Forecasters continue to monitor Jose on track near East Coast

 Hurricane Jose as seen on NOAA's infrared satellite early Friday afternoon.

Hurricane Jose as seen on NOAA's infrared satellite early Friday afternoon.

Forecasters say Hurricane Jose might spur coastal flooding and gusty winds at the Jersey Shore early next week. 

While most global forecasting models show Jose remaining offshore and not making landfall in New Jersey, the National Hurricane Center says it’s still too early to rule out any direct impacts. In recent days, models have shown Jose creeping closer to the East Coast.

As of late Friday morning, Jose is a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour but likely to restrengthen back to hurricane status by early Saturday morning, according to the official National Hurricane Center forecast.

Situated about 360 miles northeast of the southeastern Bahamas, Jose is likely to continue moving northwest followed by a shift to the north-northwest and then to the north by Sunday.

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Forecasters say environmental conditions in Jose’s path are conducive to some strengthening. By 8 a.m. Tuesday, the track places Jose somewhere off the Delmarva region as a hurricane before weakening to a tropical storm near or far offshore from New Jersey by 8 a.m. Wednesday. 

Here are the key messages for #Jose for Advisory 41- East coast of the US from N Carolina northward should monitor

— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) September 15, 2017

The National Hurricane Center notes that the the average errors in the forecast track out to days 4 and 5 are about 175 and 225 miles, respectively, which places the East Coast at risk, especially since tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the center of circulation.  

In a Friday Washington Post report, atmospheric scientist and weather reporter Angela Fritz says Jose’s future path “is extremely difficult to forecast” due to “weak and unpredictable” steering winds. 

Since precise impacts are not yet available due to the uncertainly of Jose’s track, the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly on Friday morning issued the following potential hazards:

Coastal flooding is possible early next week. The severity of the coastal flooding is still uncertain and will depend on how quickly the storm makes the turn to the northeast and how close it gets to our coast. The highest risk of coastal flooding is with the Monday evening and Tuesday evening high tides at this time.
Swells from Jose are likely to create dangerous surf and rip current conditions through at least the middle of next week.
Very windy conditions are possible along the coast of Tuesday. Exactly how high and how far inland the winds will be is also dependent on the track of Jose and how close it comes to our coast.

With more than two months left in the current hurricane season, NOAA advises coastal residents to have a plan should a tropical system threaten or strike. 

FEMA offers the following easy, low-cost steps to get prepared now:

Have a family discussion about what you will do, where you will go and how you will communicate with each other when a storm threatens.
Know your evacuation route.
Tune into your local news or download the FEMA app to get alerts.
Listen to local authorities as a storm approaches.

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