Ahead of Lee, New England sees hurricane and storm surge

Hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge watches are in effect ahead of Hurricane Lee’s expected impacts to the New England coast this weekend.

A hurricane watch is in place from the coast of northern Maine to the Canadian border, and most of coastal New England is under a storm watch, including Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. A storm surge watch is in place for Cape Cod and Nantucket, and forecasters are predicting 2 to 4 feet.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Margot may have reached peak intensity. According to the latest forecast, there is an increasing chance of the low pressure system turning into a tropical depression in the Far East by the end of this week.

Hurricane Lee has weakened slightly, becoming a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of 105 mph and continuing to meander northward, forecasters said, as it accelerates along the US East Coast. Heading west of Bermuda on Thursday.

Lee will then approach the coast of New England and Canada on Friday and Saturday. The National Hurricane Center said Wednesday night that tropical storm conditions are expected to begin in Bermuda early Thursday morning, while coastal New England could see tropical storm conditions beginning Friday night. Tornado conditions are possible for parts of lower eastern Maine Saturday.

Forecasters expect 1 to 4 inches of rain in eastern New England, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with localized urban flooding and stream flooding.

The storm is expected to expand over time and continue to grow as it speeds north. Hurricane winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 265 miles.

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Jeff Berardelli, a meteorologist at WFLA-TV in Tampa, posted on social media that “the biggest impact from these big, fast-moving systems is … huge waves and significant upwelling.” He shared a map showing wave heights of 10 feet on Long Island’s south shore and 16 feet on Cape Cod.

“Life-threatening surf and current conditions” are expected to move north over much of the coast and into Atlantic Canada over the next few days, forecasters said. The National Weather Service in Miami said Wednesday night that Lee’s swells on beaches in Palm Beach County and Broward County could increase later this week and into the weekend as they move in from the north.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Bermuda on Wednesday night as Lee moved to its west. Bermuda could get up to 2 inches of rain Thursday through Friday, forecasters said.

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