Jose Just Became A Hurricane, But There's No Need To Panic Yet

by Tara Merrigan

On Wednesday afternoon the Atlantic storm system Jose was upgraded to a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center. Currently, Hurricane Jose is a Category 1 storm heading toward the Leeward Islands in the West Indies. But with Texas having been battered by Harvey and the East Coast worrying about Irma's approach, will Hurricane Jose hit the U.S.? While weather experts say it's still too early to say yes or no definitively, some meteorologists think that it's likely that Jose won't make landfall in the U.S.

“The northern Leeward Islands are at risk of contending with enhanced showers and tropical-storm-force conditions this weekend, which could hinder Irma recovery efforts,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller told the meteorology website. “At the very least, rough surf will be stirred once again."

However, according to Accuweather, Hurricane Jose is likely to turn away from the Southeastern portion of the U.S. and head back out to the Atlantic Ocean due to weather patterns early next week. Currently, Jose has sustained winds of 75 m.p.h. and is centered about one thousand miles east of the Lesser Antilles, a group of islands in the Caribbean. According to the National Hurricane Center, Jose is expected to strengthen to a Category 2 storm in next 72 hours.

But though Hurricane Jose is not an impressively strong storm, it could be overwhelming for the islands it does hit. Some of the northern Leeward Islands — namely St. Martin and Anguilla — were struck on Wednesday by Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm with ferocious sustained winds of 185 m.p.h. "This one doesn’t pose as much of a threat to the direct southeastern United States as Irma does," Weather Channel meteorologist Ari Sarsalari said, according to the Daily Express. “But the Leeward Islands would end up with another one-two punch. This could be pretty bad for them.”

Hurricane Irma is expected to strike the Florida Keys and the state's mainland this coming weekend and then make a northward turn. “Direct impacts from wind, storm surge, and rainfall are possible in the Florida Keys and portions of the Florida Peninsula beginning later this week and this weekend,” the National Hurricane Center advised, calling Irma "potentially catastrophic." Some computer models show Irma hitting the coast of the Carolinas early next week. “This hurricane has the potential to be a major event for the East Coast,” Evan Myers, AccuWeather's senior meteorologist, said.

As for Hurricane Jose, it is the fifth hurricane of 2017 and, after the storm system Katia's upgrade on Wednesday, one of three active hurricanes in the Atlantic.