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Hurricane Nigel expected to ‘rapidly intensify’ and become major storm by Tuesday: Latest tracker

Hurricane Nigel, the sixth hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean this season, developed into a Category 1 storm on Monday and is expected to “rapidly intensify” into a major hurricane by Tuesday.

The storm initially formed in the center of the Atlantic on Saturday but quickly picked up power, developing into a Category 1 hurricane on Monday morning.

At the moment, Nigel has sustained winds of 80 miles per hour.

But forecasters in the National Weather Service (NWS) and National Hurricane Center expect the storm to become a Category 3 by Tuesday – this means Nigel will have sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

As of Monday morning, Nigel is located approximately 900 miles southeast of Bermuda but is moving northwesterly. However, the hurricane is not expected to make landfall and no warnings or watches have been issued.

As of now, the National Hurricane Center predicts Nigel will veer off right into the open Atlantic Ocean by Wednesday morning.

Nigel developed shortly after Hurricane Lee landed in Nova Scotia as a post-tropical storm.

Key Points

  • National Hurricane Center expects Hurricane Nigel to ‘rapidly intensify’

  • Hurricane Nigel’s expected path

  • Spaghetti models of Hurricane Nigel

  • Why are so many hurricanes ‘rapidly intensifying’ ?

Hurricane Nigel may weaken on Wednesday

22:00 , Ariana Baio

The National Hurricane Center predicted Hurricane Nigel to potentially weaken after becoming a major hurricane on Wednesday.

“Nigel is forecast to rapidly strengthen into a major hurricane on Tuesday,” the NHC wrote in an advisory on Monday afternoon.

They added: “A gradual weakening trend could start on Wednesday.”

How are hurricanes classified?

21:00 , Ariana Baio

When a tropical depression reaches sustained winds between 74 and 95 miles per hour it is officially classified as a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

After that, hurricanes can reach up to a Category 5 depending on its sustained winds, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Category 1 – Winds of 74 to 95 mph. “Very dangerous winds will produce some damage.”

Category 2 – Winds of 96 to 110 mph. “Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage.”

Category 3 – Winds of 111 to 129 mph. “Devastating damage with occur.”

Category 4 – Winds of 130 to 156 mph. “Catastrophic damage will occur.”

Category 5 – Winds of 157 mph or higher. “Catastrophic damage will occur.”

Why destructive hurricanes often start with the letter ‘I’

20:00 , Ariana Baio

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issues alphabetical lists of names to label hurricanes each year - one for each of the world’s three oceanic regions.

Faiza Saqib reports:

Why destructive hurricanes like Idalia often start with the letter ‘I’

Watch: Timelapse of Nigel going from tropical depression to hurricane

19:15 , Ariana Baio

National Hurricane Center says no warnings in effect

18:40 , Ariana Baio

In their latest update on Hurricane Nigel, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the location of the storm does not affect land.

As of 11am ET on Monday, there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect regarding Hurricane Nigel.

Though it is currently a Category 1 and expected to rapidly intensify, the storm’s expect path is to remain in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricanes are getting stronger. Here’s why

18:00 , Ariana Baio

As the global average temperature increases and sea levels rise, tropical cyclones - the catch-all term for hurricanes and typhoons - are expected to become stronger and the damage more catastrophic, scientists say.

Ethan Freedman and Louise Boyle report:

Hurricanes are getting stronger. Here’s why

Current systems in Atlantic

17:25 , Ariana Baio

Systems in the Atlantic Ocean as of 18 September show Hurricane Nigel as well as two areas of disturbances (National Hurricane Center / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Systems in the Atlantic Ocean as of 18 September show Hurricane Nigel as well as two areas of disturbances (National Hurricane Center / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

What names are left on the Atlantic hurricane season?

17:00 , Ariana Baio

So far, 14 names of the 21 allocated for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season have been used.

Nigel is the latest to be used for the Category 1 storm brewing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. There are seven other names to be used for storms until the end of hurricane season at the end of November.

After Nigel, the names that can be used are: Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney.

Atlantic hurricane season runs from 1 June until 30 November. Peak hurricane season is typically in mid-September when temperatures in the ocean are at their warmest.

Spaghetti models of Hurricane Nigel

16:21 , Ariana Baio

The spaghetti models of Hurricane Nigel show the Category 1 storm making a right and veering off into the Atlantic Ocean as of Wednesday.

The predicted spaghetti model of Hurricane Nigel in the Atlantic Ocean. The storm will most likely veer off into the middle of the Atlantic on Wednesday (South Florida Water Management District)
The predicted spaghetti model of Hurricane Nigel in the Atlantic Ocean. The storm will most likely veer off into the middle of the Atlantic on Wednesday (South Florida Water Management District)

Why are so many hurricanes ‘rapidly intensifying’

15:58 , Ariana Baio

When a hurricane, goes from a Category 1 storm to a Category 3 within two days it is considered “rapidly intensifying” – the same prediction given to Hurricane Nigel.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) defines rapid intensification where a storm’s maximum sustained winds jump 35 miles per hour (56 kph) in less than 24 hours.

These storms can become extremely dangerous as they approach coastlines because they give residents little time to prepare and evacuate. They are the most costly and a great threat to human life. They are also becoming more common.

In the past 32 years, most Category 3 or higher hurricanes have undergone rapid intensification, according to a 2022 study.

This is due to warmer ocean waters, more moisture in the atmosphere and low vertical wind shear, Philip Klotzbach of Colorado State University told Science News.

Vertical wind shear happens when winds at different heights move at different speeds in different directions. These can assist in a storm’s intensification by pulling heat and moisture across the upper structure of the storm.

But warming ocean temperatures are a major factor in helping boost storms’ size and speed. As the Earth becomes warmer, ocean temperatures rise and contribute to fueling hurricanes.

Hurricane Nigel’s expected path

15:30 , Ariana Baio

Forecasters in the National Hurricane Center do not predict that Hurricane Nigel will make landfall anywhere.

As of Monday morning, Hurricane Nigel will continue moving northwesterly then veer right on Wednesday morning – heading back into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane Nigel’s potential path, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC NOAA)
Hurricane Nigel’s potential path, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC NOAA)

National Hurricane Center expects Hurricane Nigel to ‘rapidly intensify’

15:15 , Ariana Baio

Where is Hurricane Nigel?

14:56 , Ariana Baio

Hurricane Nigel, the sixth hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean this season, is located in the middle of the Atlantic as of Monday morning.

The Category 1 hurricane is approximately 935 miles from Bermuda near the latitude 26.5 North and longitude 50.7 West.

As of now, Hurricane Nigel is not expected to land anywhere as forecasters believe it will turn right and head into the middle of the ocean by Wednesday.

Hurricane Nigel’s locations as of 18 September, 2023 (CIRA)
Hurricane Nigel’s locations as of 18 September, 2023 (CIRA)

05:00 , Kelly Rissman

The Timeline of Storm Lee

In its final advisory about the storm, Environment Canada provided a summary of the storm’s path. Here’s the timeline:

6 September: a tropical cyclone formed

7 September: the storm intensified into a hurricane

10-11 September: Lee passed north of the Caribbean sea

12-13 September: the storm began moving towards the Gulf Stream and Atlantic Canada

14 September: the storm passed just west of Bermuda

15 September: Hurricane Lee was downgraded

16 September: Post-tropical storm Lee made landfall in Nova Scotia

04:30 , Kelly Rissman

Both the US and Canadian hurricane centers issued their final advisories for Lee

The National Hurricane center issued its final advisory this morning at 11am, while Environment Canada issued its final advisory at 4pm.

Environment Canada’s final statement on Lee (Environment Canada)
Environment Canada’s final statement on Lee (Environment Canada)

03:30 , Kelly Rissman

Canada’s hurricane center forecasted Lee’s path

Environment Canada Hurricane Center tracks Lee’s path (Environment Canada Hurricane Center)
Environment Canada Hurricane Center tracks Lee’s path (Environment Canada Hurricane Center)

02:30 , Kelly Rissman

“What a difference a day makes”

Many have taken to social media to highlight the contrast from before and after the storm.

01:30 , Kelly Rissman

Maine is “back to life” after the storm

Monday 18 September 2023 00:30 , Kelly Rissman

What to expect over the next few days...

Hurricane Lee update (National Hurricane Center)
Hurricane Lee update (National Hurricane Center)

Sunday 17 September 2023 23:30 , Kelly Rissman

Power restored

The power outages in Maine have dwindled down to only 11,000 customers.

Earlier on Sunday, a whopping 42,000 had been impacted by knocked-down power lines, caused by storm Lee.

Similarly, fewer than 2,000 outages were reported in Nova Scotia late Sunday afternoon.

Sunday 17 September 2023 22:30 , Kelly Rissman

Canada’s hurricane center afternoon update:

Post-tropical storm Lee is currently affecting the Lower North Shore. It will give total rainfall amounts of 30 to 50 millimetres.

Rain will end this evening. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads.

Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible.

Watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.

Sunday 17 September 2023 22:00 , Kelly Rissman

Post-tropical cyclone Lee has taken at least one life

A 51-year-old motorist in Searsport, Maine, was killed after the gusts caused a large tree limb to topple onto his vehicle on Saturday on US Highway 1.

The tree limb also brought down live power lines, meaning utility workers had to cut power before the man could be removed, police chief Brian Lunt said. The 51-year-old later died at a hospital, the chief said.

Read more on the aftermath of the storm here.

Motorist dies after tree limb falls on vehicle as Lee batters New England and Canada

Sunday 17 September 2023 21:30 , Kelly Rissman

Post-tropical storm Lee is crossing Eastern Quebec

According to Canada’s hurricane center, Lee will result in about 1 to 4 inches of rain, which is expected to stop this evening.

“Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts,” the center wrote.

Sunday 17 September 2023 21:00 , Kelly Rissman

Canada’s hurricane center gives an update

The remnant low from Lee is crossing the Gulf of St. Lawrence today.

The current central pressure is estimated at 989 millibars. Conditions continue to improve in many areas of Nova Scotia and southern New Brunswick.

Environment Canada Hurricane Center tracks Lee’s path (Environment Canada Hurricane Center)
Environment Canada Hurricane Center tracks Lee’s path (Environment Canada Hurricane Center)

Sunday 17 September 2023 20:30 , Kelly Rissman

Some advice from FEMA

Sunday 17 September 2023 20:00 , Kelly Rissman

Climate change could bring more monster storms to New England

When it comes to hurricanes, New England can’t compete with Florida or the Caribbean.

But scientists said Friday the arrival of storms like Hurricane Lee this weekend could become more common in the region as the planet warms, including in places such as the Gulf of Maine.

One recent study found climate change could result in hurricanes expanding their reach more often into mid-latitude regions, which include New York, Boston and even Beijing.

The study says the factors include warmer sea surface temperatures in these regions and the shifting and weakening of the jet streams, which are the strong bands of air currents encircling the planet in both hemispheres.

More here.

Climate change could bring more monster storms like Hurricane Lee to New England

Sunday 17 September 2023 19:30 , Kelly Rissman

Leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party offers support for those affected by Lee

Sunday 17 September 2023 19:00 , Kelly Rissman

Post-tropical cyclone Lee has taken at least one life

A 51-year-old motorist in Searsport, Maine, was killed after the gusts caused a large tree limb to topple onto his vehicle on Saturday on US Highway 1.

The tree limb also brought down live power lines, meaning utility workers had to cut power before the man could be removed, police chief Brian Lunt said. The 51-year-old later died at a hospital, the chief said.

Read more on the aftermath of the storm here.

Motorist dies after tree limb falls on vehicle as Lee batters New England and Canada

Sunday 17 September 2023 18:30 , Kelly Rissman

Canada’s hurricane center forecasts Lee’s path

Environment Canada Hurricane Center tracks Lee’s path (Environment Canada Hurricane Center)
Environment Canada Hurricane Center tracks Lee’s path (Environment Canada Hurricane Center)

Sunday 17 September 2023 18:00 , Kelly Rissman

Meteorologist captures Lee’s effects in Nova Scotia

Sunday 17 September 2023 17:30 , Kelly Rissman

Thousands are without power in Nova Scotia, as workers try to restore it as soon as possible

Sunday 17 September 2023 17:00 , Kelly Rissman

National Hurricane Center issues last advisory

All tropical storm warnings for Canada are discontinued, the hurricane center wrote.

As of 11am, Lee is 135 miles from Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland, with winds moving at 45mph. The storm is expected to head over Newfoundland later today and over the Atlantic waters by early Monday, the center wrote.

Wind gusts up to “near gale force” are still possible over portions of Atlantic Canada today, the National Hurricane Center wrote.

Sunday 17 September 2023 16:30 , Kelly Rissman

Power outages in Maine

A large chunk of the state’s residents — 42,000 to be exact — are without power as of Sunday morning, according to Poweroutage.us. That number is down from yesterday when nearly 60,000 locals had reported outages.

Power outages across the US in the wake of Lee (Poweroutage.us)
Power outages across the US in the wake of Lee (Poweroutage.us)

Sunday 17 September 2023 16:00 , Kelly Rissman

National Hurricane Center’s Watches and Warnings in Effect:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...

  • Nova Scotia from Lismore eastward to Point Aconi and southwestward to east of Porters Lake

  • Prince Edward Island from Savage Harbor eastward to east of Wood Islands

  • Magdalen Islands

Sunday 17 September 2023 15:30 , Kelly Rissman

A look at the life cycle of Lee

Sunday 17 September 2023 15:00 , Kelly Rissman

“Gusty Winds” in Atlantic Canada as Lee rages on

An 8am advisory from the National Hurricane Center located the storm as about 70 miles from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island with winds whipping at 45mph.

A faster “northeastward motion is expected over the next couple of days, taking Lee over Newfoundland this afternoon and over the Atlantic waters by early Monday,” according to the hurricane center.

The storm is expected to gradually weaken over the next couple of days, and “Lee could dissipate on Tuesday.”

Warnings called off in parts of US and Canada

Sunday 17 September 2023 14:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Post-tropical cyclone Lee made landfall at near-hurricane strength Saturday, bringing destructive winds, rough surf and torrential rains to New England and Maritime Canada.

But officials withdrew some warnings for the region late Saturday night.

The US National Hurricane Center discontinued a tropical storm warning for the coast of Maine, while Environment Canada ended its tropical storm warning in New Brunswick.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect for parts of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands.

Nearly 144,000 left without power in Nova Scotia

Sunday 17 September 2023 13:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

About 144,000 people were without power on Saturday after strong winds due to storm Lee downed trees. In neighboring New Brunswick, 37,000 people had no electricity.

“Crews have been able to restore power to some customers ... however, conditions are getting worse,” Matt Drover of the Nova Scotia electric utility told Reuters.

“In many cases, especially when winds are above 80 kmph, it isn’t safe for our crews.”

In a social media post, Nova Scotia police said they had received reports of drivers heading to the coast to watch the waves, which they said was dangerous.

A downed tree hangs on power lines in Nova Scotia, Canada (AP)
A downed tree hangs on power lines in Nova Scotia, Canada (AP)

Storm Lee continues to move north

Sunday 17 September 2023 12:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Heavy downpour is expected to continue through Sunday in the Prince Edward Island province of Canada, the forecasters said.

Storm Lee made landfall in far western Nova Scotia, with winds whipping at 70mph, which killed one person and left thousands without electricity.

Lee is on track to turn northeast and pass over Saturday night into Sunday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Hurricane Lee makes landfall in Nova Scotia

Sunday 17 September 2023 11:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Hurricane Lee made landfall in Western Novia Scotia on Saturday, as millions in New England and Canada have been preparing for its devastation.

Maximum sustained winds were at 70mph, as of 4pm when the storm reached land about 50 miles from Eastport, Maine and about 135 miles from Halifax, Nova Scotia, according to the National Hurricane Center.

More here.

Hurricane Lee makes landfall

Teenager drowns ahead of Lee landfall

Sunday 17 September 2023 10:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A teenager drowned while in rough waters of the Atlantic on Wednesday, authorities in Florida said.

The 15-year-old was with two other people when he fell off a raft, Fernandina Beach Police Department told Fox Weather.

The other two were brought back to the shore and rushed to a local medical centre while authorities searched for the missing teen.

The group had ventured into the ocean despite multiple red flags warnings about the rough waters ahead of storm Lee’s landfall.

Republican representative survives after boat incident

Sunday 17 September 2023 09:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Billy Bob Faulkingham, House Republican leader of the Maine Legislature, and another lobsterman survived after their boat overturned while hauling traps ahead of the storm, officials said.

The boat’s emergency locator beacon alerted authorities, and the two clung to the hull until help arrived, said Winter Harbor Police chief Danny Mitchell. The 42-foot boat sank.“They’re very lucky to be alive,” Mr Mitchell said.

Forecasters urged residents to stay home, but many ventured out anyway.

Betsy Follansbee and her husband, Fred, jogged to Higgins Beach in Scarborough, Maine, to watch surfers — some wearing helmets — paddling out to catch waves reaching 12 feet.

They were the biggest waves Follansbee has seen in her 10 years living there, she said.“We’re impressed that they’re bold enough to try,” Ms Follansbee said.

Climate change could bring more monster storms to New England

Sunday 17 September 2023 08:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

When it comes to hurricanes, New England can’t compete with Florida or the Caribbean.

But scientists said Friday the arrival of storms like Hurricane Lee this weekend could become more common in the region as the planet warms, including in places such as the Gulf of Maine.

One recent study found climate change could result in hurricanes expanding their reach more often into mid-latitude regions, which include New York, Boston and even Beijing.

The study says the factors include warmer sea surface temperatures in these regions and the shifting and weakening of the jet streams, which are the strong bands of air currents encircling the planet in both hemispheres.

More here.

Climate change could bring more monster storms like Hurricane Lee to New England

Thousands left without power and flights cancelled as Lee makes landfall

Sunday 17 September 2023 07:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Thousands of people were left without power as storm Lee made landfall in Nova Scotia, flooding roads and fanning anxiety in a region still reeling from wildfires and severe flooding this summer.

The province's largest airport, Halifax Stanfield International, cancelled all flights.

"People are exhausted. ... It's so much in such a small time period," said Pam Lovelace, a councilor in Halifax.

The storm was so big that it caused power outages several hundred miles from its center. At midday Saturday, 11 per cent of electricity customers in Maine lacked power, along with 27 per cent of Nova Scotia, 8 per cent of New Brunswick and 3 per cent of Prince Edward Island.

Hurricane-force winds extended as far as 140 miles from Lee's center, with tropical storm-force winds extending as far as 320 miles — enough to cover all of Maine and much of Maritime Canada.

Strong winds batter Nova Scotia

Sunday 17 September 2023 06:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

People walk in the rain and wind from Post-Tropical Cyclone Lee (Getty Images)
People walk in the rain and wind from Post-Tropical Cyclone Lee (Getty Images)
A tree on the ground is pictured after taking down the power lines and shutting off access to this road in Liverpool, Nova Scotia (REUTERS)
A tree on the ground is pictured after taking down the power lines and shutting off access to this road in Liverpool, Nova Scotia (REUTERS)

Motorist killed after storm Lee makes landfall

Sunday 17 September 2023 05:49 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A 51-year-old motorist in Searsport, Maine, died after a large tree limb fell on his vehicle Saturday on US Highway 1 during a period of high winds, the first fatality attributed to the storm.

The tree limb brought down live power lines, and utility workers had to cut power before the man could be removed, said Police chief Brian Lunt. The unidentified man died later at a hospital, he said.

Sunday 17 September 2023 05:00 , Kelly Rissman

FEMA will deploy help to the East Coast

FEMA and the Biden-Harris Administration are prepared and prepositioned to support needs that may arise. FEMA is working closely with other federal agencies and non-profit organizations to coordinate a whole-of-community response to serve residents and communities in the potentially affected areas.FEMA deployed three Incident Management Assistance Teams, with additional teams ready to support, and Urban Search and Rescue teams are in the region to help with rescues, if needed.The American Red Cross has prepositioned staff across Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and is prepared to provide shelter, if necessary. The Salvation Army has personnel and supplies prepared, including its “canteen” truck that provides water, comfort and hot meals for 1,200 to 2,500 people.

Sunday 17 September 2023 04:00 , Kelly Rissman

Restoring power in Maine could take days

Central Maine Power told WMTV that restoration could be a “multi-day event,” and could take until Monday and extend to Tuesday.

John Breed from CMP told the outlet: “Right now, we are making every effort to get power back on because we understand there are consequences beyond just sitting in the dark.”

Earlier on Saturday, there were nearly 60,000 reports of CMP customers without power.

Sunday 17 September 2023 03:00 , Kelly Rissman

Lee has been a long time in the making

Sunday 17 September 2023 02:00 , Kelly Rissman

Lee brings a rainbow

A Weather Channel correspondent posted a photo of a rainbow in Portland, Maine as the heavy rains hit the coast.

Sunday 17 September 2023 01:00 , Kelly Rissman

The forecast for the next few days...

According to the National Hurricane Center’s 5pm advisory:

A faster northeastward motion is expected during the next day or so, taking the system across the Canadian Maritimes. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts. Steady weakening is forecast during the next couple of days.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 320 miles (520 km) from the center.

An observing site in Halifax, Canada, reported a sustained wind of 52 mph (83 km/h) and a gust to 60 mph (96 km/h).

An observation in Vinal Haven, Maine, reported a sustained wind of 44 mph (71 km/h). Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 320 miles (520 km) from the center.

Wind Speed Probabilities for Lee (National Hurricane Center)
Wind Speed Probabilities for Lee (National Hurricane Center)

Sunday 17 September 2023 00:00 , Kelly Rissman

Many Maine residents are without power

Shortly after Lee made landfall, nearly 60,000 residents had reported power outages.

Central Maine Power urged locals “to stay away from power lines” and said to notify them by phone or through their website if an outage occurs.

Saturday 16 September 2023 23:00 , Kelly Rissman

Lee touches down Hurricane Lee made landfall in Western Novia Scotia on Saturday afternoonThe maximum sustained winds were whipping at 70mph, as of 4pm when the storm made landfall.

Since Saturday morning, hurricane-force winds, heavy rains, and coastal flooding have affected regions along the east coast. The National Hurricane Center said at 8am on Saturday that the maximum sustained winds reached 80mph.

Read the full story:

Hurricane Lee makes landfall