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

BOSTON (CBS) —  As Maria re-emerges over the ocean after battering Puerto Rico, Jose seems like an afterthought here in New England.

While we still have a good deal of rain, wind and coastal erosion on the way, none of it will compare with the devastation happening now in the Caribbean. That region has taken blow after blow this season, from some of the most intense hurricanes on record in the Atlantic.

Could Maria affect the East Coast or even New England next week?

Yes–but it all depends on Jose, more on that below.

First, here is the latest on Jose.

jopsenew2 Hurricane Marias Final Path? Tropical Storm Jose To Play Major Role

(WBZ-TV graphic)

It is going nowhere fast. Jose will slowly drift northeast Wednesday, staying more than 100 miles off our shoreline. While that is farther out than a typical nor’easter, Jose’s circulation is large enough to still envelope parts of southern New England in its shield of wind and rain.

It’s greatest effect on New England will come from the ocean. We are already seeing 10-to-20 foot swells just offshore of Nantucket. With Jose forecast to linger in our waters for the next several days, our coastline is going to take a severe beating.

COASTAL THREAT

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.

josenew4 Hurricane Marias Final Path? Tropical Storm Jose To Play Major Role

(WBZ-TV graphic)

With Jose going nowhere fast, our coastline will be at risk for flooding and severe erosion for the next several days, likely right through Saturday.

Tides are high (astronomically) and with a continued strong northeast wind, the water will pile up cycle after cycle.

Beach erosion will be severe. Many east/northeast facing shorelines will be eaten alive by the days of high surf.

WINDS

The strongest winds (35-55 mph gusts) will largely be confined to Nantucket, Cape Cod and the immediate South Shore.

Interior eastern Massachusetts will see gusts 20-35 mph at times.

josenew1 Hurricane Marias Final Path? Tropical Storm Jose To Play Major Role

(WBZ-TV graphic)

It now appears that these gusty winds will continue through Thursday and perhaps even well into Friday.  With 2-3 days of persistent winds, tree damage and power outages are likely to pile up.

RAIN

The vast majority of the rain will fall over Nantucket and over the open waters to our east.

Some showers and downpours will rotate farther west into eastern Mass. at times, but rainfall totals inland will be light (under 1 inch). Nantucket and the extreme outer Cape will likely receive several inches of rain over the next 48 hours.

jose51 Hurricane Marias Final Path? Tropical Storm Jose To Play Major Role

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Jose will be a factor in our weather here well into next week!

jose42 Hurricane Marias Final Path? Tropical Storm Jose To Play Major Role

(WBZ-TV graphic)

It is forecast to loop around and slowly weaken off our coast during the next several days. This will keep our seas rough and winds gusty over the Cape and Islands through part of the upcoming weekend.

WHERE DOES MARIA GO?

So with Jose going nowhere fast, how does that affect Maria’s ultimate path?

Early next week, what’s left of Jose will be spinning around in the waters to our south. At the same time, Hurricane Maria will be headed north from the Caribbean, paralleling the East Coast.

maria2new Hurricane Marias Final Path? Tropical Storm Jose To Play Major Role

(WBZ-TV graphic)

This is a very complex setup with many possible solutions. The interaction of these two circulations will be key in determining Maria’s final path.

Long story short, it is just too early to tell where Maria is ultimately headed.

maria1new Hurricane Marias Final Path? Tropical Storm Jose To Play Major Role

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Solutions range from a hit anywhere along the East Coast from North Carolina-northward to a recurve out to sea.  Timeframe to watch for a potential landfall would be mid to late week (next week). It will certainly be several days before any significant increase in forecast confidence occurs.

As always, we urge you to stay tuned to updated forecasts on CBSBoston.com, WBZ-TV and WBZ NewsRadio 1030 on both Jose and Maria.

Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ

Comments (3)
  1. It wont really matter because maria will weaken probably to a cat 1, T.S. or 2 by the time it gets up here anyway , nothing we cant handle and it will probably miss either way my fear is if a cat 4 or hgher ever does race up here we wont leave and wont be ready for it because we never get hit by storms they keep scaring us but nothing ever happens and it always hits south, weakens, or recurves so the last big storm was 1938 and Donna/Carol. I dont count bob or gloria because we didnt get big impact in Boston area. only cape cod and berkshires. (Gloria). So I wonder how many people will actually evac if a really big one does come up like cat 4 or higher.

  2. People are becoming too compacent here and assuming every storm will miss. which is why I wonder if a really big 1938 like LI express comes up we wont be prepared enough and people wont evac.

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