Tropical storm MARIA - set to be a problem

Sunday 17th September 2017

Hurricane JOSE is now 380 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras headed north at 6 knots. This has strengthened to a hurricane severity index rating of 16 out of 50 (9 for size and 7 for intensity) and is expected to peak in the next 24 hours with an increase to 18 (10 size, 8 intensity). This is producing 100 knot winds with a tropical wind storm strength radius of 220 miles. By Tuesday JOSE may track far west enough to bring gusty squalls to coastal New Jersey and north into southern New England on Wednesday. By Friday and into the weekend, JOSE may take a round turn which would bring the centre closer to the coast again with flood potential from both rainfall and high tides. Given the variety of contortions JOSE would have to go through to do this, and my absolute mistrust of forecasts over 48 hours in North Atlantic latitudes, this is highly speculative.

Tropical storm MARIA is now 200 miles east of Barbados headed west at 10 knots with an HSI of 6 (2 size, 4 intensity) and developing with fanatical enthusiasm and is fully expected to hit hurricane strength today as environmental conditions are very favourable for intensification. Late on Monday, MARIA will move across the central Lesser Antilles and may become an intense hurricane before entering the Caribbean by which time an HSI of 25 is expected (10 size, 15 intensity) and by late Wednesday, the eye is expected to be approaching southern Puerto Rico with an intensity of 110 knots. Some weakening is anticipated as it crosses the island, but re-strengthening as it moves into the Atlantic. Most tracks then have the cyclone passing north of the northeastern coast of Hispaniola and thereafter by next weekend, MARIA will be raising Cain in the eastern Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos as an intense hurricane. This is again quite an ambitious projection in terms of confidence but even if inaccurate, it has to go somewhere. MARIA is going to be a problem.

Short lived tropical storm LEE is way out east, some 1700 miles east Lesser Antilles. This hit westerly wind shear at the same time that it made tropical storm force and threw in the towel almost immediately. This is now filling rapidly and is expected to weaken over the next few days as it tracks northwest. My kind of storm.

Storm cones aloft in the Lesser Antilles.

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