Hurricane Lee expected to be “extremely dangerous” by Friday

Hurricane Lee, now a Category 2 storm churning in the Atlantic, is expected to rapidly intensify into an “extremely dangerous major hurricane” by early Friday, the National Hurricane Center says.

Large ocean swells are expected to reach the Lesser Antilles by Friday and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Bermuda and Hispaniola by the weekend, the hurricane center said.

“These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the agency reported.

Forecasters say it’s too soon to project the extent of the hurricane’s potential impact, but for now the Leeward Islands, where the Caribbean and Atlantic meet, should stay alert. The Leewards include the Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Saint Martin and Saint Kitts.