hurricane is about 460 miles south-southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph.
Surfers and others spend a day at Rockaway Beach as impact from Hurricane Lee delivers large surf and rip tides to much of the Northeast on Sept. 14, 2023 in New York City.
Surfers and others spend a day at Rockaway Beach, New York City, as impacts from Hurricane Lee deliver large surf and riptides to much of the Northeast on Thursday. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Hurricane Lee will bring tropical storm conditions and flooding to parts of coastal New England beginning Friday afternoon, forecasters said, warning that it will be a "large and dangerous storm."

The large hurricane is about 460 miles south-southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 a.m. ET advisory.

The storm surge and tide will cause flooding along the coast. About 1 to 3 feet of storm surge flooding is expected in areas including Cape Cod, Long Island Sound, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, the Boston Harbor and Flushing, New York, to the Canadian border. Rockaway Inlet, New York, up to to Montauk Point, New York, could see 1 to 2 feet, forecasters said.

Lee rapidly intensified from a Category 1 to a major Category 5 storm last week before weakening. It is currently a Category 1 and forecasters do not expect it to increase in strength as it churns across the Atlantic Ocean.

It should be post-tropical and begin weakening by Saturday, the agency said, warning that it is still “expected to be a large and dangerous storm when it reaches eastern New England and Atlantic Canada."

Westport, Massachusetts, up to the Canadian border, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are under a tropical storm warning. Petit Manan Point, Maine, up to the Canadian border is under a hurricane watch, the agency said.

The center of Lee will move away from Bermuda on Friday morning as it approaches the coast of New England and Atlantic Canada. The storm is expected to turn and move across Atlantic Canada on Saturday night and into Sunday, according to the agency.

This year, there have been 14 named storms, five hurricanes and three major hurricanes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last month that this hurricane season was expected to be “above normal“ compared to previous years and cited “ocean and atmospheric conditions, such as record-warm sea surface temperatures" for the change.