HOLT, Fla., Sept. 16, 2017–The depression in the central Atlantic Ocean has now been identified as Tropical Storm Lee by the National Hurricane Center.
Lee is the 12th named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.
While in a good area for further strengthening now, Lee will likely hit westerly wind shear in the next 48 hours, according to the NHC. Because of that, the system is forecast to only strengthen slightly during the next day or so and is expected to begin weakening by day three.
Moving at 12 mph, Lee is expected to move generally westward or west-northwestward for the entire forecast period.
The tropical wave heading toward the Lesser Antilles has also strengthened and is now tropical depression number 15.
The NHC track forecast takes the system across the Leeward Islands in a few days and then near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by the end of the forecast period.
This system is expected to intensify and will likely bring tropical storm and hurricane conditions as well as flooding rainfall to portions of the Lesser Antilles early next week. These conditions could also spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by mid week, according to the NHC.