The focus in New England has been on Jose as this low-end Tropical Storm continues to spin off the coast. As the winds continue to howl out of the north-northeast, Jose is continuing to weaken in strength. But as it tracks westward today (yes, Jose slides back to where it was yesterday), it will eventually turn non-tropical.
As Jose wanes over the cool New England waters, Hurricane Maria has already started to take over the headlines.
Maria made landfall Tuesday night into early Wednesday along the southeastern corner of Puerto Rico as a Category 4 Hurricane, with winds sustained at 155 mph. The mountainous terrain of the island weakened the storm to a Category 2 by the time the storm reached the northwestern side of the island. However, the sheer power of the storm knocked out power to the entire island and it’s likely they will not have electricity restored for months.
As of the 11 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Maria is now a Category 3 storm that gave a glancing blow to the Dominican Republic overnight.
Hurricane Warnings are posted for the Turks and Caicos Islands as Maria is expected to slide just to the east of those islands early Friday. Thankfully, Maria is expected to track away from the Caribbean and Bahamas, away from the destructive path of Irma. However, Maria could slide along a similar path as Jose and continue to weaken along the way. This path would take Maria north, parallel to the eastern seaboard through Monday.
By Tuesday, the latest model projections have Maria’s path curving east-northeast, still passing between the eastern seaboard and the island of Bermuda. At that point, it is expected to weaken to a Category 1 storm, but could still bring high surf to our area at the start of the week.
We could also see some outlying rain bands associated with Maria by midweek next week, very similar to the windswept rain that Jose brought. However, there is still some uncertainty with the extent of how far of a reach the rain and the wind will extend out. That will be determined by the track, and if Maria tracks even farther out to sea than Jose, then the chance for rain for midweek will wind down.
The latest weather models keep Maria out to sea. Once she approaches New England waters, since a looming front will be out to our northwest, that front should keep the powerful storm out at sea.
As always, stay tuned to the very latest updates on the air and online from NBC Boston and necn.