Jose May Take Aim at Region of Country Already Bludgeoned by Hurricanes

Print Email

As the Southeast cleans up from Hurricane Irma and Texas rebounds from the historic punishment meted out by Hurricane Harvey, the tempest-tossed South may have to prepare for another storm in the Atlantic.

Hurricane Jose, wandering in the western Atlantic Ocean about 300 miles northeast of the Turks and Caicos Islands, could take aim at the Southeast.

Jose was packing sustained winds of about 75 miles per hour, making it a Category 1 hurricane, and was moving east at 6 miles an hour, according to an advisory Tuesday morning from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Jose’s power dissipated somewhat over the weekend, after the storm skirted the islands of the Caribbean that had just been devastated by Irma.

The NHC said Jose should make a small clockwise loop over the open waters of the Atlantic for the next three days. The center also said this is because of an area of high pressure that will move around the hurricane over the next several days.

The Weather Underground said long-range models suggest the strengthening high-pressure area will then force the hurricane to move west-northwest toward the east coast of the United States.

In terms of intensity, the NHC is forecasting a Category 1 hurricane with 90-mph winds by Saturday. Any potential direct hit from Jose wouldn’t be until next week.

Meanwhile, results Hurricanes Harvey and Irma continue to test the resilience of those in Texas and the Southeast.

The price tag for Hurricane Harvey, a Category 3 storm that hit Texas on August 25, could be as much as $75 billion, according to AIR Worldwide, a Verisk Analytics risk modeler based in Boston, according to a story from Bloomberg News. Fortune earlier this month put a $180 billion price tag on the impact of Harvey. Goldman Sachs has speculated that Harvey may shave 1% off national GDP growth for the third quarter.

Estimates for the damage from Irma in Florida have fallen, with the total cost dropped to about $50 billion Monday from $200 billion over the weekend. The state escaped the worst of the hurricane’s force because Irma’s eye shifted westward, away from the biggest population center of Miami-Dade County. Irma was a Category 4 hurricane when it hit the Florida Keys on Sunday.

The state of Florida has more homes at risk for storm surge, 2.8 million, than any other state, according to information from property data provider CoreLogic.

Hurricane and tropical storm activity has supported the predictions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration so far. In August, NOAA said that there would be a 60% chance of an above-normal hurricane and tropical storm season, up from its prediction in May of 45%.

NOAA forecast 14 to 19 named storms, an increase from the May prediction range of 11 to 17, and a slight increase of two to five major hurricanes from two to four. This would be the most storm activity since 2010, NOAA said. The agency’s expected number of five to nine hurricanes overall is unchanged.

Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said factors that point to an above-normal season include warmer waters across the tropical Atlantic than models previously predicted and higher predicted activity from available models.

An average hurricane season in the Atlantic, which runs from June 1 to November 30, produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.