September 16, 2023 - Hurricane Lee Heads North


Hurricane Lee was trekking towards Eastern Canada on September 14, 2023, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a true-color image of the large, asymmetric storm. The Delmarva Peninsula, separated from the western shores of Maryland and Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay, can be seen under clear skies northwest of Hurricane Lee. The Outer Banks of North Carolina are under scattered clouds. Both coastal regions were experiencing high surf and strong rip currents.

Near the time this image was captured, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) advised that maximum sustained winds were about 92 mph (148 km/h), which placed it as a strong Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. It was located about 230 miles (370 km) west-southwest of Bermuda and 710 miles (1,145 km) south of Nantucket, Massachusetts. It was tracking northward.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on September 15 (0300 UTC September 16), Hurricane Lee had weakened slightly as it neared the coast of New England in the United States and Atlantic Canada. Maximum sustained winds were 80 mph (130 km/h) according to the NHC. The storm’s center was located about 370 miles (595 km) south-southwest of Nova Scotia, Canada and about 250 miles (405 km) east-southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA.

The NHC advised that Hurricane Lee is still and large and dangerous hurricane as it approaches the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada. Its track has wobbled as it moved northward over the last few days, with a jog to the north-northeast late on September 15. It’s not yet clear if this is a change in track, or another wobble.

Tropical-storm-force winds are expected to impact New England early on September 16, although the center of the storm is forecast to stay close to but off the shore of Maine. Canada’s National Hurricane Centre forecasts landfall on Nova Scotia on that same afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of about 110 km/h (68 mph).

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 9/14/2023
Resolutions: 1km (2.9 MB), 500m (2.3 MB),
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC