A tropical storm in the Atlantic might soon turn into an “extremely dangerous” major hurricane, with its future track and chances of making a potentially devastating landfall still unclear, the National Hurricane Center said on Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Lee could turn into a hurricane later on Wednesday and intensify to a category 3 or higher by this weekend. The National Hurricane Center issued advisories in areas near the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

“Swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip currents across portions of the Lesser Antilles late this week,” the NHC tweeted.

Lee formed about 1,300 miles east of the Leeward Islands in the Atlantic on Tuesday. At the time, it had maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.

If Lee’s maximum sustained winds reach speeds above 150mph, it would be classified as a category 4, or even category 5 hurricane.

Lee would be the third major hurricane of the season, following Franklin and Idalia. Franklin largely affected Bermuda, while Idalia left destruction in its path, hitting parts of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

It is not yet known if Lee will make landfall on mainland US. Lee is the 12th named storm to form in the Atlantic in 2023.

The climate crisis has fueled the hottest summer ever recorded, with various extreme weather conditions across the globe – increasing the risk of heatwaves, wildfires and floods in addition to tropical storms and hurricanes. According to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, June to August was the planet’s warmest period since the 1940s, when records began.

The global average temperature is 62.19 F (16.77C), up 0.66 degrees Celsius from the 1990 to 2020 average.

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