Category Archives: Uncategorized

Super Hurricane Maria – straight for St. Croix, Puerto Rico

Maria is on a straight shot for Puerto Rico on Wednesday, with the Virgin Island of St. Croix in its way Tuesday night.   Peak winds of 160 mph may decrease by 20 to 40 mph as the eyewall of the hurricane rebuilds (“eyewall replacement cycle”) as the storm continues to mature.  The center core of Hurricane-force winds sustained over 74mph is ‘only’ 60 miles wide, but that’s wider than the island of Puerto Rico.  In any case, this is likely to be a direct hit of a powerful storm with one to two feet of rain, 6 to 9 feet of storm surge.  Tropical storm force winds are likely to affect the other Virgin Islands that already took the direct hit from Irma.


Jose waning but still strong and not leaving yet. Maria becomes a major hurricane.

Jose to affect southern New England and eastern Long Island and should be watched by everyone in the coastal mid-Atlantic States and coastal New England.   Other parts of coastal NJ, NY, CT and even further south will get showers and a noticeable increase of winds Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Read more about Maria, after Jose’s story. . .

Jose is over the Gulf Stream now, sustained by its warm waters, but stronger winds aloft are separating each vertical layer of Jose so it looks like a tilted set of disks.  The storm is slowly drifting northward and will look even less like a tropical storm when it moves over water not warm enough to sustain ‘tropicalness’.   But it will still have heavy rain and strong winds.  Take heed of the note from the National Hurricane Center in the 11am Monday forecast discussion:

Jose will produce heavy rain as it passes near southern New
England and the mid-Atlantic on Tuesday and Wednesday. Total
accumulations of 3 to 5 inches are expected over eastern Long
Island, southeast Connecticut, southern Rhode Island, and southeast
Massachusetts, including Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. While the
risk of flooding is currently limited in scope, any deviation to the
left of the forecast track, could bring heavier and more widespread
rainfall to southern New England, Long Island, New York City, and
New Jersey. If this deviation were to occur, the risk of urban
flash flooding and some river flooding would increase.

Maria has reached major hurricane status. Hurricane warnings and watches are in effect for Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, where Maria is likely to strike, and hit hard.  The only mitigating factor is that Maria has a relatively small area of hurricane force winds.  But these areas are in the path for these tremendous winds.

Stay tuned.

More Jose?

Jose should stay off the NJ/NY/CT coast, but we may feel its wind and rain on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Coastal areas will have beach erosion and possible flooding.

Computer weather forecast models have consistently kept Jose’s center from landing on the coast, but a small tendency further west or a slightly later turn can make a difference in local effects.


Now, looking way ahead, after the turn, the models were whisking Jose away across the Atlantic.  Now, some models are looping Jose into another spin around the western Atlantic Ocean.  This could mean interactions with Maria, the next hurricane, now about to affect islands in the Caribbean.  See Capitol Weather Gang for some advance thoughts on this.

In the meantime, watch Jose.  As some said ‘it ain’t over until it’s over’. Jose seems to want to have a second and third act.








Warily Watching Jose

Warily watching tropical system Jose

The model results have Jose making a sharp turn to the right.  Sandy turned sharply left as predicted.  Irma turned sharply right as predicted.  Jose?  We’ll see – stay tuned!

Here’s something I hadn’t thought of (since I’m not a tropical specialist), from the National Hurricane Center:

It should be noted, however, that despite the expected
weakening [as Jose crosses into less shear, but cooler waters], the models suggest that Jose’s outer wind field will expand, which is typical for tropical cyclones that move into the mid-latitudes.


The NWS has put a chance of tropical storm conditions Tuesday evening into Wednesday in case Jose tends a bit westward of its forecasted track or the windfield expands.   We’ll at least get breezy then, and Cape Cod and Eastern Long Island may get more than that.  High surf advisories are already in effect along the eastern coast of the US.

Otherwise, the general muckiness of our air in the weak high pressure over the inland portions of the eastern United States will remain with us.  You might see a shower here and there (when you least want it 🙂 .

Tropical System Jose UPdate

Here’s a link to the model predictions for Tropical System Jose:  <link>

The model variations are converging on a sharp right turn before hitting New England.  That still could easily mean the outer bands on eastern Long Island and Cape Cod.

Keep an eye on the NHC predictions !

The House of Representatives Votes to Delay Protection from Ozone Air Pollution

The House of Representatives Votes to Delay Protection from Ozone Air Pollution

In House Resolution HR 3354, the House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill reducing EPA’s budget by $500 million dollars. But that’s not all.  

The bill has lots of little restrictions it puts on EPA.  They change the Clean Air Act, without looking like they are changing it.

Here’s one: in Section 432 of the act “To implement the national ambient air quality standards for ozone”.

Ha! Implement? It’s not even a truthful statement. It delays implementation.

It pushes back even telling the people what their air quality is under the latest ozone standard until the next decade – 2024.  How many children will have asthma attacks, how many people will cough and wheeze due to concentrations of ozone that some in Congress don’t want EPA to take action on?   Not to act on for seven years.  How many soccer matches, baseball games, track meets will our kids and grandkids miss?

Tell your Senator this is not acceptable.  They still have to vote for this before it becomes a law.  And while you are at it, ask EPA’s Administrator where President Trump’s Administration stands on this.

Here’s the text of section 432, from <link>

Sec. 432. To implement the national ambient air quality standards for ozone published in the Federal Register on October 26, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 65292):

(1) the Governor of each State shall designate areas of the State as attainment, nonattainment, or unclassifiable with respect to the standards not later than October 26, 2024;

(2) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall promulgate final designations for all areas in all States with respect to the standards not later than October 26, 2025;

(3) each State shall submit the plan required by section 110(a)(1) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7410(a)(1)) for the standards not later than October 26, 2026;

(4) the standards shall not apply to the review and disposition of a preconstruction permit application required under part C or D of title I of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7470 et seq.) if the Administrator or the State, local or tribal permitting authority, as applicable, has determined the application to be complete prior to the date of promulgation of final designations, or has published a public notice of a preliminary determination or draft permit before the date that is 60 days after the date of promulgation of final designations; and

(5) the provisions of subsections (1) through (4) above shall apply notwithstanding the deadlines set forth in Section 107(d) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7407(d)) and Section 110(a)(1) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7410(a)(1)).



Keep an eye on Jose

Tropical system Jose is well off the southeastern coast of the United States, but it won’t stay there.  Tuesday or Wednesday, the eastern United States may get a visit or two from Jose.  Computer forecast model outputs for Jose’s travels are tightly packed, consistent and curving offshore once the jet stream picks it up, brushing the North Carolina Outer Banks and Cape Cod on the way, as seen here:


But.  The ensemble of model results, which they get by tweaking the model’s inputs slightly to see a range of possibilities, shows two kinds of tracks – getting caught in the jet stream or taking a left exit before the airborne superhighway to the North Atlantic, as shown here (thanks Wunderground!):at201712_ensmodel

So. as it true of any tropical system, stay posted with the National Hurricane Center predictions.

And, yes, there is a developing tropical wave that may affect the already devastated islands of the Lesser Antilles by Monday.

Stay tuned.