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Lee not expected to become hurricane, expert says

Tropical Storm Lee is not likely to intensify into a hurricane, according to former Hurricane Hunter Jeff Masters, who co-founded The Weather Underground in 1995.

The storm should intensify slowly given that much of its circulation is over land, he said in a post today on The Weather Underground website. Masters said that the greatest threat from Tropical Storm Lee will be flooding from heavy rains.

"Given that much of the region Lee will traverse over the next few days is under moderate to severe drought, the storm's rains may cause more economic benefit than damage," he said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that tornadoes from Lee are also a potential hazard today.

Master said that with Tropical Storm Lee, the season's 12th named storm, forming days before the middle of the Atlantic hurricane season, we could expect 24 to 26 storms named overall this season.

"Only 2005, 1995, 1936 and 1933 had an earlier 12th storm," he said.