Hurricane Lee lowered its intensity to high Category 4 strength Friday, down from its Category 5 maximum — so far — set on Thursday Night. But forecasters warn that the storm is expected to stay severe for days to come.
"Some fluctuations in intensity are likely over the next few days, however Lee is expected to remain a powerful major hurricane through early next week," the National Hurricane Center wrote.
Through early next week, the storm is expected to slow down its northwestward movement as it encounters an area of relatively higher pressure. The current forecast track shows the storm is expected to cross well north of the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico.
Dangerous surf and rip currents are affecting the Leeward Islands and will soon spread to Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
Dangerous surf and rip currents are expected to reach much of the U.S. East Coast by Sunday and Monday. But as of Friday evening, it was too early to tell what most of the direct effects of the storm would be on the U.S. East Coast.
Hurricane Center forecast tracks are valid for five days, past which the accuracy of modeling falls too low to be useful for planning.
The National Hurricane Center urges people to keep watching the latest official forecasts and information from their local weather offices.
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