Right Weather Pro

September 18th Update

Jose brings midweek rain, wind, and coastal flooding

Hurricane Jose was not looking very tropical on satellite Monday morning. Strong southwesterly shear and dry air as Jose looking more like an extra-tropical system, and it may not be purely tropical when it bring rain/wind to Southeastern New England in the midweek. Whether it’s tropical or not, the storm is likely to deliver gusty winds and heavy rain bands to all of RI and SE MA, with the brunt of the bad weather on Cape Cod and the Islands. Rhode Island and interior SE MA (Bristol County) are right on the edge of heavier rain and damaging winds.

The European operational model shows most of the area getting 3-5″ of rain from Jose. I think that is a little overdone, and I expect more along the lines of 1-2″ of rain for RI and SE MA, with the outer Cape, Vineyard, and Nantucket under the gun for 3″ or more.

Peak wind gusts over 50 mph are possible in RI and down to Buzzards Bay, but those areas may still escape with winds between 30-45 mph. The storm will be a slow-mover, so 24-36 hours of 30+ mph gusts will likely be enough to down some branches. If the storm tracks closer and there are 24-36 hours of 40-55 mph wind gusts, then scattered power outages are likely as more branches and weakened trees come down. There’s a better chance of tree damage at this time of the year because the leaves have not dropped yet.

Hi-res NAM peak wind gusts are impressive in SE MA, but the center of the storm is not far from Nantucket. I expect the center to be a bit farther away, and the 50+ mph gusts confined to east of New Bedford and Plymouth. It’s a very close call.

I expect the worst weather to happen between late Tuesday night and midday Wednesday as the storm makes its closest approach. The storm will likely loop around east of Nantucket, and may continue to influence the weather through late in the workweek, but I do not expect significant rain/wind after Wednesday evening.

Coastal flooding will be an issue, but primarily for the Eastern Massachusetts coast because of the persistent northeast to northerly wind. There could be several high tide cycles in the mid and late workweek with at least minor flooding on east-facing shores in Massachusetts. The western part of Narragansett Bay could also see minor flooding.

The next 24 hours should help us hone in on Jose’s exact track as it moves north. If it transitions to an extra-tropical system, that may help the wind field expand from the center, and that could change the potential for 50 mph gusts in RI and interior SE MA. I will post updates as warranted.

Fred Campagna

President and Chief Meteorologist - Right Weather LLC AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist #756 AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist #126

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