Hurricane Jose track shifting towards U.S.

Hurricane Jose, currently a little more than 600 miles South Southeast of Cape Hatteras, is moving toward the Northwest at approximately 10 miles per hour. Jose’s maximum sustained winds are at 75 miles per hour, barely qualifying as a category 1 hurricane. Intensification is forecast for a short time while Jose remains in a low shear environment and moves over warmer water, but water temperatures begin too cool towards New England and additional shear is expected by the end of the weekend.

Hurricane Jose track

Hurricane Jose

Tropical Storm Watches possible in North Carolina

Hurricane force winds remain very close to the center of Jose at this time, but Tropical storm force winds extend 140 miles from the center. Due to the amount of distance those winds span, and the expected enlargement of the storm, Tropical Storm Watches are possible in North Carolina over the next couple of days. You can see how close the current forecast brings tropical storm conditions to the Outer Banks below. A direct hit is not forecast in the region, as can be seen, but winds along the periphery of Jose could be strong enough to reach Tropical Storm status. A Tropical Storm Watch or Warning does not mean that you will face a direct hit from a Tropical Storm, just that tropical storm conditions are likely in your area as the storm passes off shore. We here at firsthand will be monitoring this closely over the weekend.

Jose heads North

Towards the middle of next week, the closest pass and the current area most likely to receive a direct hit if landfall occurs, is Southeastern New England. Models have been trending west with the system as time goes by and The cone of uncertainty extends as far west as Eastern New York at this time. The latest run of the GFS, shown below, shows a landfalling tropical system on Cape Cod.

Firsthand Weather will be with you every step of the way as Hurricane Jose makes his approach. Please begin some of your preparations if you are in the Outer Banks or New England this weekend. Do not be one of the people left trying to buy supplies when items are low. Buying in advance also allows stores to restock items which allows a greater supply for everyone. It is best to have your supplies ready a head of time and have them around to use than to not have them should the storm miss then to need them and not have them available. Stocking up on survival food to ensure that your family can eat when the hurricane hits is advisable. You should also test flashlights and check other equipment, like medical kits, vehicle emergency kits, and generators ahead of time to ensure they are in good order. While large evacuations are not anticipated with Jose, checking on the location of your nearest shelter would not be a bad idea if you were to lose power.


Robert Millette

Tropics heat up as Franklin moves ashore

The tropics have been heating up as Tropical Storm Franklin has moved ashore on the Yucatan Peninsula this morning.  Franklin continues to batter the region with heavy rains and high winds.  Current sustained winds are 60 mph with rainfall expected to cause significant flooding and flash flood conditions. A storm surge of 2-4 feet was expected and major evacuations have occurred in low lying communities in Mexico.   Tropical Storm Warnings continue from Belize City to the Gulf coast of the Yucatan at Sabancuy at this time.  Franklin is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico later on today.

Tropical Storm Watches are in effect from Sabancuy to Puerto de Veracruz along the southern portion of the Gulf of Mexico.   Once in the gulf, Franklin is expected to intensify and as we mentioned on Sunday, Franklin is going to come very close to hurricane strength before making a second landfall in Mexico.  To account for this, hurricane Watches are in effect from Puerto de Veracruz north to Rio Panuco.  Some of this area will be downgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning as Franklin approaches, as the hurricane wind field will not be that big.  The large area is simply to take into account possible changes to the track.

As we have stated before, Franklin is not a threat to make landfall in the US.

Tropical Atlantic

In other news for the tropics a tropical wave roughly 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles continues to be disorganized at this hour.  Environmental conditions remain poor for development over the next couple of days.  Conditions begin to improve as this system moves north of the Lesser Antilles into the region around the Bahamas.  Some models have developed this system and bring a tropical risk to the east coast of the United States so we here at Firsthand Weather will be watching this system closely.


Robert Millette

Major Hurricane Matthew

Major Hurricane Matthew remains a Category 4 storm.  Matthew is moving toward the northwest near 5 mph and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the
north tonight.  On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will approach southwestern Haiti and Jamaica on Monday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 150 mph with higher gusts.  Some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next couple of days, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Monday night.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205miles.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 947 millibars or 27.96 inches.

major hurricane matthew

Major Hurricane Matthew

The overall organization of the hurricane has changed little overnight, with the small eye remaining distinct in infrared satellite pictures, though a dry slot has been noted between the eye wall and the outer bands in the South portion of the storm.

Hurricane Matthew

Model Analysis

Matthew has been moving slowly west-northwestward during the past few hours.  Matthew should move slowly northwestward today, and then turn northward tonight as a mid- to upper-level trough develops over the eastern Gulf of Mexico.  This motion will take Matthew towards Jamaica, western Haiti, and eastern Cuba over the next couple of days.  After that time, the global models bend Matthew back toward the north-northwest between the aforementioned trough and a developing ridge off the northeast United States coast.

The dynamical models are in good agreement on this scenario through 72 hours, with increasing spread thereafter.  The GFS, ECMWF, and UKMET are along the western side of the guidance at days 4 and 5, while the HWRF is along the eastern side.  The latest NHC track is close to the model consensus through day 3, but is west of the consensus at 96 and 120 h, to be closer to the typically better performing global models.

Matthew is likely to interact with the land masses of Jamaica, Cuba, and Hispaniola, leading to some weakening and disruption of the storm structure.  After this time, The upper-level wind environment is expected to remain favorable over the Bahamas, and warm waters in that area should allow Matthew to maintain much of its intensity and strengthen while it moves over that area later in the forecast period.

Watches and Warnings

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jamaica,  Haiti, and the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Cuban province of Camaguey, the Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, and Long Cay, and the Turks and Caicos Islands

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Barahona westward to the border with Haiti

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata westward to the border with Haiti

Hurricane Hunters

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate Major Hurricane Matthew this morning, with the data found below.   Although some weakening is predicted during the next couple of days, Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane when it approaches the islands of the Greater Antilles in a couple of days.


Robert Millette