First Alert Weather In Depth: Hurricane Lee and its impact on the East Coast

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — There are some beautiful beaches along the eastern seaboard. You may think of Daytona Beach, Myrtle Beach or maybe Virginia Beach.

But there is something that is lurking way out in the Atlantic Ocean.

The high-resolution satellite time lapse shows a major hurricane. Currently, Hurricane Lee is a category three storm with winds of 120 mph and is moving to the northwest. As of Monday, it is located almost due north of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The News10NBC First Alert meteorologists are anticipating that the hurricane will take a turn to the north, and if that happens as expected, the east coast should not take a direct impact from Lee. That would certainly be good news!

However, that does not mean the east coast will go unscathed.

The current forecast for wave heights with Hurricane Lee is tremendous, with swells that are pushing 40 to 50 feet. That is the equivalent of a five story building. And even though most of the hurricane is projected to stay away the U.S. coast, that wave action will no doubt hit the beaches.

Think of this as the equivalent of someone taking a rock and throwing into a pond and those ripples propagating out in all directions.

It will depend on the exact weather conditions, but very rough surf will be likely. And depending on wind direction and the timing of high tide, there is a good possibility for coastal flooding. Naturally life-threatening rip-currents are also likely and that is a big concern for the lifeguard community.

Ultimately, the here’s the big question: How close Hurricane Lee will get to the East Coast?