Tropical Storm Lee was the 12th named storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, which briefly reached tropical storm strength in between Bermuda and the Azores before being absorbed into a cold front on September 4. Lee was the second weakest storm of the season, next to Tropical Storm Bret, though it did last longer than Bret did. It was also the least notable, and probably least acknowledged storm of the season. Lee never threatened land, and no ships were reported to have come into contact with Lee. No damage or deaths are associated with the tropical storm.
|Formation||August 28, 2005|
|Dissipation||September 2, 2005|
|Highest winds||40 mph|
|Lowest pressure||1006 mbar|
On August 24, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa and began heading westward across the Atlantic Ocean. The wave spawned an area of low pressure, and it organized into Tropical Depression Thirteen on August 28 while located 960 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. However, instead of becoming a tropical storm, the depression degenerated back into a remnant low late on August 29, due to strong northeasterly wind shear that pushed the center of circulation off of the main convection area. Many computer models indicated that this was a likely scenario. Despite this, the NHC chose to forecast slight strengthening of the depression. After degenerating, the remnant low-pressure area moved to the north, and then turned to the northeast due to the effects of a non-tropical system in the vicinity. As the remnant low moved to the northeast, thunderstorm activity increased again, which led to the depression reforming on August 31. That afternoon, the depression strengthened further, becoming Tropical Storm Lee, and reached its peak intensity as a minimal tropical storm with 40 mph winds. When it became a tropical storm, it was located in between Bermuda and the Azores. Operationally, Lee was downgraded again to a tropical depression within just 6 hours after becoming a tropical storm. However, post-season analysis showed that Lee had remained a tropical storm for twice as long as originally thought.
Lee weakened back to a tropical depression as it continued to move around the non-tropical low located to the west. Because of this low, Lee was difficult to forecast. The two systems began to merge on September 1, raising uncertainty to what degree Lee was actually tropical. Later on September 1, shear once again removed the convection from the circulation center of the depression, and after that, Lee became a remnant low-pressure area which survived until September 4 before becoming absorbed by a cold front.
Naming and Records
When Tropical Storm Lee formed on August 31, it was the second earliest occurence that the 12th tropical storm in the Atlantic basin had formed. The only time an earlier formation occured was with Hurricane Luis in the 1995 Atlantic hurricane season, which had formed on August 29. This made Lee one of the few Atlantic storms in the 2005 season to not hold the record for the earilest formation of an nth storm. Also, this was the first storm following the retirement of Hurricane Lenny in the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season that the name Lee had been used to name an Atlantic tropical cyclone. However, the name Lee was used previously to name 3 storms in the West Pacific, the most recent time occuring in 1988. Due to the lack of any effects from Lee, the name was not retired in the Spring of 2006 by the World Meteorological Organization, thus it is on the list for names to be used for the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season.