While recovery efforts continue from devastating storms Harvey and Irma, Hurricane Jose continues to dawdle in the Atlantic, making its unusual loop. Its ultimate path is uncertain, but it still bears watching, experts say.
Five days from now, Jose is expected to have completed its loop and be 400 miles off Wrightsville Beach, N.C., with winds blowing at a modest 70 miles per hour (below the 74-mile-per-hour hurricane threshold).
“It’s just not known” with any degree of certainty where Jose will go past that five-day window, National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.
“The computer models are not exactly in agreement,” he said.
“Right now, there’s no immediate concern. For the next five days, it’s not a threat to the United States,” he said. But he also said, “Any time you’ve got a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic, you should be watching it.”
And what direction the storm takes after five days will be crucial. The East Coast lies to the west and New England to the north. However, many storms curve northeast into the open ocean.
Accuweather said if the storm steers into the ocean, the Northeastern states will be in for an extended period of sunny, warm weather.
On the other hand, if the storm drifts to the west, it could come close to the mid-Atlantic and Southern New England. While landfall is considered unlikely, it’s possible it could get close enough to bring clouds, rain, and gusty winds to the coast, Accuweather said.
No matter what track it takes, Accuweather said, seas will be churned up from the Bahamas and Bermuda to the East Coast. Dangerous rip currents could result, while beach erosion on the southern Atlantic Seaboard could be exacerbated. Some areas may also see flooding at high tide.
As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jose was backtracking southeastward at 7 miles per hour with 75-mile-per-hour winds, but it’s expected to finish its loop in the next 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center forecasters said in an online discussion.