By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer

BOSTON (CBS) – Jose is continuing to wobble northward, still with the strength of a minimal hurricane but it now appears it will track a bit farther to our east.

A small shift of 50 miles of so in one direction or another can be hard to predict with a storm this size, and it can have major implications.

jose13 Jose May Actually Save East Coast From Hurricane Maria

(WBZ-TV graphic)

So the main headlines, as of this writing, would be for a slightly less impactful event for southern New England, but still a decent blow for the Cape and Islands and our beaches.

How does that small jog to the east effect our weather?

Let’s break it down:

COASTAL THREAT

By far and away, the biggest threat from Jose remains along our coastline and in our waters.

coast Jose May Actually Save East Coast From Hurricane Maria

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Wave heights will reach 10-to-20 feet near Nantucket and the outer Cape Tuesday night and Wednesday. A 1-to-2 foot storm surge in combination with high astronomical tides will lead to some coastal flooding and significant beach erosion. Currently coastal flooding is forecast to mainly be minor with pockets of moderate for the South Shore, South Coast, Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Nantucket Harbor will likely bear the brunt of the flooding, with widespread moderate flooding there.

jose41 Jose May Actually Save East Coast From Hurricane Maria

(WBZ-TV graphic)

High tides Tuesday and Wednesday arrive around midday and midnight in the Boston area and South Shore. On Nantucket, high tide comes in the early morning and early afternoon hours.

WINDS

The strongest winds (40-60mph gusts) will largely be confined to Nantucket, Cape Cod, and the immediate South Shore.  Interior eastern Massachusetts will see gusts 20-40mph at times.

2pmwind Jose May Actually Save East Coast From Hurricane Maria

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Highest likelihood of wind damage and power outages would be within the 40-60mph gust area.

RAIN

Spiral bands of tropical downpours have already started to rotate ashore in southeastern Mass. Some flash flooding is likely at times, within these heavy rain bands, through Thursday.

jose34 Jose May Actually Save East Coast From Hurricane Maria

(WBZ-TV graphic)

The heaviest rain and highest totals will again be in southeastern Mass., Cape Cod and the Islands where 1-to-3 inches is likely, with locally higher amounts up to 6 inches. Just half-to-one inch of rain is expected for the remainder of the area, including Boston and Worcester.

While it appears that most of our area will be spared any significant impact from Jose, this is still a very large and potent system that bears watching. Please stay tuned for updates on CBSBoston.com, WBZ-TV and WBZ NewsRadio 1030 throughout the duration of the event.

HURRICANE MARIA

Finally, a quick word on Hurricane Maria, a potent Category 5 hurricane in the Caribbean.

After ravaging parts of the Leeward islands Monday night including the Island of Dominica, Maria has its sights set on the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

maria1 Jose May Actually Save East Coast From Hurricane Maria

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Maria is likely to make landfall as a Category 4 or 5 hurricane on Puerto Rico’s southeast coastline late Tuesday night. From there is appears as though it will head northwestward to the east of the Bahama Island chain.

Indications now are that Jose may actually save the East Coast from a Maria hit next week.

How’s this you ask?

Well, because Jose will likely stick around a while, spinning in circles to our east, it will alter the steering currents in our atmosphere.

So instead of being drawn into the East Coast, the more likely scenario would be for Maria to escape to the east, out to sea! Again, stay tuned.

Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ

Comments
  1. OK, sure Terry………maybe best if you file this blog in same category as last week’s “No Way Jose!” or the ‘BZ mets assertions over the weekend (ahem, *cough* Barry) of bigger potential storm impacts. Barry jumped the gun on Sunday morning broadcast expecting Jose to deliver almost half a foot of rain in towns south of Boston. (comments from blog below)

    I think it might be best for viewers to check different outlets for real news updates on Maria and Jose……

    Barry’s blog (9/17): “Rain amounts over southeast MA could reach 2-3″ just north & west of Boston up to to 3-5″ over southeastern MA. Where the heaviest tropical bands set up, some isolated 5″+ totals will be possible.”

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