TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hurricane Lee has rapidly strengthened into a Category 5 major storm on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 p.m. update.
Lee is about 705 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands and moving west-northwest at 14 mph, according to the NHC.
Hurricane Lee has sustained winds of 160 mph, according to the NHC.
Most models still show Lee making a turn to the north.
“It’s possible this could rapidly intensify by 90 mph in 36 hours, that is really, really fast,” Berardelli said.
Lee is rapidly intensifying because it is moving over very warm water, Berardelli said.
Swells from Hurricane Lee are expected to impact the Northern Caribbean on Friday and the mainland U.S. by Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Tropical Storm Margot
Margot is moving west-northwest at 16 mph and is expected to stay out to sea, according to the NHC. It’s expected to become a hurricane over the weekend.
Margot is located 335 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center. Margot has sustained winds of 40 mph.