Dave Epstein

Jose won’t batter New England, but look out for tropical storm-force gusts

A man took a photo of the rough surf along Nauset Beach at high tide on Tuesday.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
A man took a photo of the rough surf along Nauset Beach at high tide on Tuesday.

Based on the latest data, it appears Hurricane Jose’s track and strength are going to prevent much of New England from seeing more than showers, some downpours, and breezy to windy conditions. Areas closest to the storm — such as Cape Cod and the Islands and the south coast — will see the heaviest showers and a period when the wind gusts will reach tropical storm force.

What’s the forecast?

Overnight clouds and showers Tuesday into Wednesday are the general rule. The heaviest showers are most likely Wednesday, and the greatest totals will occur south of Boston. Keep the umbrella handy, but there will be hours when no rain is falling.

Sunshine starts to return Thursday. If the storm tracks closer to the coast, clouds could hold into Friday along the coast, but without rain. Highs will reach the upper 60s Wednesday, then Thursday heads into the low 70s. The weekend looks amazing with sunshine and highs between 75-85 degrees.

Why won’t Jose do more in New England?


The storm is just too far away to significantly impact our weather. Yes, Jose’s wind field is enormous, spanning over 300 miles from the center. When the center of the storm passes well east of Nantucket, it will be windy there. But these winds won’t be very damaging, even though they could take down isolated tree branches or weak trees. Rainfall is part of the forecast, but the most intense rain will stay south and over the ocean. The showers west of the storm will continue to rotate in off the ocean. Boston could near an inch of rain if some of these downpours go over the city, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Logan airport doesn’t get an inch of rain. Either way, this won’t be a big rainmaker for the city

What will the storm be like for most New Englanders?

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There is a tropical storm warning for the majority of coastal southern New England. Breezy or windy conditions will be the most notable part of this storm. Once the air starts moving Tuesday, it will remain busy through Wednesday night. Areas under a tropical storm warning will see the highest winds.

The map below outlines the areas where tropical storm winds exceeding 39 mph are likely. Remember: Those speeds are similar to many coastal storms the region experiences during the wintertim.

Could we see power outages?

We’re likely to see scattered power outages over Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, and perhaps a few coastal areas south of Hull. In the winter, the bare trees allow the wind to move through the branches, but during this time of the year, the leaves act like little sails, capturing the wind and making it easier for the tree to topple over. One tree or even a large branch falling on the wrong place can knock out power.

The likeliest timeframe for power outages is Tuesday night and Wednesday during the peak of the storm’s local impact. The winds will subside Thursday so crews should be able to bring any outages back online.


Winds from Jose expand 300 miles from the center of the storm, but the strongest winds are going to miss New England

Will there be flooding?

There could be some splash-over and minor coastal flooding at the times of high tide, but this won’t be a widespread coastal flooding situation. I don’t see enough rainfall for major street or urban stream flooding, but if your town gets a heavy downpour, some roads could temporarily become flooded.

Beach erosion from several days of an onshore wind will be an issue. Some beaches will see significant moving of sand from this persistent easterly fetch.

What about Hurricane Maria?

Hurricane Maria continues to be a very intense and very compact storm. The track will take this storm over parts of Puerto Rico in the next 24 hours. This could be the worst hurricane that island has seen in 85 years.

Follow Dave Epstein on Twitter @growingwisdom.