Hur­ri­cane Jose could pose threat to parts of East Coast

Dayton Daily News - - NATION & WORLD -

Hur­ri­cane Jose con­tin­ued to me­an­der in the At­lantic on Satur­day, spin­ning about 500 miles south­east of Cape Hat­teras, N.C.

A sprawl­ing high-pres­sure sys­tem over the cen­tral At­lantic is pre­vent­ing Jose from head­ing fur­ther out to sea, mean­ing it could pose a threat to parts of the East Coast through the com­ing week.

After weak­en­ing to a trop­i­cal storm on Thurs­day, Jose re­turned to Cat­e­gory 1 hur­ri­cane sta­tus Fri­day night. Its max­i­mum sus­tained winds were 80 mph as of mid­day Satur­day, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter.

Un­der weak up­per-level winds, Jose had made lim­ited for­ward progress over the past week. How­ever, over the next few days, the west­ern edge of the high-pres­sure sys­tem that is trap­ping Jose is ex­pected to weaken. This should cre­ate a path for es­cape.

The con­sen­sus track from the lat­est weather model up­dates now keeps Jose well off the Mid-At­lantic coast. But res­i­dents of Long Is­land and coastal New Eng­land should pay in­creased at­ten­tion to Jose as the week pro­gresses.

It is un­clear what the in­ten­sity of Jose will be at that point — it may even be act­ing some­what like a win­ter­time nor’easter by then. Re­gard­less, the like­li­hood of im­pacts such as strong winds and at least mi­nor storm surge is height­ened.

Trop­i­cal storm watches could be is­sued for parts of the East Coast, over the next day or two, ac­cord­ing to a Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter ad­vi­sory.

Jose could af­fect five re­finer­ies along the East Coast with a com­bined ca­pac­ity of about 1.1 mil­lion bar­rels a day of oil. If it con­tin­ues to­ward New York City, it could dis­rupt ves­sels car­ry­ing crude oil, petro­chem­i­cals and re­fined prod­ucts along the At­lantic seaboard, “par­tic­u­larly those mak­ing de­liv­er­ies to New York Har­bor,” said Shunondo Basu, a Bloomberg New En­ergy Fi­nance me­te­o­rol­o­gist and nat­u­ral gas an­a­lyst in New York.

Along with Jose, trop­i­cal weather in the At­lantic re­mains ex­tremely ac­tive. Trop­i­cal Storm Lee was named Satur­day morn­ing off the African coast, to the west of the Cape Verde Is­lands.

Out ahead of Lee, a po­ten­tially more omi­nous low-pres­sure dis­tur­bance is gath­er­ing steam. Likely to soon be chris­tened Maria, this area of or­ga­nized con­vec­tion is show­ing signs of in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion. It was track­ing due west to­ward the Lesser An­tilles.

Un­for­tu­nately, con­di­tions sim­i­lar to those that al­lowed Hur­ri­cane Irma to in­ten­sify and track through parts of the is­land chain are still more or less in place. Cur­rent model pro­jec­tions are wor­ri­some for a re­gion still reel­ing from that storm’s ef­fects. The hur­ri­cane cen­ter is fore­cast­ing a hur­ri­cane in the days ahead, and it is pos­si­ble some places could take a se­cond di­rect hit over the com­ing week

Mean­while in the Pa­cific, Trop­i­cal Storm Norma re­mained sta­tion­ary south of the popular tourist desti­na­tion of Cabo San Lu­cas, Mex­ico. Trop­i­cal storm warn­ings and watches are in ef­fect., with heavy rains likely.

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