Hurricane Lee of 2017 was a very powerful tropical cyclone that passed from the Atlantic to Pacific basins. The thirteenth tropical cyclone, twelfth named storm, eighth hurricane and third major hurricane of the annual hurricane season, it originated from a tropical wave that emerged from the African coast on September 21. Moving west without development, the disturbance was able to organise into a tropical cyclone on September 27, before meandering over the Caribbean Sea for several days. Eventually, Lee underwent a period of explosive deepening, before making landfall at peak intensity. Moving across Nicaragua, and Guatemala, Lee eventually emerged into the Pacific as a minimal category 1 hurricane, before reaching a secondary peak as a mid range category 4 hurricane a few days later out at sea. Overall, Lee was a devestating tropical cyclone, leading to 46 deaths, and causing $5 billion in damages, which later led to the name being retired in the Atlantic basin.

Meteorological history

The origins of Lee can be traced back to a tropical wave that emerged from Africa on September 21. Moving across the basin, the wave faioed to organise until it came near Hispaniola, when it was designated as Tropical Depression Thirteen, before shear and an upper level low halted further intensification of the cyclone. Following the building of a ridge to the storms north, the depression began moving southwest, reaching tropical storm intensity and recieving the name Lee later the same day as conditions became favourable for development. The following day, September 30, Lee became a category 1 hurricane, and began to rapidly deepen, reaching category 5 intensity the next morning as it entered the far southern Caribbean Sea, triggering mass panic in various countries. On October 3, Lee made landfall in northern Nicaragua at peak strength, and guided by the complex ridging in place, was guided out into the Eastern Pacific as a category 1 hurricane later that day, ending its advisories in the Atlantic as a result.

Once in the Pacific, Lee was able to reintensify as it moved over warm waters in a low shear environment, allowing the storm to reach a secondary peak intensity of 145 mph on October 6. After peak intensity, Lee began to feel the effects of rapidly increasing shear and cooler waters as it began to weaken. On October 8th, Lee lost hurricane strength, and the following afternoon was designated as a 45 mph post tropical cyclone. Later that day, Lees remnants became fully extratropical, and were absorbed by a frontal boundary 2 days later.

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