The meteor, which is not expected to make landfall, was about 455 kilometers (285 miles) northeast of the northern Windward Islands early Saturday. Maximum sustained winds were 165 kilometers per hour (105 miles per hour) and moving west-northwest at a speed of 15 km/h (9 mph).
Earlier this week, Lee transformed from a Category 1 hurricane to a Category 5 hurricane in just one day due to warm waters and weak winds.
“This was one of the fastest rates of strengthening in the Atlantic basin,” AccuWeather noted in a statement.
According to the National Hurricane Center, further strengthening of the storm is forecast for Sunday and Monday.
It is expected to pass well north of the northeastern Caribbean, bringing major relief to populations from the British Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico that have not yet fully recovered from Hurricanes Irma and María in September 2017.
Tropical storm conditions were not expected on any islands in the region, but waves as high as 5 meters (15 feet) are expected in Puerto Rico and surrounding areas and authorities warned people to stay away from the sea.
“We fear that people are underestimating the impact of this temporary storm,” said Coast Guard Capt. José Díaz of the San Juan Sector in Puerto Rico. “The projected 10 to 15 foot (3 to 4 meter) surge surge significantly limits our ability to respond to a maritime threat with all of our resources.”
Lakes are expected to reach a maximum height of 14 meters (45 feet) near the center, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Much of the East Coast of the United States could be affected by dangerous surf and rip currents starting Sunday, but the full impact of the meteor is not known at this time, he added.
“It is too early to tell what impact Lee could have on the East Coast of the United States, Atlantic Canada or Bermuda by the end of next week,” the center said.
Meanwhile, authorities on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe warned of up to 8 millimeters (3 inches) of rain in three hours or less for some areas, while authorities in the French territories of Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin said flooding was possible in some of its coastal areas.
Lee could maintain its category next week and turn north on Wednesday, but its further development remains unclear.
“Right now, the area of the United States to really pay attention to includes locations from the tip of the Mid-Atlantic coast to New England,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno.
Lee is the twelfth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 and typically peaks in September.
Tropical Storm Margot became the 13th named storm after forming Thursday evening. It was 1,705 kilometers (1,060 miles) west-northwest of Cape Verde. It had winds of up to 55 mph and was expected to reach hurricane status early next week. It was moving west-northwest at a speed of 15 km/h (9 mph) and was expected to remain in the open sea.
In the Pacific, Hurricane Jova moved over the open ocean off the southwest coast of Mexico and posed no threat to land. It was located 1,695 kilometers (1,055 miles) west of the Baja California Peninsula and was moving at a speed of 15 km/h (9 mph ) to the northwest and wind speeds of up to 85 km/h (50 mph).