STORMING

Hurricane watch: Jose is moving up the East Coast, Norma threatens, Max moves in on Mexico

This post was been updated Sept. 15 at 5:30,pm.

Hurricane season isn’t quite over for the US or Mexico.

With Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and other parts of the American southeast still in the midst of recovery from Harvey and Irma, two more storms are brewing as threats to North America.

Hurricane Jose

Jose is a hurricane again. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded the storm to category 1 on Friday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.

The last update pegged Jose about 350 miles northeast of the Bahamas, near the Bermuda triangle, with sustained winds of 70 mph.

Satellite images show Jose still has heavy thunderstorm activity, and its wind speeds have held steady, meaning it’s likely to keep up its strength into the weekend.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect. But US residents from North Carolina to New England should keep an eye out, as the NHC expects to issue a tropical storm watch for the coast of North Carolina on Saturday.

After completing its clockwise loop in the Atlantic basin, Jose is moving northwest around 10 mph and will continue in that direction through Friday, followed by a turn north-northwest late Saturday, and north on Sunday.

The NHC has included parts of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire in its cone of uncertainty, a predicted storm path over a five-day period that represents an average track error over the past five years.

Most of the forecast models, including the American GFS and European ECMWF, still keep Jose in the ocean and don’t forecast its core will hit land. The NHC expects the storm to strengthen though Saturday, and possibly start weakening late Sunday.

However, residents in the Northeast will at least experience strong winds and heavy rain. Swells generated by Jose are affecting Bermuda, the Bahamas, the southeast coast of the US, and will spread northward over the next few days, likely causing life-threatening surf and rip-currents.

After passing over its own cold wake, Jose will be over very warm waters that extend all the way to the coast of North Carolina. Warm waters help hurricanes grow and keep up their strength, so conditions will be ideal for Jose to intensify. Water temperatures on the 400 miles of coast from New Jersey to Maine are generally cooler than 79°F, which will make it difficult for Jose to maintain hurricane strength as it moves north.

Hurricane Max and Tropical Storm Norma

The southern coasts of Mexico have been especially hard hit by disaster. After being struck with an 8.1 magnitude earthquake, which killed at least 61 people, the region, one of the country’s poorest, was struck by Hurricane Katia, which made landfall as a category 1, killing at least two people. According to Mexican president Peña Nieto, one in three homes in areas affected by the natural disasters is now uninhabitable.

Last night, Hurricane Max hit Mexico’s southern Pacific coast as a category 1 storm east of Acapulco before rapidly weakening into a tropical storm as it moved inland.

Max quickly turned from a tropical storm to a tropical depression, and dissipated over Mexico’s southern mountains in the early hours of Friday morning.

Acapulco experienced strong winds and rain Thursday night. Mexican officials say one person is missing and 200 homes were damaged by Hurricane Max.

Now Norma looms.

The tropical storm formed in the Eastern Pacific on the northern coast of Mexico yesterday, and now the NHC forecasts it will become a hurricane in the next few hours.

On Friday afternoon, the storm was about 275 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, with maximum winds of 70 mph, slightly stronger than earlier today.

Norma is moving north-northwest at around 2 mph (slower than the walking pace of the average human). There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, though people in Baja, California should monitor its progress. A hurricane or tropical storm watch could be issued later today for portions of the peninsula.

On the forecast track, Norma is expected to make landfall near Puerto San Carlo Tuesday morning, though the storm could start impacting Cabo San Lucas by Sunday or Monday; the city was already hit earlier this month by Tropical Storm Lidia, which caused at least five deaths.

Track Hurricane Jose and Norma

You can track the progress of the storms brewing around North America with this helpful tool from WNYC by selecting the storm name in the top left.

home our picks popular latest obsessions search