Northeast dodges Jose as eyes turn to Maria

The projected track of Hurricane Jose over the next five days. ( Photo: Riskpulse )

While it appears the East Coast dodged a bullet with Hurricane Jose, the next 10 days look to be a busy time for transportation interests along the coast as Hurricane Maria’s track remains uncertain and there is still potential impacts from that storm early next week.

After it appeared for days that Jose would produce a significant impact, perhaps even landfall, somewhere along the East Coast north of New Jersey, Hurricane Jose slipped (mostly) harmlessly out to sea. The storm is producing gusty winds and rainfall in New England today and into tomorrow, and Tropical Storm warnings remain up for parts of the Northeast, but the major impacts have passed out to sea.

“Jose, currently located east of the outer banks of North Carolina, looks to meander off the East Coast thru the weekend before it gets forced across the Atlantic next week,” explained Riskpulse in a daily Energy Weather Brief published on Tuesday. “We are decreasing the risk of Jose making landfall on the East Coast to 15%; yesterday’s number was 30%. Thus, the threat to the East Coast is not zero but it has been decreasing during the past few days.”

As of this morning, Jose was a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. The forecast calls for it to meander in the Atlantic off the New England coast before doing a small loop. Initially, some guidance suggested that loop could bring it back ashore on the East Coast, but that seems less likely now.

“Jose will produce some minor impacts (indirect impact) on the East Coast such as some minor storm surge which will lead to localized flooding in coastal locations, some minor wind, and rain in portions of the I-95 corridor,” Riskpulse said.

Long-range forecasts for Hurricane Maria, an intense Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds, remain uncertain. Riskpulse initially targeted a 40% chance of Maria making landfall along the East Coast, but has reduced that to 25% today.

“The track is easing more in an eastward direction as it leaves the Caribbean and moves northward into the Atlantic,” the firm said. “If Maria does impact the East Coast, the timing would be the first part of next week.”

Hurricane tracks beyond a few days can vary greatly, which is why Riskpulse advises clients to monitor storms and be prepared to adjust quickly should conditions change. Riskpulse’s supply chain risk analysis helps shippers and carriers adjust operations according to upcoming conditions.

Maria is expected to make landfall in Puerto Rico tonight and continue tracking toward the East Coast. “However, model guidance has continued to shift the track further to the east, keeping the storm in the Atlantic rather than making landfall on the East Coast,” Riskpulse said.

Good news for storm-battered Florida.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.