11 p.m. Update:
ORLANDO, Fla. — Lee is expected to become a hurricane by Wednesday.
It is tracking WNW and north of the Caribbean through the weekend as a big, major hurricane.
Forecast models show a trough turning Lee north well offshore of Florida.
5 p.m. Update:
Tropical Depression 13 strengthened into Tropical Storm Lee on Tuesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said.
Lee is expected to rapidly intensify into an extremely dangerous hurricane by the weekend as it moves over the incredibly warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
“The forecast track is generally north of the Leeward islands and Puerto Rico,” certified meteorologist George Waldenberger said. “We’ll still be watching for any shifts closer to these areas just in case.”
At the very least, we’ll be watching increasing waves on the north sides of those islands, he said.
“Lee is expected to curve to the north while staying off Florida’s east coast, but it will likely generate strong rip currents and high waves at our beaches later next week,” Waldenberger said.
Click here to watch live updates on Channel 9 Eyewitness News.
10:40 a.m. update:
The National Hurricane Center said Tropical Depression Thirteen has formed over the central Atlantic Ocean.
Forecast data shows TD-13 could continue to strengthen into Tropical Storm Lee on Tuesday.
Channel 9 meteorologists are monitoring all tropical activity in the Atlantic and will provide updates on Eyewitness News at Noon.
Channel 9 meteorologist Brian Shields said early indications are that the system will curve and not be a threat to Florida, but it is too early to tell for certain.
Shields said the storm should be north of Puerto Rico by this weekend, and is currently forecast to curve east of the Bahamas.
Stay tuned to Channel 9 Eyewitness News for updates.
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