CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Hurricane Lee continues to be a major hurricane as it moves north of the Lesser Antilles islands and is expected to take a track to the north by the middle of next week.

22News Storm Team Meteorologist Chris Bouzakis has a look at why we are keeping an eye on Lee here in western Massachusetts.

As Hurricane Lee continues to gain strength in the Atlantic, we will likely see Lee stay a major category 4 or 5 hurricane through Wednesday of next week as it passes just north of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Hurricane Lee will eventually take a turn to the north and begin to weaken as it taps into cooler ocean water, and we will have to keep an eye on Lee here in the Northeast.

There are lots of questions about the atmospheric pattern when Lee does take that turn to the north and lots of models have disagreement on what will happen. It will all come down to the placement of a surface-level trough coming out of the Midwest and a strong area of high pressure in the central Atlantic.  

Track Hurricane Lee

Two scenarios we are keeping an eye on are one, the surface level trough is slow and weak and doesn’t interact with Lee quick enough to push it out to sea which would allow the high pressure to dominate and allow Lee to run up the East Coast and possibly be somewhere between Cape Cod and Nova Scotia sometime next weekend.  

Scenario two would be the surface trough is stronger and quicker and the area of high pressure weakens. This would allow Lee to be pushed out to the open Atlantic and have no direct impact on us here in the Northeast.

We have plenty of time to keep an eye on Lee and for now, we will just watch but either way, whatever the exact track is, there will be rough surf with high waves and strong rip currents along the East Coast for much of next week.

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Chris Bouzakis is a meteorologist who has been a part of the 22News team since 2021. Follow Chris on X @ChrisBouzakis and view his bio to see more of his work.