Lee creating dangerous surf on east coast; Marot moves north

Hurricane Lee has turned northwestward, beginning its long-awaited arc north, away from Florida, and is expected to run parallel to the U.S. east coast over the coming days while accelerating and widening, the National Hurricane Center said late Tuesday afternoon.

The Atlantic Basin is active with three other systems.

Hurricane Margot is expected to remain a Category 1 storm but its path will meander northwest and north toward the end of the week. Farther east, two tropical waves near Africa are in the process of merging into one system that is likely to form into a tropical depression by the weekend as it moves northwest toward the central tropical Atlantic.

Though forecasters expect Lee to weaken slightly as it heads north, hurricane hunter aircraft found Tuesday that it has grown significantly in width, enhancing its impact area. The storm will parallel the U.S. East Coast and remain west of Bermuda.

The NHC describes Lee as a “very large hurricane” whose hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles.

The storm’s growing wind field should impact Bermuda on Thursday when Lee is forecast to turn north and move faster, prompting the Bermuda Weather Service to issue a Tropical Storm Watch. Lee’s outer bands could bring 1 to 2 inches of rain to the island.

Long Island and southern New England could see tropical-storm-force winds arriving as early as Friday.

The hurricane center’s prediction extends through Sunday morning, at which time the storm may have dissipated to a tropical storm, making potential landfall in an area that includes coastal Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

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