SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Tropical Storm Lee raged through the open waters of the Atlantic on Wednesday and was expected to soon develop into a hurricane as it neared the Caribbean.
The storm was located approximately 1,265 miles (2,040 kilometers) ESE of the North Leeward Islands.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the maximum sustained wind speed was 65 miles per hour (100 km/h) and a west-northwest movement at 14 miles per hour (22 km/h).
It was not predicted to make landfall, but is expected to pass just northeast of the British Virgin Islands, which is still recovering from Hurricanes Maria and Irma, which struck in September 2017.
Lee is expected to become a hurricane during Wednesday and become a major hurricane in a few days.
“Lee continues to strengthen rapidly,” the center said, noting that the storm is moving over very warm water and a humid environment.
Lee is the twelfth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.
The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration warned in August that this year’s hurricane season would be above normal.
Between 14 and 21 named storms are forecast. Of these, six to eleven could become hurricanes, two to five of them could become major hurricanes.
In the Pacific, Jova strengthened into a hurricane well off the southwest coast of Mexico and posed no threat to the country. Winds were blowing at 85 miles per hour (140 km/h). It was located approximately 640 miles (1,035 kilometers) south of the southern tip of Baja California and was moving west-northwest at a speed of 9 miles per hour (15 km/h).