Hurricane Maria has been a devastating storm for Puerto Rico and other islands such as Dominica. Official landfall in Puerto Rico was at 5:35 AM CDT Wednesday near the town of Yabucoa as a category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds. The island is still enduring storm surge and flooding rains. Puerto Rico is very hilly and even mountainous. As long as Maria is nearby, mudslides will be a possibility. Hurricane and tropical storm conditions are also being felt in the Dominican Republic, especially on the north side of the island. Maria is moving away as a category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds and is moving northwest at 9 mph. It is likely to restrengthen to a category 3 as it moves north.
Maria will now move across Atlantic waters moving close to the Turks & Caicos. Beyond that, long-range computer model forecasts indicate a turn to the north into the Atlantic Ocean. It is likely to turn to the northeast and stay over water, but a small chance remains that Maria could hit the east coast of the US. While Maria will likely restrengthen it might not be long lived. As it moves north though it will start to move into a more hostile environment with more wind shear. It is not a threat to the Gulf of Mexico.
Jose is now a tropical storm bringing rain and gusty winds to the eastern seaboard. It’s centered about 150 miles southeast of Nantucket, but some tropical storm winds of 39 mph or more extend 205 miles from the center. Jose is moving northeast at 8 mph. Tropical storm warnings are up for parts of coastal Massachusetts. Jose has 65 mph winds is moving northeast at 8 miles per hour. It will wander around in the Atlantic for a few days weakening as it does so. Farther out in the Atlantic the remnants of Lee could reform but will stay over the open waters and not threaten land.
The circulation around Jose could affect where hurricane Maria ends up. High pressure circulates air clockwise and low pressure circulates air counterclockwise. If Maria stays put, these two will create a river of air for Maria to flow through. That would keep Maria offshore in the Atlantic. It’s not written in stone yet, and people along the east coast of the US should prepare just in case.
Our weather heading into the weekend is more or less unchanged. Tonight will be warm and muggy with lows near 72. There might be a few showers that linger past sunset, but overnight will be mostly quiet. After midnight though we might see some patchy fog develop that lingers into the morning.
Tomorrow and the extended outlook is for scattered showers each afternoon through the end of the week and fewer showers this weekend with highs in the upper 80s to 90 each day.