BOSTON (CBS) – Ready for an early season nor’easter?
While Jose is still technically a hurricane at this writing, by the time it makes its closest pass to southern New England it will look and feel much more like one of our classic coastal storms.
Jose is already gasping for tropical air, feeling the first effects of cooler ocean water to the north and also ingesting some dry air from the south and west. So while parts of our coastline and many of our beaches will take a bit of a beating, there is no risk of a hurricane here in southern New England.
With worst-case scenarios essentially off the table, we can now focus in on what impacts we will likely feel over the next few days.
There will still be a good deal of rain, wind and coastal damage, let’s examine each one-by-one.
By far and away, the biggest threat from Jose will be in the sea and those who live along it.
Wave heights are forecast to be 10-20 feet near the islands and outer Cape Tuesday night and Wednesday. Combine a 1-2 foot storm surge with high astronomical tides and you have a classic recipe for some coastal flooding and significant beach erosion.
Currently, coastal flooding is forecast to mainly be minor with pockets of moderate from the South Shore, South Coast, Cape Cod and Islands. Nantucket Harbor will likely bear the brunt of the flooding, with widespread moderate flooding there.
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.
The tropical storm force wind field has been steadily expanding with Jose, also very typical as a storm transitions from a tropical hurricane to what we call an “extratropical storm”. Tropical storm force wind gusts (39 mph+) expand more than 200 miles out from the center. So, a large area in southern New England will likely feel gusts to 40 mph (most of eastern Mass.) Tuesday night and Wednesday. Higher gusts (40-60 mph) are likely along the immediate coastline and in particular over Cape Cod and the Islands. Nantucket may see a few gusts topping 60 mph.
Gusts of this strength will almost certainly lead to some downed trees and power outages across the area.
Spiral bands of tropical rainfall will rotate in during the day Tuesday and continue Wednesday as well. This will cause some localized flash flooding at times. 1-2 inches of rain are likely in eastern Mass. with 3-5 inches + in parts of southeastern Mass. from Plymouth down to the Cape.
This will be a significant event for the coastal and marine community lasting for several days.
While the rain and wind from Jose will taper by Thursday, the ocean will remain rough for the entire week.
We will have frequent updates on CBSBoston.com, WBZ-TV and WBZ NewsRadio 1030. We urge you stay tuned and play it safe!
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