On the heels of Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Jose poses the next potential threat to the United States and Atlantic Canada. While it is too early to know exactly when or if the storm will have impact, it would be wise to pay close attention. Operational guidance to this point has shown everything from North Carolina to Nova Scotia landfall over the past several days. This is typical of storm ideas over a week out. As the time approaches closer, forecast ideas come in line, and that is what is to be expected by later in the week.
A bit close for comfort
As I shared on the Pine Tree Weather Facebook page on Monday, there were a few red flags being raised ahead of the set up for this potential storm. First and foremost, potential position of the storm. The green “X” I have labeled “benchmark”. This term is most often used in the winter time with nor’easters. The “benchmark” location is 40° north latitude, 70° west longitude. When a nor’easter passes through the “benchmark” location, with cold air at the surface, that is usually an indicator of an all snow event for New England. Granted we are not talking a snow event with Jose, but two operational runs of the European model bring the storm close to that location. That would make it a bit too close.
The next concern is a rising ridge (area of high pressure) to the east, which is just outside of the above graphic. This could push the storm more to the west. With the decaying frontal boundary in conjunction with a sinking upper level low from St. James Bay, it could set up several options of a potential landfall in the northeast and the Canadian Maritimes.
Plenty of warm water south
Satellite estimates of sea surface temperature on Monday indicate Jose is not lacking warm water to work with. Wind shear from the northeast is keeping the storm in check from intensifying for now. It appears to go in a clockwise formation through the later part of the week and an area of high pressure works around the storm. The storm appears to remain in around 29°C (84°F) or warmer water over the next few days. Any drop of wind shear could intensify the storm fairly quickly, and will need to be monitored.
The windshield wiper effect (back and forth) of operational and spaghetti models are underway as the GEFS ensembles from the American GFS model shifted west Monday afternoon. It is important to note that while the 12z GFS operational model indicated a Mid-Atlantic landfall, the ensemble mean indicated a Nova Scotia direct hit. Along with the European model ideas, it shows that there is an idea of potential impact to the northeast. It is too early to know for sure where or if, but it will be apart of the discussion over the next several days.
Recent storms are valuable lessons in preparation
As the recent storms of Harvey and Irma indicate, many people get caught flat-footed and end up scrambling to prepare themselves on short notice. The calendar indicates that mid-September is almost here. Tropical season continues until November 1st, which is seven weeks away. While the track of Jose is uncertain, there is a possibility that if not this storm, others could cause problems. With winter knocking at the door after the end of hurricane season, that first nor’easter may come soon after that. It would be wise to check your storm supplies, a generator if you have one, and take the time now. If located in a shoreline town, find out where the evacuation routes are in case those are necessary. Check for batteries for a terrestrial radio, and hopefully a NOAA Weather Radio. The best storm preparation is when the stores aren’t mobbed and roads are jammed with traffic. If not this storm, another may not be too far behind.
Are you ready?
Preparation tips: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
Preparation prevents panic.
Special thanks to Tropical Tidbits and Pivotal Weather for their written permission to use their graphics in this post. Use of WeatherTAP images used within their written permitted terms of media use policy. Additional forecast information supplied by the National Weather Service, WeatherBELL Analytics and AccuWeather Professional.
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