Post-Tropical Cyclone Lee is bringing tropical-storm-force winds and dangerous beach conditions to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and New England Saturday as the former hurricane makes its journey from the Atlantic Ocean into the western Canadian Maritimes.
Even though Lee is not expected to make landfall in the U.S. – instead heading just east into Nova Scotia and/or New Brunswick -- the storm's wind field is hundreds of miles wide, and New Englanders will experience areas of damaging wind gusts and coastal flooding.
"This is not a ‘pack up your stuff and get out,'" FOX Weather meteorologist Britta Merwin said. "This is a ‘hunker down, get ready to lose power.’ We’re going to have really nasty conditions on Saturday, and then we’ll wake up Sunday to a brand-new day."
With parts of New England within Lee's impact zone, here's a closer look at when the region can expect to feel the greatest effects from Lee in the coming days, beginning Friday.
Wind increasing through Saturday morning on Cape Cod
Tropical-storm-force gusts have been rolling through Cape Cod Saturday morning with peak gusts expected to increase in intensity through Saturday afternoon.
Strong winds reach Maine just after dawn Saturday, with the strongest winds in Downeast Maine. There, winds continue with tropical storm force gusts through late Saturday evening, with gusty winds lingering across eastern Maine into Sunday morning.
Dangerous waves and beach conditions
Surf conditions are improving in the mid-Atlantic and Carolinas as Lee pulls much farther away Saturday after reaching as high as 8-13 feet.
In New York City and Long Island, heavy surf of 7-12 feet will remain through late Saturday evening.
Farther north into New England, seas build on the Atlantic side of Cape Cod to 16-21 feet on Saturday.
"Ocean beaches will experience dangerous rip currents and significant beach erosion through the weekend," the National Weather Service in Boston wrote. "Viewing the surf from jetties, piers, or close to the shoreline will be extremely dangerous." Seas will subside there Saturday night.
Seas are expected to build along the Maine reaching 28 feet in the open waters off the southern Maine Coast, and 10-18 feet along the Downeast Maine coast.
Heavy rainfall begins early Saturday
Rain pushed into will start in eastern New England Saturday morning. With Lee's rapid movement to the north, significant rainfall is not expected for much of New England, though areas of Downeast Maine near the storm center could get 2-5 inches by Saturday night.
The rain will gradually decrease from south to north on Saturday evening, but it may still linger in Downeast Maine until Sunday morning.
Active storm watches from Lee
Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for much of the New England Coast, spreading from the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border north into Canada, and cover much of the inland areas of central and eastern Maine, as well as much of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Hurricane Watches are now relegated to Canada covering parts of coastal New Brunswick and the western and southern shores of Nova Scotia including Halifax and Yarmouth.