Tropical Storm Leslie Becomes a Hurricane: Latest Forecast, Path and Warnings

Tropical Storm Leslie, motionless in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, turned into a Category 1 hurricane overnight, with wind speeds of up to 75 miles per hour. While Leslie is expected to grow stronger, it is not due to move again until Wednesday night.

"Leslie is nearly stationary, and little motion is expected today. A northward motion is forecast to begin tonight, and this motion should continue through Friday night," the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 9 a.m. UTC.

Hurricane-force winds extend for 45 miles from the center, and tropical storm-force winds for 230 miles, the center said. There were no coastal watches and warnings in place, but the center warned of some hazards affecting land, including "life-threatening currents."

"Large swells generated by Leslie will continue to affect portions of the southeastern coast of the United States, Bermuda and the Bahamas during the next few days," the center's advisory said.

"Swells are expected to increase near the coasts of New England and Atlantic Canada by the end of the week. Please consult products from your local weather office as these conditions could cause life-threatening surf and rip currents."

Hurricane Leslie is the sixth hurricane of 2018's Atlantic hurricane season. It is not forecast to make landfall, instead turning eastward as it strengthens before weakening again over the coming days.

"The hurricane is forecast to remain within favorable environmental conditions consisting of warm water and low vertical wind shear over the next day or two," the center said.

"These conditions should allow for some additional strengthening. After 48 hours, Leslie will be moving over cooler waters, which should induce gradual weakening later in the period.

"A northward motion is then expected to continue over the next 2-3 days, but by the weekend Leslie is predicted to turn eastward as a broad trough dips southward over the north Atlantic."

The U.S. was struck recently by Hurricane Florence, which caused death and destruction amid storm surges, flooding and strong winds. Florence's death toll stands at 51, with billions of dollars in damage, primarily in North Carolina, the state most severely affected.

The flooding killed millions of livestock animals in North Carolina. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture reported that 3.4 million chickens and turkeys, and 5,500 hogs drowned in the floods. Many died in farm buildings overcome by floodwaters as the animals waited to be taken to market.

Hurricane Leslie
Hurricane Leslie in the Atlantic Ocean, the sixth hurricane of the 2018 season. National Hurricane Center