Update On Hurricane Lee

Satellite image showing Hurricane Lee moving north toward New England and Nova Scotia. Image: CIRA/RAMMB

September 14, 2023 By Meteorologist Michael Page

As of Wednesday evening, a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the South Shore, including Hingham.

This means that tropical storm conditions, representing winds of 39 MPH or greater, are possible as Hurricane Lee approaches this weekend.

Here is the latest on what to expect.

Timeline: winds will begin to pick up late Friday, especially after dark. The strongest winds will occur overnight Friday into early Saturday morning.

Winds will begin to diminish somewhat Saturday afternoon, but gusts will still regularly reach 35-45 MPH.

Rainfall: tropical rain bands are likely during that time, from Friday night into early Saturday.

Most of the rain will be over by the early to middle part of Saturday afternoon.

At this point widespread flooding is not anticipated.

Winds: Hingham should expect wind gusts between 40 and 60 MPH, with the strongest gusts in Crow Point and near the waterfront.

During most of the storm the wind will be blowing out of the north, or the northwest. So, while the intensity may be similar to the Nor’Easter, the direction of the wind will be a bit different.

Note that even though the wind speeds are not vastly different from what we may see in a potent winter storm, there is a key difference this time of year: the trees have leaves on them, and the ground is very saturated from our wet summer.

Those two factors will make it easier for trees to come down, which may result in power outages.

Fortunately the storm is a fast mover, and the window of strongest winds is only a few hours.

Coastal Flooding: minor coastal flooding is possible, particularly near high tide on Saturday. There is one high tide just after midnight, and another just after noon.

By far the greater risk of coastal flooding would be on the bay side of Cape Cod, as well as the north side of Cape Ann, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.

How to Prepare: given the short duration of the storm, and the fact that the core is missing offshore, basic preparation will be sufficient in the majority of cases.

Ensure you have batteries in the event of a power outage, and charge your devices before Friday night.

If you are a mariner do your best to secure your boat both due to the winds, and stormy seas. You may also want to secure any outdoor furniture that could easily blow around, especially umbrellas.

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