Hurricane Lee Threatens East Coast: Rip Currents and Rising Concerns.

Hurricane Lee is expected to bring hazardous surf and big waves along the entire U.S. East Coast from Florida to Maine.

While maintaining Category 3 status with 115 mph sustained winds, Hurricane Lee's hurricane-force winds extend up to 75 miles from its center.

The hurricane's strong waves and rip currents pose significant risks to coastal areas.

Rip currents are especially concerning in 2023, with at least 75 deaths attributed to them, making it the third-highest year for such fatalities since 2002.

A report found that fatalities linked to tropical-cyclone-related rip currents have doubled, with Florida, North Carolina, and New Jersey experiencing 

the most deaths. Rip currents are particularly deadly because they lack visual cues and often occur during seemingly ideal beach conditions.

Swells from Hurricane Lee have already started arriving, and surf conditions are expected to deteriorate further.

Coastal areas like Melbourne, Florida, Wilmington, North Carolina, and the Outer Banks will face rough surf, beach erosion, and potential flooding.

People caught in rip currents should swim parallel to the shore rather than trying to swim directly back to land. Concerns extend beyond Hurricane Lee, 

as another storm off the west coast of Africa could bring significant swells in the coming weeks, further threatening coastal communities already vulnerable to erosion and storm damage.