It’s been awhile since we’ve had a very active hurricane season like this year’s. There are three active storms in the Atlantic: Hurricane Jose, Tropical Storm Lee, and Tropical Storm Maria. We’re going to break down each storm for you so you know where each one is headed and what impacts each storm may pose.
Hurricane Jose: Jose will continue to indirectly impact parts of the U.S. East Coast this weekend. Even though it’s hundreds of miles off the Southeast coast, rip currents and elevated surf are impacting the region. It is beginning to move to the north, propagating the waves with it. By the time we get to Wednesday, direct impacts will be felt across parts of Southern New England as Jose likely weakens into a tropical storm. Expect showers and gusty winds, which may occasionally gust to tropical-storm-force (39+ mph). As the jet stream picks up Jose once it gets to this latitude, it will quickly exit to the east and will be out of the Northeast region by Thursday. The main takeaway with this storm is that other than some gusty winds and rain for southeastern New England, the rest of the East Coast of the U.S. will deal with large waves and dangerous rip currents. If you are in SE New England, including Rhode Island, southeastern Massachusetts, as well as eastern Long Island, I would recommend you stock up on some extra water and batteries just in case you lose power.
We have issued Alert Levels for Jose. That includes an ‘Elevated’ Alert Level for southeastern New England and a ‘Guarded’ Alert Level for the New York City area because some gusty winds are still possible there.
Tropical Storm Lee: Lee, which used to be Invest 97L, is the least impactful storm in the Atlantic basin at this moment. I like to call storms like this a “fish-storm” because Lee will really only impact the ocean. If you take a look at the National Hurricane Center’s forecast cone below, notice how it remains a tropical storm in the middle of nowhere through early next week before it weakens into a post-tropical storm later in the week.
Tropical Storm Maria: Believe it or not, the storm that is the weakest poses the greatest risk to life and property. The National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Depression Fifteen to TS Maria this afternoon.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.. More watches will likely be issued by the end of this weekend as Tropical Depression Fifteen gets closer.
Maria is likely to strengthen into a hurricane by Tuesday as it begins to impact many of the Leeward Islands, including Barbuda, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Irma earlier this month. Maria's forecasted track is very similar to Irma's. There's even the potential Maria rapidly strengthens into a major hurricane before it affects these Caribbean Islands, just like Irma did. Later on in the week, it will continue its west-northwest track as a hurricane through the Greater Antilles, including the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Turks and Caicos. All of these islands need to prepare now for impacts from this storm.
In the long-term, the United States and the Bahamas will need to monitor what will likely be Hurricane Maria. With a blocking high pressure over the Atlantic, Maria may be steered westward without an easy path out to sea. At this time, we have no idea exactly where this storm is headed this far out in time but the entire United States coastline will need to monitor. The European ensemble members show a very large spread by next weekend, which is when Maria may near the Bahamas. Many of the members do take Maria into the East Coast, but as you know this forecast will very likely change. For now, we have a less than 5% chance of Maria impacting the eastern U.S. seaboard within the next 10 days. We will update this graphic in app as new data comes in each day.
We have issued 5 day Alert Levels for Tropical Storm Maria. That includes an ‘Elevated’ Alert for portions of the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico and the U.S./British Virgin Islands.
We’ll another discussion on all three of these storms this Sunday.
-- Jackson Dill, Hurricane Tracker Team