Hurricane Jose still a potential threat to Florida after Hurricane IrmaBy Richard Tribou
September 12. 2017 3:05AM
ORLANDO, Fla. — Powerful Hurricane Jose missed the Leeward Islands this weekend, but it might have a second chance to strike the Caribbean and possibly Florida, forecasters said.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami is predicting that Jose, with 105-mph winds Monday afternoon, will do a loop in the Atlantic Ocean over the next few days.
If that happens, by Sept. 18 it could again be pointed at the islands all but destroyed by Hurricane Irma last week.
Here’s how hurricane forecasters described Jose’s potential unusual maneuver: “The steering pattern is expected to become rather dynamic, leading to a five-day forecast that shows Jose making a small anti-cyclonic loop over the open waters of the western Atlantic.”
The prediction, however, is shaky as best, as the NHC’s “cone of uncertainty” for Jose is not a cone at all — it’s a circle, suggesting the storm could go in any direction.
“It is too early to tell if Jose will have any direct impact on Florida, but it is expected to turn to the north in three or four days,” the state Division of Emergency Management posted on its website Monday.
Jose is expected to turn northeast Monday night, forecasters said.
As of 9 p.m. EDT Monday, the storm was about 360 miles northeast of Grand Turk Island, and moving north about 12 mph.
Most of the long-term models beyond Sept. 18 have the storm heading out to sea instead of heading west. But forecasters warn that long-term forecasts are often off by hundreds of miles.
Looping hurricanes have happened before, including Hurricane Jeanne, which in 2004 appeared to be heading out to the open Atlantic only to turn around and strike the Florida coast. It was one of four hurricanes to hit the Sunshine State that year.