GRAY, Maine - A meteorologist from the National Weather Service warned folks in the Northern Seacoast today not to let their guard down because forecasts now show Hurricane Lee will likely trek through the eastern Gulf of Maine and not closer to shore.
Meteorologist Maura Casey urged Greater Rochester residents to prepare like you wold for any strong nor'easter, because the 45 mph gusts expected throughout much of Saturday are enough to cause significant tree damage and power outages.
"The current forecast calls for just a quarter of an inch of rain in the Rochester area," Casey said. "But with the leaves still on the trees, it makes them more vulnerable to wind gusts, and with the saturated ground soil from all the rain we've gotten, trees can't keep upright. We're more worried about tree damage than anything else."
She said the winds will begin to crank up to around 20-25 mph tonight and peak on Saturday around noon, then very slowly dissipate through the afternoon.
The wind will be out of the northwest tonight into Saturday afternoon and then slowly become more westerly, she added.
"Right now this storm has a very wide wind field," she said. "It makes the winds less intense at the center, but spreads out the stronger winds over a larger area."
Casey said the good thing is that today will be a good day to prepare.
"Stock up on food, stock up on water. Make sure you have your generator ready to go," she said. "There could be some downed trees and some widespread power outages."