Tropical Storm Jose Just Will Not Die: 3 ‘Escape’ Routes
One of these solutions actually pushes Jose's remnants right back toward the Jersey Shore.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Tropical Storm Jose is centered about 250 miles east of Atlantic City, N.J. There it sits. And spins. And spits ocean water at the entire coastline from Massachusetts to North Carolina.
So New Jersey's rough surf and minor coastal flooding threats continue. Models now keep an extra 1 to 1.5 feet of surge in the forecast, which means minor coastal flooding could occur at each of the next several high tide cycles.
Jose has 3 possible escape routes from its "stuck" state:
1.) Do what most tropical cyclones do... Exit stage right, into the colder waters of the North Atlantic, go extratropical, and eventually die. I can't believe this is now the least likely scenario.
2.) Suck up... As Hurricane Maria enters the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean, the Fujiwhara effect makes the two storms "dance" around each other. The stronger storm (Maria) then swallows the weaker one (Jose). This solution plays out in this afternoon's Euro model.
3.) Slingshot... I blogged about this then-unlikely possibility a few days ago and even included some clouds and showers in Friday's forecast as Jose wiggles back toward the close. Due to the storm's complex interaction with Hurricane Maria, Jose could pull a complete U-turn and head back toward the Jersey Shore. While the storm would be a mere shadow of its former hurricane status — an extratropical cyclone, or remnant low — we could still see some rain, a stiff breeze, and elevated surf toward the end of the weekend. This is the solution shown in both this afternoon's GFS and NAM model runs.
So I think #2 and #3 are emerging as the most likely scenarios, the latter of which would again cause some minor sky and surf nuisances in the Garden State. For now, our going forecast looks solid through the end of the workweek: Quiet Wednesday night, summery and warm on Thursday, chance of clouds and showers from Jose on Friday. Let's get a few more model runs under our belt, and see if one of the three escape routes emerges as a clear consensus.
Meanwhile, I want to speak a quick word about Hurricane Maria, which blew threw Puerto Rico as a category 4 hurricane Wednesday morning. Reports are coming in that 100% of the island is without power, with widespread damage due to winds up to 155 mph. It is now expected to sideswipe the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas as it charges northwest.
Could Maria impact the U.S. East Coast? Absolutely, it could. How far north will it go? Will it turn away from the coast at some point? Will it catastrophically turn toward the United States? No one has the magic answers yet.
I will repeat what I wrote in Wednesday morning's edition of the weather blog. "I want to see what forecast models look like after the center of Maria begins to clear the Bahamas. That will happen Friday, at the soonest... Until then, I am not interested in communicating back-and-forth, flip-flopping, play-by-play forecast model changes."