Hurricane Jose Is Travelling Up The East Coast Of The USA


Robin Andrews

Science & Policy Writer


Hurricane Jose, pictured here off the eastern seaboard on September 18. NASA/GOES

All eyes are understandably on the frighteningly powerful Hurricane Maria at the moment, but Hurricane Jose – despite being almost certain to fail to make landfall in the contiguous US – is still causing some problems for the eastern seaboard.

Right now, it’s a comparatively weak Category One storm, which means it has sustained winds of between 119 and 153 kilometers per hour (74 to 95 miles per hour). Fortunately, they’re not that close to land, and it looks like the hurricane will loop out of the way of northeastern states before dissipating in the North Atlantic Ocean.


As it loses strength and becomes a tropical storm, Jose will still cause harsh weather conditions to fall on New England, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and more. Heavy rainfall combined with some low-pressure related swells will potentially result in isolated flooding incidences, which could even trigger localized landslides.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), it could have been so much worse. Jose was once a Category Four storm, and had a good chance of impacting one of the Carolinas or even New York. However, it spun backwards and lost a lot of energy, becoming a mere tropical storm. It has since strengthened back up to being a weak hurricane, which is why it’s still not completely harmless.

The likeliest future outcome for Hurricane Jose. NHC/NOAA

So if you’re based in the northeast, you may want to avoid the coast and make sure you’ve got a heavy-duty raincoat for the next few days.

As Hurricane Maria barreled down on Puerto Rico as a Category Five beast, meteorologists were also watching out for Tropical Depression Lee, a gathering low-pressure zone in the Atlantic Ocean that, as of yesterday, was an indeterminate threat to both the Caribbean and the US.

As of Sept 18, Jose and Maria are still hurricanes, and Tropical Depression Lee (X) is faltering. NHC/NOAA

Fortunately, it appears that it is now weakening, and has less than a 10 percent chance of forming a tropical cyclone of any kind in the next 48 hours, and a 20 percent chance of doing so in the next five days. Right now, it’s essentially the remnants of the former tropical depression, but just to be safe, it’s being carefully observed.

Either way, it’s probably not the Atlantic Ocean’s last attempt at generating a hurricane. We’re in peak hurricane season right now, so expect some more monsters to be born over the coming weeks.


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