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.