Lee weakens, still forecast to turn away from Florida. Here’s the latest

Tropical Storm Margot increasing in speed

ORLANDO, Fla.Hurricane Lee has weakened but is still a major hurricane in the Atlantic.

As of 11 p.m. Friday, Lee was a Category 3 hurricane, packing sustained winds of 115 mph. Earlier in the day, Lee had reached Category 5 status.

The storm was located 440 miles east of the Leeward Islands and was moving west-northwest at 13 mph. The storm is expected to remain a major hurricane through at least the middle of next week.

Satellite images from Thursday showed two vertical hot towers, intense thunderstorms, rotating around the center of circulation.

Dueling hot towers spiraling around the center of a hurricane is a sign rapid intensification is underway

While there remains uncertainty as to when Lee makes a turn north, models continue to keep the storm well east of Florida.

Here is why Lee is likely to stay east of Florida.

High surf and dangerous rip currents will be likely next week along the East Coast beaches.

Until the storm actually begins to turn, Lee will be something to keep in the back of your mind.

Meanwhile, closer to Africa, Tropical Storm Margot is remaining stable, but is expected to become a hurricane next week.

Margot is forecast to move away from the Cabo Verde Islands, becoming a hurricane in the open waters of the Atlantic.

Margot will not impact Florida or the U.S.

The next named storms of the 2023 hurricane season will be Nigel, Ophelia and Philippe.

The peak of hurricane season is Sep. 10 and the season ends Dec 1.

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About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 and now covers weather on TV and all digital platforms.