Storm Continues to Be a Minimal Hurricane Offshore in Mid-Atlantic

Sorry for the lack of posts to the blog over the past 8 or 9 days. Unfortunately, I started a new job last Monday, and I’ve been very focused on getting settled there. I just haven’t had the energy to post something in the blog. Instead, I have only been able to post something to Facebook and Twitter.

However, that hasn’t met that I’ve been completely dead. I’ve continued to watch the tropics with great interest. This is perhaps the most significant season since the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Some may disagree, but think about it. When was the last time, you had more than one Category Five Hurricane storm in the same year? Well, you could argue, 2007 with Dean and Felix, but were they as strong as Irma and Maria? Did they make landfall in the United States?

Here are some things to consider about this season in the Atlantic. First, we had our first major hurricane landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. This season also has done something that the 2005 season with all of its mammoth numbers didn’t do, have two Category Four storms make landfall somewhere along the United States. In addition, two of the strongest storms ever to impact the Northeastern Caribbean in Irma and Maria.

Jose was also in the mix to be one of these powerful storms, and for a while, it appeared to also be on the verge of becoming a Category Five Hurricane. The storm just fell short of that mark. Jose peaked at borderline Category Four and Five strength with 155 mile per hour winds, gusts in upwards of 185 miles per hour, an eye that was 15 miles in diameter, and minimum central pressure that bottomed out to 938 millibars, or 27.70 inches of Hg. Fortunately for the islands of the Northeastern Caribbean that had just been devastated by Hurricane Irma, two things would happen with Jose.

First, the storm’s eye steered just north of the Northern Leeward Islands, which mercifully gave a break to those areas hard hit by Hurricane Irma. Second, following a similar path to Irma, Jose ran into waters that may have been a bit cooler due to upwelling generated by Irma’s vast circulation as it moved through the region just days earlier. In addition, Jose’s circulation began to encounter a northerly shear, which also contributed to its weakening. Jose weakened to a Tropical Storm by the evening of September 14th, or six days after reaching its peak intensity.

Hurricane Jose would regain some strength, and re-intensify in the Western Atlantic to have winds of strong Category One strength at 90 miles per hour, but gradually weakened to just be a minimal hurricane as it approached New York, New Jersey, and the Mid-Atlantic. Jose has managed to remain a minimal hurricane strength despite moving into relatively cooler waters off the Mid-Atlantic shoreline. New Jersey’s Shore had been under a Tropical Storm Watch, but that was discontinued late Monday afternoon.

As of the 8:00 PM EDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Hurricane Jose lurks several hundred miles off the Jersey Shore, or approximately 265 miles to the South-Southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Maximum sustained winds remain at 75 miles per hour with gusts in upwards of 90 miles per hour, and a minimum central pressure of 973 millibars, or 28.73 inches of Hg. Hurricane force winds extend some 60 miles from the eye while tropical storm force winds reach out some 310 miles.

Jose is a very massive storm that is about 740 miles in diameter. This is one of the reasons why, New Jersey is still experiencing some clouds, breezy conditions, some rain, and some humidity. A Tropical Storm Warning is still in effect for Woods Hole for Sagamore Beach including to Cape Cod, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the coast of Long Island from Fire Island to Port Jefferson. Jersey Shore has a Coastal Flood Warning in effect until 1:00 AM on Wednesday morning.

During the course of the day on Tuesday, there have been bands of rain pinwheeling there way on shore in New Jersey. Conditions at GWC in South Plainfield, NJ have been breezy, humid, and damp throughout much of the day, especially since nightfall. Looking at the latest forecast track from the NHC, Jose is expected to loop around the Mid-Atlantic and New England waters until at least Saturday afternoon. The forecast discussion also indicates that Jose will weaken to a tropical storm within 36 hours, and become extratropical within 72 hours.