Maria Jose Weather Models & The Soap Opera Ahead
Maria Jose Weather Models & The Soap Opera Ahead
Hurricane Maria made its landfall and Jose made its pass at our area just offshore. Now the two will be embroiled in a meteorological soap opera over the next 5 to 7 days that is like to give forecasters quite the headache. To add even more confusion to the situation is the entire upper air pattern which is somewhat backwards from what it usual is. Normally we would have a rather active jet stream nearby moving things along. Instead we have a strong ridge of high pressure in the atmosphere with the jet stream far to the north in Canada and far to the west along the west coast. This is creating a very weak upper flow where tropical systems move very very slowly.
Hurricane Maria is going to emerge off the northwest coast of Puerto Rico soon and it will come out much weaker than it came it but it still might be a major hurricane when it exits. Once the center clears the coastline, upper air conditions are favorable for restrengthening. The core of the hurricane looks deteriorated but does maintain an identity on the satellite. We would expect Maria to restrengthen though it probably won’t get back down to the 906 mb pressure we saw before making landfall this morning in Puerto Rico
Jose is a strong tropical storm despite the fact that it is over relatively cooler water. It is maintaining a rather impressive structure on the satellite loop. It still seems to be moving on a north northeast course but look for Jose to come to a grinding halt very soon and reverse course to the southwest or west over the next few days.
Hurricane track models for Jose all show a tight loop and then a track to the west over the coming days. This will keep the ocean waters churned up along the Mid Altantic and Northeast coasts. We will also probably see clouds thrown back westward and don’t be surprised if coastal areas on Long Island and perhaps even the New Jersey shore see some rain bands approach Thursday night and Friday. Models also forecast Jose to weaken but don’t be surprised if Jose remains tenacious and hangs on longer than forecast by models
Meanwhile Maria is forecast to turn more toward the northwest and north in the coming days heading next for the Turks & Caicos Islands in the Southeast Bahamas. After that it is slow crawl northwest and then northward off the Carolinas by early next week.
What is happening in the upper atmosphere is just one complicated mess. The jet stream is far north of normal in Canada and far south of normal in the west. An upper high is building into the northeast which is creating a northeast flow aloft and that pushes Jose to the southwest. The upper ridge in the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico splits in two thanks to a trough extending south from Jose and this allows Maria to push northward. I hope you can follow this so far.
GFS FORECAST JET STREAM PATTERN SATURDAY MORNING
GFS JET STREAM FORECAST NEXT WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 27
As we move into next week, more changes. Maria is forecast to absorb a weakening Jose which the Global models all show but how fast that happens is in question. That could impact Maria’s track in either direction. The jet stream is moving southward as a short wave trough swings down out of Canada. Here the question is whether that short wave acts as a kicker and punts Maria out to sea after a close pass to the Carolnas, or is it a slower more intense feature that digs southward a bit and draws Maria closer to the coast before it turns to the north northeast or northeast. The GFS clearly says kicker after a close pass to the North Carolina coast and Maria moves out to sea with little impact here except to rough up the already roughed up ocean. The European model and the GFS model agree on everything so far except that the European is slightly to the left (west) of the GFS in its model view for the early part of this forecast period.
EUROPEAN JET STREAM MAP SATURDAY THROUGH NEXT FRIDAY CLICK TO ANIMATE
The European model may make this an even closer call as it digs the next short wave to the west much further south which at least initially allows Maria to pivot back to the northwest closer to the coast as it nears the Carolinas. The jet stream loop above shows how that pivot happens as it is still under a stronger upper high in the east. In the end however the European model does kick Maria out to sea with no impact to our area.
EUROPEAN SURFACE MAP SATURDAY THROUGH NEXT FRIDAY CLICK TO ANIMATE
Needless to say we are early in the game in this soap opera so we will be looking for all the subtle changes that could change this outcome. Let us hope that it goes out to sea so that we don’t have to deal with this and I can get a well deserved break!
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