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posted on 15 September 2017

Keeping an Eye on Jose - 15Sep2017- Watch and Wait for Now

Written by Sig Silber


This Report has been Updated and can be accessed at Jose, Norma and a New Threat - 16Sep2017


12:30 AM EDT Sept 16, 2017:  NHC believes that a tropical storm watch may be needed for a portion of the North Carolina coast. Models do not agree on the track further north but may do so soon.

Special Landing Graphic for Hurricane Jose


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This is an active period in the tropics so we are starting with the overview of the situation in both the Pacific and the Atlantic.

First the Atlantic

Eastern Tropical Pacific

Jose (and before Jose Hurricane Irma) are what are called Cape Verde Hurricanes and you can see a string of tropical waves from Western Africa passing by the Cape Verde Islands with one being of interest to the NHC. The full discussion can be found here.

And now the Pacific. 

Eastern Tropical Pacific 

Here is the current Track Map for Jose. 

Tropical Storm Jose

Jose Discussion

Hurricane Jose Discussion Number  43 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL  1100 PM EDT Fri Sep 15 2017

Since the reconnaissance flight earlier this afternoon, convection within the inner-core of Jose has increased in coverage and organization.  A banding eye appears to be forming, and a warm spot is apparent in IR imagery near the center of the cyclone.  Dvorak classifications at 0000 UTC still supported an intensity of 65 kt, but given the increase in organization since then, the initial intensity has been increased to 70 kt.  Additional strengthening is still expected for at least the next 24 to 36 h.  After that time, an increase in southwesterly shear and gradually cooling SSTs are still expected to cap the intensification and eventually cause Jose to gradually weaken.  The official intensity forecast remains a little above the model consensus for the first 48 h, and is close after that.

Jose continues to move toward the northwest, and the initial motion estimate is 305/8 kt.  The main source of uncertainty in the track forecast is at days 4 and 5, since the global models disagree on the speed at which Jose will move northward along the western edge of the subtropical ridge.  The GFS continues to show a faster movement, which allows Jose to pass very close to the U.S. east coast before an approaching trough forces the cyclone to turn more toward the northeast.  On the other hand, the ECMWF shows a slower track, so the trough steers the hurricane farther east.  The NHC forecast has not been changed substantially and is still just a touch slower than the model consensus, out of respect to the ECMWF.  When the 00Z ECMWF and UKMET models become available tonight, it could shed more light on the future speed of the hurricane.  It is still important to note that the average NHC track errors at days 4 and 5 are about 175 and 225 miles, respectively, and this error could be in the speed of the hurricane (along track error).

While the official track forecast keeps the center of Jose offshore for the next few days, all of the global models show the hurricane becoming rather large by late this weekend as it moves to the east of North Carolina.  For that reason, a tropical storm watch may be needed for a portion of the North Carolina coast tomorrow.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Swells generated by Jose are affecting Bermuda, the Bahamas, the northern coasts of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, and the southeast coast of the United States, and will spread northward, reaching the mid-Atlantic coast and the coast of southern New England during the next few days.  These swells are likely to cause dangerous surf and rip current conditions.

2. Although the center of Jose is forecast to pass well east of the North Carolina coast early next week, tropical-storm-force winds are expected to extend well west of the center and could approach the North Carolina Outer Banks on Monday.  Farther north along the U.S. east coast, the chance of some direct impacts from Jose is increasing, but it is too soon to determine their exact magnitude and location.  Interests along the U.S. east coast from North Carolina to New England should monitor the progress of Jose through the weekend.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  16/0300Z 27.4N  71.0W   70 KT  80 MPH

12H  16/1200Z 28.1N  71.9W   75 KT  85 MPH

24H  17/0000Z 29.2N  72.3W   80 KT  90 MPH

36H  17/1200Z 30.6N  72.2W   80 KT  90 MPH

48H  18/0000Z 32.0N  72.0W   75 KT  85 MPH

72H  19/0000Z 34.6N  71.8W   70 KT  80 MPH

96H  20/0000Z 37.5N  71.0W   65 KT  75 MPH

120H  21/0000Z 41.0N  68.5W   55 KT  65 MPH

For completeness we are also covering Norma.

Tropical Storm Norma

Discussion form the NHC.

Hurricane Norma Discussion Number  7 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL 900 PM MDT Fri Sep 15 2017

Infrared satellite imagery indicates that banding associated with Norma has increased during the past few hours.  The convective cloud tops have cooled and the band surrounding the center has become a

little more solid with the formation of a ragged banding eye. Dvorak data T-numbers from both TAFB and SAB are 4.0, and with the recent increase in organization the initial wind speed is increased to 65 kt. Norma becomes the eighth hurricane in the eastern Pacific this season.

Norma should remain over warm water and within a low shear environment during the next 24 to 36 h.  These conditions favor strengthening, but the large size of Norma is likely to keep the intensification rate in check.  Increasing vertical shear and cooler waters are expected to impart gradual weakening after 48 hours.  The latest NHC intensity forecast is similar to the previous advisory and is close to the SHIPS guidance.

Norma has been moving slowly north-northwestward, with an initial motion estimate of 335/2 kt.  The hurricane is forecast to move slowly northward during the next couple of days, while it remains along the western side of a mid-level ridge.  After that time, the ECMWF develops a narrow ridge to the north of Norma which causes the hurricane to turn northwestward.  Meanwhile, the GFS keeps Norma on a north track over the Baja California peninsula. The trend of the track guidance has been westward during the past several cycles, so the NHC forecast lies slightly west of the consensus, and closer to the ECMWF that has been more consistent over the past few runs. Given the large spread in the guidance later in the period, the confidence in the track forecast after 48 hours remains low.

The 48-hour forecast track and wind radii are very close to the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula.  However, with the persistent westward shifts in the guidance, a tropical storm watch does not appear to be needed at this time.  We will assess future model trends for the possibility of a watch issuance later tonight or tomorrow.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  16/0300Z 19.0N 110.2W   65 KT  75 MPH

12H  16/1200Z 19.3N 110.4W   70 KT  80 MPH

24H  17/0000Z 20.0N 110.5W   75 KT  85 MPH

36H  17/1200Z 21.0N 110.9W   75 KT  85 MPH

48H  18/0000Z 22.0N 111.3W   70 KT  80 MPH

72H  19/0000Z 23.7N 112.3W   60 KT  70 MPH

96H  20/0000Z 24.6N 112.6W   45 KT  50 MPH

120H  21/0000Z 25.5N 111.5W   30 KT  35 MPH...INLAND

 

The general conclusion at this point in time is that Norma is mostly a Mexico event and moisture entering CONUS will stay along the Southern Tier and not enter the general circulation i.e. will not make its way to the Northeast.

 

Those impacted should consult their local sources of information. The Public Advisories and other information that is available from the NOAA National Hurricane Center can be found here. Information from the Weather Prediction Center can be found here. 

And one more (Tropical Depression 14) just in case it becomes relevant.

Tropical Depression 14

General Weather Situation

We believe that it is easier to understand what is going on with individual storms if they are put into the context of the overall weather situation.

Three day

The graphic above is particularly useful as it shows the forecasted conditions that might determine the future of a storm beyond the predictions of where the storm might be on Day 3. This graphic is updated frequently so my comments will become out of sync with the graphic quickly. 

Some of the graphics below show the two storms of most interest. Other graphics will be more relevant for Jose as it moves north and comes into view.

Day 1 Forecast Map

Day 2 Forecast

This is a Day 2 Forecast.

Additional Graphics

More explanation on Atmospheric Rivers can be found by clicking here or if you want more theoretical information by clicking here.

Atmospheric Rivers

This is a national animation of weather fronts and precipitation forecasts with four 6-hour projections of the conditions that will apply covering the next 24 hours and a second day of two 12-hour projections the second of which is the forecast for 48 hours out and to the extent it applies for 12 hours, this animation is intended to provide coverage out to 60 hours. This graphic is now very relevant  as one can see three storms in this graphic. .

current highs and lows

The explanation for the coding used in these maps, i.e. the full legend, can be found here although it includes some symbols that are no longer shown in the graphic because they are implemented by color coding.

Precipitation Forecast

You can see the forecast for seven days of cumulative precipitation. It is important to keep in mind that these are forecasts going forward. Precipitation that has already occurred does not show up in these forecasts but will show up in the 30 day maps we show in our weekly Weather and Climate Report. That did not show up in our September 11 Report but it will show up in the September 18 Report. You can already see a preliminary precipitation QPF for Jose. It is mostly offshore.

 Water Vapor Imagery

The water vapor imagery is a good guide to where precipitation is occurring.

 

Click here for a list of Sig Silber's Weather Posts

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