After a very cool end to August and start of September, we’ve seen summer make a comeback over the last couple of days, with warmer and more humid conditions across the state. This weekend looks to continue that trend before we turn our attention to Hurricane Jose, which has completed its loop to the east of the US coast, and is heading northwest before turning north and tracking off the coastline. How close to the shoreline the storm tracks and how far north it is able to come before high pressure shunts it to the east will determine the magnitude of any impacts that we see from this storm.
As expected, Jose became a hurricane again this afternoon. This was confirmed by the Hurricane Hunters, which have been out in the storm much of this afternoon.
High pressure at the surface gives us a generally calm weekend, with a mix of sun and clouds and the chance for a couple of pop up showers or a spot thunderstorm or two. High temperatures should be above normal with highs in the upper 70s on Saturday and the lower 80s on Sunday. The best chance for any showers would be on Saturday where there is a bit more instability and moisture present, but precipitation chances on both days are relatively low. Clouds move in on Monday in advance of Jose’s move north and there could be some light showers. Given the wide uncertainty in the track for Jose, confidence in pops for Monday is low, so will just go with a chance of showers for now. Highs near normal in the mid 70s.
While Irma was grabbing headlines left and right, her cousin Jose was stalled out in the Atlantic, well east of Florida and the US coast. It was drifting around in a circle and not doing much of anything despite being a very strong storm. While it has since weakened from the upper end category four storm it was, the hurricane is expected to strengthen a bit as it moves northwest and then northward towards the US coast.
Rather than focusing on what solutions the models are showing now (which will almost certainly change on the next cycle), the important takeaway from this discussion should be that while we are in the potential track for the storm, there is still a lot of uncertainty and therefore the best thing to do is to prepare as we have been preaching all hurricane season and begin to pay closer attention to future forecasts and updates.
We also want to stress that the worst case scenario here is a couple of days of heavy rain and strong winds, but by no means a major hurricane. This is not going to be our Irma or Harvey and folks shouldn’t be panicking as a result of this discussion. Preparation over panic.
After some uncertainty in the upper level pattern, the model consensus has come around a bit more in the near term. The forecast is for a continued turn north well before Florida would be impacted. After that however, things diverge quite a bit. The Ukmet model, which did well with predicting the track of Irma at times, has a track that is close to the coastline. The GFS is a bit slower, but also strengthens the storm as it moves north, and eventually passes it over or just southeast of the Cape. The Euro, which had ticked west the last few runs, ticked further east today and is southeast of the other two models. The Euro eventually stalls out Jose to the southeast of New England, looping it around and possibly bringing it back for another try next weekend. Let's cross that bridge if we get there.
The ensembles, which are really what we pay attention to when there is a complex forecast this far out, have shown a fair amount of spread over the eventual track and evolution of the low. If there is a transition from hurricane to extratropical system, that would expand the wind field, making it less necessary for an extremely close approach to have a significant event.
Here are images from the latest runs of all three. You can see that the Ukie is relatively strong and close to the coast, while the latest GFS is very close to us, and the Euro is looping around south of Long Island.
It is important to not just look at the center line when we’re talking about tropical systems. Impacts extend out far from even the cone of uncertainty at times. Here, because there is a fair amount of uncertainty remaining on the eventual track and strength of Jose (though we do not expect this to be anything close to a major hurricane) we want to just talk about potential impacts in broad strokes right now and hone in as we get closer.
- Rain—If there is a close enough approach, we can expect some rain on Tuesday and maybe later in the week depending on the eventual track and strength of the system. Under any scenario currently on the table, strong *inland* flooding across the state looks unlikely.
- Wind—We are a bit concerned about the potential for wind impacts, especially along the coastal and eastern sections of the state. Again, this is heavily dependent upon the track and strength of the system.
- Coastal Flooding—This is one of the trickier forecasts, and I’d rather hold off before going into this in even broad strokes. Just know that with the angle of approach, there is potential for some beach erosion and coastal flooding. People along the shoreline should not panic, but remain weather aware and be prepared to secure property should this trend toward a more impactful scenario. Again, preparation, not panic.
Behind Jose, seasonable fall temperatures and generally calm weather is expected. Some residual clouds and showers could linger depending on the ultimate path of Jose so left slight pops for now.
Saturday: A chance of showers, otherwise, partly sunny, with highs in the upper 70s to lower 80s. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Sunday: A slight chance of showers, otherwise, mostly sunny, with highs in the lower 80s. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Monday: A chance of showers, otherwise, mostly cloudy, with highs in the mid 70s. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Tuesday: SCW Period of Interest. Rain possible, otherwise, mostly cloudy, with highs in the mid 70s. Strong winds and tropical storm conditions are possible. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Wednesday: SCW Period of Interest. Rain possible, otherwise, mostly cloudy, with highs in the mid 70s. Strong winds and tropical storm conditions are possible. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Thursday: A chance of showers, otherwise, partly sunny, with highs in the mid 70s. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Friday: Partly sunny, with highs in the mid 70s.
Rest assured, the SCW team will continue to closely monitor Jose. We will be back with updates as necessary. As always, please like, share, and interact with us on our social media--on Facebook to share our discussions, and follow us on Twitter @southernctwx to retweet our posts! Hit the buttons below to join!
-SA & DB