Hurricane Jose a concern for sure but Maria could be an epic disaster for the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico

9:45 PM ET Saturday, September 16, 2017

I have posted a video discussion covering the latest concerning Jose which is likely going to miss the East Coast in terms of direct impacts. However, the rip currents and large ocean swells are something to take seriously – check local weather sources for specific info regarding beach conditions and potential hazards.

Maria is an entirely different situation. I am VERY concerned about the well being of people in portions of the Leeward Islands as they continue to struggle day to day in recovery mode in the wake of category five hurricane Irma. The track and intensity for Maria is quite alarming and I address this and more in my evening video post:

M. Sudduth



Hurricane season going full throttle now

9:35 AM ET Saturday, September 16

We knew that it was only a matter of time before the hurricanes  would return. After almost 12 years of relative peace and quiet, Ike, Irene and Sandy not withstanding, this season has demonstrated once again that we are most definitely vulnerable- even from multiple strikes in areas that were hit and are struggling to pick up the pieces.

Right now is the traditional peak time of hurricane season and the map certainly proves that point quite well.

Hurricane Jose 5 day forecast map from the NHC

Hurricane Jose 5 day forecast map from the NHC

The big story for the time being is hurricane Jose which may never cross the coastline of the U.S. but will bring substantial impacts nevertheless.

Right now the biggest issue will be continued swells and associated rip currents along the beaches from Bermuda and the Bahamas to the Southeast and up the Mid-Atlantic states. Make no mistake, these swells can be very dangerous- especially when the waves break right on the beach. Be extremely careful out there and respect the energy that is pounding the beachfront.

The other issue with Jose will be the gradual expansion of its wind field. This will push tropical storm force winds closer to the coast of North Carolina, eventually spreading north along the mid-Atlantic states into Southeast New England.  We will need to wait another day or so before a clearer picture of how much wind will be expected and how far inland it is likely to penetrate.  The bottom line is that Jose need not make landfall along the US coast for there to be significant impacts including property damage.

It appears that the key to how close Jose gets to the coast will be its forward speed.  Evidently, the faster it is moving the more likely it will pass very close to southeast  New England by mid week. It all comes down to timing – when does it not?  This will definitely be another case where coastal residents and visitors needed to pay attention to the overall impacts and size of the hurricane  rather than exactly where the center is forecast to track.  We may see a tropical storm watch issued for parts of the North Carolina coast later today. I expect that this will continue to expand as the threat increases and expands up the East Coast.

Right now my plan is to head to the Outer Banks of North Carolina tomorrow to set up a camera system in Kitty Hawk. From there I will assess the situation but have no problem going as far as Cape Cod if need be by mid week. I will have more concerning my field coverage plans later tonight.

Meanwhile, we need to watch what is now known as invest 96L  very closely. It is almost 8 shoe in to become a hurricane at some point and could impact portions of the Lesser Antilles that were devastated by Irma.  It is also looking increasingly likely that areas farther west such as Puerto Rico, the Dominican republic and maybe the Bahamas could also be impacted down the road.  Unfortunately the upper pattern is favorable not only for development but also for steering this future system towards the United States. It is too soon to pinpoint what area might be affected.  As usual, we are going to simply have to watch and wait while we remain vigilant and prepared.

Also, in the east Pacific, hurricane Norma is barely moving near the coast of the Baja Peninsula. Obviously this poses a significant flood threat along with the typical hurricane conditions that are expected for the region.

I will post a detailed video blog concerning all of the latest goings on in the tropics late this evening.

M. Sudduth





Speed of movement is apparently an important key for future track of Jose

11:25 pm ET Friday, September 15

I have posted a new video discussion outlining some interesting clues that the latest NHC forecast discussion yielded in tonight’s 11pm ET advisory package.

As you’ll see, the forward speed of Jose is apparently critical in terms of how soon it is able to approach the East Coast of the USA before a small but significant piece of energy dips down to sweep it eastward and away from the coast. Check out the latest video – it’s neat how it all makes sense and is shown within the 18z GFS model:

M. Sudduth



Hurricane threat for New England seems to be increasing as we also watch east Atlantic

8:15 AM ET September 15

Jose is a tropical storm right now but is forecast to become a hurricane again over the warm waters of the western Atlantic. In fact, I think there is a decent chance that it becomes a solid category three again before encountering cooler waters north of the Gulf Stream

The official NHC track puts a good chunk of the Northeast just inside the “cone of uncertainty” which means there is now a chance, however small, that Jose directly impacts areas from the NC Outer Banks to points north including Cape Cod.

The key is going to be just how strong and how far west the Atlantic ridge of high pressure is as Jose begins to turn north this weekend. It’s like a balloon inflating – the larger it is the more it expands and pushes Jose westward and closer to the coast.

Right now, the threat from swells is increasing for most of the East Coast, the Bahamas and even portions of the northern Caribbean Islands. This will lead to rough shore break conditions along with dangerous rip currents from time to time. Obviously, this is great news for surfers but for the average swimmer, these conditions can be absolutely life-threatening. It is important to check local surf and beach conditions and be very careful when “enjoying” the swells coming in from Jose.

Meanwhile, we have a new tropical depression, #14, way out in the open tropical Atlantic which is moving generally westward for the time being. It is likely to develop in to TS Lee later today and should eventually turn north in to the open Atlantic.

To the west of the depression, we have invest area 96L which is likely to become tropical storm Maria at some point in time as it cruises west towards the Lesser Antilles. Interests from the Windward Islands up through the areas impacted by Irma and Jose should all be playing close attention to the evolution of 96L over the coming days.

It is simply a busy season – one we have not seen in a long, long time. Records are being set and we’re not talking about the good kind here. It is important with all of the other news and distractions going on around the world and locally that we remain focused on hurricane preparedness. Please look at your sources carefully – if you spot hyperbolic news items being shared on social media, ignore it. People will try to gain likes, favorites and followers by posting old hurricane video, made up B.S. about what may or may not happen with our current systems and so forth. If it sounds outlandish, it almost certainly is – pay no mind. We have enough to deal with already and those who yell loudest are usually the ones who know the least about what is truly going on.

I have posted a new video discussion which goes in to solid detail concerning Jose and the other developing systems in the tropics. Note that this will be the first of two video discussions posted today – I’ll have another one online between 3 and 4pm ET.

M. Sudduth



Jose could impact Mid-Atlantic to New England directly – hard to know for sure right now

10 PM ET Thursday, September 14

Just a quick note about TS Jose before the overnight models begin to run.

The latest from the NHC shows the storm becoming a hurricane again and tuning more to the north with time – instead of a curve directly out to sea. This means it is possible, though not very likely just yet, that Jose could pose a threat for direct impacts to portions of the Mid-Atlantic states up through New England. It’s just too tough to call right now but I wanted to give folks up there a heads up – just in case you hadn’t been aware just yet.

We still have several days to go but the trends have been further and further west with the guidance and any additional shifts could lock this in as being an issue for somewhere along the U.S. East Coast but WELL NORTH of Florida (just want to make that clear).

I am also watching two additional areas of interest in the far tropical Atlantic – we have a few days before we need to worry about either system but it shows us that the peak time of the hurricane season is upon us and we need to remain vigilant and prepared.

Here is a quick evening update covering these topics:

M. Sudduth