Hurricane Jose may threaten New York
Tropical storm heading toward Baja California
Hurricane Jose may threaten New York City and other areas of the East Coast by next week, according to the National Hurricane Center, while Norma is aiming for Mexico’s Baja California and a new system gathers strength in the Caribbean as a busy tropical weather season bores on.
Jose was about 485 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, after redeveloping into a Category 1 hurricane late Friday. Jose’s path could put it near New Jersey and New York by Wednesday morning, although it may weaken to a tropical storm again by then, the center said.
The storm may add to an already devastating 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, coming just after Hurricane Harvey inundated Texas and Hurricane Irma raked Florida’s west coast, leaving dozens of people dead and upending energy and agriculture markets. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy created about $70 billion of damage after hitting the New York metropolitan region.
Jose is moving northwest at 6 mph with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Little change in strength is forecast during the next two days, the center said.
Data from an Air Force Reserve aircraft indicate that Jose has increased in size, the NHC said. This widens the band of hurricane-force and tropical storm-force winds extending toward the coast.
Life-threatening rip currents are expected along parts of the U.S. East Coast, and tropical storm watches may be needed for portions of the area from North Carolina to New England during the next day or two, according to the advisory, the 46th so far.
Jose could affect five refineries along the East Coast that are able to process about 1.1 million barrels a day of oil, Bloomberg data showed.
If it continues toward New York City, Jose could disrupt vessels carrying crude oil, petrochemicals and refined products along the Atlantic seaboard, “particularly those making deliveries to New York Harbor,” Shunondo Basu, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance meteorologist and natural gas analyst in New York, said on Friday.
Still, some forecasters see Jose staying far enough offshore to avoid any major impact to the U.S. The hurricane center’s margin of error for a storm five days out is about 225 miles, on average.
AccuWeather Inc. sees the storm tracking close enough to the coast — within 200 miles — to produce heavy seas and gusty winds, as well as to deliver rain to coastal areas early in the week.
Landfall in New England during the middle of the week can’t be ruled out, senior meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said in a statement. If landfall were to occur, the most likely location would be far eastern Long Island or southeastern New England, especially Cape Cod.
There’s a 50 percent chance of tropical stormforce winds for Nantucket, Massachusetts, by Thursday, said Jeff Masters, cofounder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
If Jose continues on its path, the most immediate impact could be high surf and considerable beach erosion along the shores of the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts, Masters said.
Norma, meanwhile, has weakened to a tropical storm as it heads north toward Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.
The storm was about 220 miles south of the popular tourist designation, Cabo San Lucas. Tropical storm warnings and watches are in effect, with heavy rains likely and maximum sustained winds of about 65 mph.
As the busy 2017 storm season continues, a depression in the Caribbean was elevated on Saturday to Tropical Storm Maria and could strengthen rapidly. Hurricane watches are in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat, with storm watches for several other islands.
With conditions favorable, the storm “has the potential to be a hurricane by the time it passes through the Lesser Antilles Islands on Tuesday morning,” Masters of Weather Underground said.
A depression west of the Cabo Verde Islands in the central Atlantic Ocean, meanwhile, strengthened into Tropical Storm Lee, the NHC said. Lee is forecast to drift slowly west or west-northwest for a few days and is not currently threatening land.