There are a couple of storms that stick out in my lifetime. The Blizzard of 1978, the Halloween Hurricane of 1991, and Hurricane Felix in 1995.
For the Blizzard of 1978, I lived on Cape Cod, where we had snow, rain, and sunshine, as the blizzard reached only 50 miles away. For the storm of October 1991, I was unemployed and unaware of the destruction happening on the coast until later.
During Hurricane Felix in 1995, centered hundreds of miles offshore, there were huge waves coming in at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire.
It was there that Dave from Cinnamon Rainbows surf shop loaned me a surfboard and said "Go ahead - try paddling out and surfing a wave."
I paddled out but barely made it back in. I did not know how to surf and was completely out of shape physically.
I bring up these storms because of what they have in common. They all went off the East Coast of the United States, curved back toward the west and did a loop before heading out to sea once again.
Another more recent occurrence of that looping was supposed to happen last summer.
In late September 2016, Hurricane Matthew became a Category 5 hurricane and threatened to devastate the coast of Florida. It was a very close miss and there was plenty of damage, but the storm stayed at sea. Floridians breathed a sigh of relief, but were concerned because of the forecast.
Matthew was forecast to loop back toward Florida in a few days. That did not happen, but it was pretty scary for a time.
This brings us to 2017. Irma has done the damage in Florida, although it was not a worst-case scenario for a number of reasons.
Now, as Irma dissipates as a Tropical Storm over the southeastern United States, we look at out to Hurricane Jose.
The National Hurricane Center said Jose weakened to a Category 2 storm but has pretty much stopped moving.
There's virtually no steering current above the system. It is expected that an ocean storm south of Newfoundland may try and push Jose a little to the east over the next few days. But not far enough to force it back out into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Then late this week, a new high-pressure system builds into the northeastern United States, bringing us mostly fair weather. This building high pressure in the northwestern Atlantic may cause Jose to turn around and loop eastward back toward the United States. The National Hurricane Center calls for the storm to be moving back to the Bahamas five days from now.
We all know that forecasting hurricane tracks and intensity is pretty much cutting edge meteorology. But the fact remains that if this happens, everyone on the eastern United States seaboard and the Bahamas has to pay attention to what Jose has in store.
The five-day forecast brings it to position very close to Nassau in the Bahamas by the weekend. The storm is then in the threat zone for the eastern United States, including New England. If it survives that long, and follows this path, we may have to keep an eye out around Tuesday, Sept. 19. Hurricane Jose is going to be a forecast headache for much of the next week to 10 days.
The early inclination is that it's going to be weakening or pass out to sea well to our east. But we're not going to take our eyes off of Jose until we know we are out of the woods.