Response Updates

All About Hurricane Lee

Reported by Convoy of Hope

In 1999, Hurricane Lenny reached Category 4 strength in a hurricane season that would include five such storms.

The name “Lenny” was retired, and “Lee” filled the 12th slot for future storms on that list.

Since then, Lee has been a tropical storm in 2005 and 2011 and a hurricane in 2017 and 2023.

Lee become a major Category 5 hurricane in 2023, with top sustained wind speeds of 165 mph.

Named storms are tropical cyclones — rotating, organized systems of clouds and thunderstorms that originate over tropical or subtropical waters and have closed low-level circulation.

Hurricane Lee 2017
Hurricane Lee, moving off the coast of West Africa in September of 2017.

Early on, as a tropical depression, the cyclone will exhibit sustained wind speeds of less than 39 mph. A tropical depression is not assigned a name, but the weather services will track it to determine if it is growing into a tropical storm or hurricane. A tropical storm that never achieves hurricane status can still pose a threat to lives and property.

When Was Hurricane Lee?

It’s not unusual for people to research previous storms that carried the name of a current storm.

Perhaps you’ve asked yourself, “When did Hurricane Lee hit?” or “What year was Hurricane Lee?”

“Lee” has been the name of eight tropical cyclones worldwide, including:

  • • Two from the 1980s in the Western Pacific that hit the Philippines and North Korea respectively.
  • • A third storm from that era came close to Okinawa.
  • • In 2007, Tropical Storm Lee-Ariel remained at sea near Indonesia.
Hurricane Ian Neighborhood Disaster Response

In the Atlantic, four tropical storms were named Lee in 2005, 2011, 2017, and 2023. In 2017, Tropical Storm Lee gained sufficient strength to become Hurricane Lee. 2023’s Hurricane Lee become a major Category 5 storm on September 7. As Lee moved north of the Leeward Islands, it weakened to a Category 3.

Where Did Hurricane Lee Hit?

In 2017 Hurricane Lee circulated through the Atlantic throughout its life cycle. It became a Category 1 hurricane and eventually grew to a Category 3 storm, all without impacting land.

Among the storms named Lee, 2011’s Tropical Storm Lee reached the U.S. Gulf Coast and caused both water and fire damage.

Record rainfall from Louisiana all the way to New York brought flooding. High winds in areas with little rainfall, primarily in Texas, expanded existing wildfires that destroyed many homes and other buildings.

flooding near Yellowstone Wyoming

In 2023, Lee passed north of the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico and continued north into the Atlantic. By September 14, Lee was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane as it passed west of Bermuda. The island suffered tropical storm conditions, and more than 11,000 people lost power.

As Lee moved further north it lost hurricane status when it made landfall September 16 on Long Island and Nova Scotia. Overnight on September 17 it crossed New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and moved toward Newfoundland.

What Category Was Hurricane Lee?

Hurricane Lee in 2017 reached Category 3 status with a peak sustained wind speed of 115 mph. 2023’s Hurricane Lee reached Category 5 status on September 7, with top wind speeds of 165 mph before slowing to a Category 3. It was no longer a hurricane by landfall.

What Time Will Hurricane Lee Make Landfall?

Similarly named historic hurricanes do not influence each other. If you’re researching “What time did Hurricane Lee make landfall?” during previous storms, you won’t find any information that will help you prepare for a current storm.

2023’s Lee slowed to tropical storm status before making landfall. However, heavy rainfall and rough surf conditions resulted.

If a cyclone is predicted to reach your region, you should be aware of the predicted landfall. It is important not to make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to reach a safe area.

The Power of Preparedness

Ensure your family is protected in the face of unexpected challenges with our Disaster Preparedness Guide.

Topics Include:

— Family Communication Plan
— Evacuation Plans
— Care for Pets
— Weather Monitoring

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How Many People Died in Hurricane Lee?

Hurricane Lee caused no loss of life in 2017; throughout its development and dissipation it remained over the Atlantic Ocean.

In 2011, Tropical Storm Lee’s rough surf killed one swimmer in Alabama.

Flooding in New York connected with the storm took two lives, and four deaths in Northern Virginia were attributed to swollen waterways from record rainfall.

In 2023, a death and a missing person were attributed to rough surf and rip currents caused by Lee off the east coast of the U.S.

What Was the Path of Hurricane Lee?

Hurricane Lee in 2023 began to grow from a tropical wave moving off the coast of West Africa. It became a Category 1 storm on Wednesday, September 6. By the evening of September 7, it had developed into a Category 5 storm. Lee did not make landfall as a hurricane. However, along the U.S. Northeast region and as far as Canada Lee brought heavy rainfall dangerous tides and currents.

Hurricane Lee in 2017 also began to grow from a tropical wave moving off the coast of West Africa on September 13. Over the next two weeks it moved west and northwest before achieving Category 3 strength on September 27. As it curved northeast, Lee gradually dissipated until it was absorbed by another extratropical cyclone on October 1.

Convoy of Hope Hurricane Response

Convoy of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit organization with a long history of helping communities after natural disasters.

After a hurricane is named, Convoy’s Disaster Services team follows weather updates closely. Days ahead of a predicted landfall, loaded trucks leave Convoy’s World Distribution Center and head toward the affected region.

Once the danger has passed and a community’s needs become clear, one or more distribution points will be set up using the resources trucked in.

As just one example, after Hurricane Ian smashed across central Florida on September 28, 2022, with sustained winds of 155 mph, Convoy of Hope served more than 17,000 survivors with the help of nearly 500 volunteers.

At recovery events like these, Convoy might use the services of insurance specialists and mental health professionals to provide legal aid, talk people through insurance difficulties, and offer emotional care.

Convoy of Hope responds to natural disasters around the world, offering help and hope to people facing some of the most challenging circumstances in their lives.

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Before joining Convoy's Women's Empowerment program in #Ethiopia, Gebeyanesh worked in a factory, but didn’t earn enough to support her family. Then she met Convoy of Hope and everything changed. “It has transformed my whole life," she says: