Hurricane Maria has officially made landfall as a very strong, category 4 hurricane on Puerto Rico. There is no doubt there will be catastrophic damage on parts of the island. Meanwhile in New England, Tropical Storm Jose will brush the coast with some showers and strong winds. Nothing as nearly as bad as Maria.
Tropical Storm Jose:
Forecast: Jose has finally weakened into a tropical storm as it moves northeast, making its closest approach to southeastern New England. Jose will not make landfall, but will still bring showers to this portion of New England and wind gusts up to 50-60 mph on the islands of Massachusetts. This will likely cause some isolated-scattered power outages in the area. As we track Jose into the weekend, it’s just going to linger around off the Northeast coast, gradually weakening with time and eventually becoming a post-tropical cyclone as the full effects of the cooler ocean water takes place. Rip currents and rough seas will continue for the next few days.
Short-Term Forecast: Hurricane Maria will continue to slam Puerto Rico as a major hurricane today as the storm moves northwest across the island. Rainfall totals will be as high as two feet, which will cause mudslides and may unfortunately take out some structures. Storm surge is also a concern on top of everything else with a general 6-9 feet of water level rise expected along the coast. Maria will emerge back over the Atlantic by this afternoon. Impacts will then begin for the Dominican Republic. Expect rain and strong wind--Gusts may reach hurricane-force, but thankfully the core will likely stay over the water. The Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamian islands are up next for impacts from Maria Thursday night into Friday. This storm will still be a major hurricane, but weakening some. The current NHC track takes the center of Maria to the east of these islands, which is some good news because the northeastern quadrant of a hurricane is always contains the worst winds. However, these islands are in the cone so that means a direct landfall is still possible. If you are in the path of Maria, please rush all preparations to completion.
Long-Range Forecast: In the long-term, the United States (North Carolina northward) will need to monitor Hurricane Maria. With a blocking high pressure over the Atlantic, steering these storms toward the U.S., this storm poses a risk to the Eastern Seaboard. At this time, we are leaning more towards an out-to-sea scenario, but the model guidance has shifted to the west and a bit closer to the U.S. There are different scenarios in which Maria may follow. If Jose dissipates or moves inland again, Maria may be pulled into the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic. If Jose continues to mill around off the coast, it will help to further weaken the ridge of high pressure, raising the chances that Maria would move safely out to sea. Please see our latest long range outlook below:
Tropical outlook: The remnants of Lee have a high chance of re-developing, but it will remain harmlessly out at sea. Finally, some model data is indicating that pressures may significantly lower in the western Caribbean in about 7-10 days, so of course we will be monitoring that part of the basin for development as we close out September.
We will have another update as conditions warrant on Hurricanes Jose and Maria. Thank you for using our service and application -- Jackson Dill, Hurricane Tracker Team