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Winds now 165 mph with gusts up to 200 mph! Expected to hit 180 mph with gusts to 220 mph!!

- You can see the Euro ensembles below, and most tracks have it pass just inside (west) of Bermuda and then in the general direction of Nova Scotia, and with some luck we can have the core miss Bermuda and then hopefully a last minute turn northeastward to miss Nova Scotia, but that's a long way out still, so we will see.

- From the NHC:

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS INIT 08/0900Z 17.8N 53.5W 145 KT 165 MPH 12H 08/1800Z 18.6N 55.1W 155 KT 180 MPH 24H 09/0600Z 19.6N 57.1W 150 KT 175 MPH 36H 09/1800Z 20.5N 58.8W 145 KT 165 MPH 48H 10/0600Z 21.2N 60.2W 145 KT 165 MPH 60H 10/1800Z 21.9N 61.5W 140 KT 160 MPH 72H 11/0600Z 22.4N 62.7W 135 KT 155 MPH 96H 12/0600Z 23.3N 65.1W 130 KT 150 MPH 120H 13/0600Z 24.4N 67.1W 120 KT 140 MPH

Since Lee is expected to remain in favorable atmospheric conditions while moving over even warmer waters during the next couple of days, it seems likely that the hurricane will at least maintain its intensity or become a little stronger during that time. The dominant factor for Lee's short term intensity will be internal dynamics, like eyewall replacement cycles. These conditions will often cause fluctuations in the hurricane's strength, which are challenging to forecast. There likely will be some weakening beyond a few days when Lee moves over somewhat cooler waters and into an environment of slightly higher shear. Regardless of the details, Lee is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next several days. The major hurricane has been on a steady west-northwest path during the past couple of days as it has been steered by the flow on the south side of a subtropical ridge over the central Atlantic. A continued west-northwest motion is expected, but at a progressively slower pace during the forecast period as the ridge to the north of the system weakens. The models are in fairly good agreement, and little change was made to the previous NHC track forecast. Lee is expected to increase in size and become more symmetric over the weekend and early next week as the hurricane slows down. Recent wave altimeter data showed peak significant wave heights between 45 and 50 feet near the center. Dangerously high seas are expected to continue near the core of the hurricane, and large swells will spread well away from the system through the forecast period.

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