There was a noticeable lack of consistency in the forecasts and reports concerning Hurricane Lee early on Friday morning, despite the storm's rapid development into a major threat.
Early Tuesday morning, two significant systems were forming in the Atlantic. One of these systems eventually transformed into Hurricane Lee. In a span of less than 12 hours, Hurricane Lee underwent a drastic transformation from a small Category 1 storm to a terrifyingly massive force.
However, there was a marked disagreement over whether Lee had reached Category 4 or Category 5 status by Thursday evening. Even MyRadar meteorologist Matthew Cappucci was unable to confirm whether Hurricane Lee had intensified into a Category 4 or 5 storm, or was simply on its way to becoming one.
Renowned extreme meteorologist and storm chaser Reed Timmer shared an absolutely stunning video on Friday, capturing the intense lightning activity within Hurricane Lee. Timmer asserted that the storm had already reached Category 5 intensity.
By mid-morning on Friday, it seemed that everyone had reached a consensus that Lee was, indeed, a Category 5 hurricane. One media outlet described it as "one of the most substantial storms on record," with reported sustained wind speeds of 160 mph. Some individuals have even argued that a storm of this magnitude should be categorized as a Category 6, highlighting the need for adjustments to our current scales as new data becomes available.
Ultimately, the answer to the question of how concerned we should be is a resounding "very." It's not about panicking due to the current storm, but rather about the alarming realization that the authorities we rely on for guidance lack the necessary expertise. (RELATED: Hurricane Jova Now Ranks as the Most Powerful Storm of 2023 and Poses a Direct Threat to Hawaii)
Adding to the concerns, Tropical Storm Margot emerged closely behind Hurricane Lee on Friday, with expectations of further strengthening. It appears to be only a matter of time before one of these storms makes landfall in the United States once again.