(NEW YORK) — Hurricane Lee, a Category 1 storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean, is bringing dangerous rip currents to the East Coast before heading to New England, where a hurricane watch is in effect.
The winds and rain will reach Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine by Friday night.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern.
Sep 16, 5:54 AM EDT
Lee becomes post-tropical as it approaches Nova Scotia
Still producing hurricane-force winds, Lee has been downgraded to a post-tropical storm as it approaches Nova Scotia on Saturday morning.
The remnants of Hurricane Lee — now basically an extreme Nor’easter — are bearing down on coastal New England and Canada. But even though Lee is now post-tropical, the storm remains strong as it produces huge waves, life-threatening rip currents, strong winds and widespread rain to New England, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 80 mph with higher gusts at Lee’s center.
Lee is expected to be at or just below hurricane strength when it reaches Nova Scotia later today.
On the forecast track, the center of Lee will continue to approach the coast of Nova Scotia this morning. Lee is then expected to turn toward the north-northeast and northeast and move across Atlantic Canada tonight and Sunday.
By 10 p.m. tonight, rain will be northeast of America and completely in Atlantic Canada.
Winds will be simply “windy” down to “breezy” by Sunday morning with gusts of only 15-30 mph at 7 a.m. Sunday in New England.
For now, Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 390 miles from Lee’s center.
Swells generated by Lee are affecting the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, Bermuda, the east coast of the United States and Atlantic Canada. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Rip currents alerts are set to a high risk from New England all the way to Florida as the entire Atlantic coast of America will be seeing life-threatening rip currents today. Through tonight, Lee is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 1 to 4 inches over far eastern Massachusetts, eastern Maine, western Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
Sep 15, 5:08 PM EDT
Lee’s latest forecast
Lee is picking up speed as it moves north and is now about 290 miles southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts.
The rain will start to hit southeastern New England Friday evening with winds increasing overnight. The storm will last in the region through Saturday afternoon.
Lee, currently a Category 1 hurricane, is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm by Saturday afternoon.
The rough surf, big waves and dangerous rip currents will persist across much of the East Coast through Saturday.
Lee will likely come ashore in Canada — in western Nova Scotia or western New Brunswick — by Saturday afternoon or early evening.
Sep 15, 3:03 PM EDT
Tropical storm warnings in effect along New England coast
Hurricane Lee will pick up speed over the next 24 hours as it races up the East Coast.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect along the coast from Massachusetts to Maine. Coastal flood advisories and high surf advisories are also in effect.
The rain will begin in southeastern New England Friday night, with winds strengthening overnight. Wind gusts up to 60 mph are possible in Cape Cod and Nantucket.
Lee, now a Category 1 hurricane, is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm on Saturday.
Most of the rain and wind will hit southeastern New England on Saturday and then shift toward Maine later in the day.
The rough surf will likely persist along New England’s coast through Saturday night, but major flooding is not expected.
Lee is forecast to reach the shore in Canada, in western Nova Scotia or western New Brunswick, by Saturday afternoon or early evening.
By Sunday morning, the impacts from Lee will be ending in Maine and Nova Scotia.
Sep 15, 12:57 PM EDT
Massachusetts declares state of emergency
Massachusetts has joined Maine in declaring a state of emergency as Hurricane Lee approaches.
A tropical storm warning has been issued in the state. The rain will begin Friday night in Massachusetts, starting on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard after 9 p.m. and reaching Boston after midnight.
“Drivers should plan ahead if traveling during severe weather,” Gov. Maura Healey tweeted. “Heavy equipment, pumps and generators are fueled up and ready to be deployed if needed and emergency crews are on standby.”
Sep 15, 11:40 AM EDT
Lee’s strong winds to reach New England by Friday afternoon
Lee, now a Category 1 hurricane, is located about 395 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and is threatening the East Coast with huge waves.
A tropical storm warning has been issued from Massachusetts to Maine, and on Friday afternoon, tropical storm-force winds of 39 mph or higher are expected to begin in New England.
The rain will begin Friday night in Massachusetts, starting on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard after 9 p.m. and reaching Boston after midnight.
Lee will bring some minor storm surge Friday night. Waters could rise 1 to 3 feet from Long Island to Maine.
By late Saturday afternoon, Lee is expected to move into Canada, hitting the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia areas as an extra-tropical storm.
By Saturday night, Lee will move away from land.
Sep 15, 7:59 AM EDT
Huge waves will be main threat for New England on Friday
With Hurricane Lee forecast to get closer to New England by Friday night, huge waves could batter East Coast beaches and coastal communities.
Waves up to 16 feet will be possible in Long Island, New York, on Friday and Saturday.
The National Weather Service has issued a tropical storm warning from Massachusetts to Maine.
Wind-whipped rain will begin to fall in far southeastern New England near Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard after 9 p.m. ET on Friday and in Boston after midnight.
Lee will push minor storm surge into the coastal Northeast areas, from Long Island to Maine, where water will rise 1 to 3 feet and some minor coastal flooding will be possible.
The worst conditions on Cape Cod and in Boston will be Friday night into Saturday morning with gusty winds, some rain, huge waves and minor coastal flooding.
ABC News’ Max Golembo
Sep 15, 6:00 AM EDT
Lee passes Bermuda, gets closer to New England
Hurricane Lee passed to the west of Bermuda late Thursday night, bringing wind gusts of up to 60 mph to the British island territory.
As of 5 a.m. ET on Friday, the eye of the storm was located about 215 miles northwest of Bermuda and 490 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.
Lee is currently a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained wind speeds of 85 mph. The storm is a wide cyclone with tropical storm winds extending almost 320 miles from the center.
Lee is forecast to continue moving way from Bermuda and get closer to New England by Friday night, according to the National Weather Service.
By Saturday afternoon, Lee is forecast to move into Canada and make landfall somewhere between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as an extra-tropical storm. Lee is expected move away from the United States by Saturday evening.
ABC News’ Max Golembo
Sep 14, 5:55 PM EDT
Maine governor declares state of emergency
Maine Gov. Janet Mills declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Lee.
Mills also requested that President Joe Biden issue a preemptive Presidential Emergency Disaster to help facilitate federal resources and funds.
“We continue to strongly urge Maine people – particularly those Downeast – to exercise caution and to take steps to ensure they have what they need to stay safe as the storm draws closer,” Mills said in a statement.
Central Maine Power (CMP) and Versant, two utilities that operate in the state, are preparing for possible power outages and will be monitoring the grid closely, according to the governor.
Sep 14, 5:45 PM EDT
Tropical storm warnings extended along New England coast
The center of Hurricane Lee is currently about a couple hundred miles west of Bermuda, where a wind gust of 52 mph was reported, and 665 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, according to the latest tracking update.
Lee remains a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 85 mph.
A tropical storm warning has been extended up the New England coast and now covers areas from Massachusetts to Maine.
A tropical storm watch along the Rhode Island coast and a storm surge watch for Nantucket have been canceled, officials said.
A hurricane watch remains in effect for portions of the coast of Maine and into Nova Scotia.
ABC News’ Daniel Peck
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