Tropical Storm Lee could near hurricane strength by next week

Just as large swaths of the Caribbean try to recover from powerful hurricanes that turned small paradises into islands of destruction, another storm is gaining strength in the Atlantic.

The National Hurricane Center said Saturday that Tropical Storm Lee is inching slowly north and northwest over the Atlantic Ocean and could near hurricane strength as early as next week.

But it noted that Lee is a small cyclones with 45 mph wind gusts that extend about 35 miles – though “some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours,” the center said.

Lee is the 12 named storm of the season, according to the Miami Herald.