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At least we can say adios, Jose.
The hurricane trailing Irma that threatened to become another powerful Category 4 storm is likely to weaken to a tropical depression as it completes a rare ‘anticyclonic’ loop east of the Bahamas, National Hurricane Center forecasters said. The storm may rough up the coast of the Carolinas with high surf and rip currents, but no impacts to the Bahamas or the U.S. are expected after the storm turns to the west-northwest over the next day or two.
“Out to five days, there’s no direct threat to the U.S.,” said spokesman Dennis Feltgen.
Jose’s sustained winds Wednesday evening reached 75 mph, barely making it a hurricane. The storm is expected to face higher wind shear over the next three days, likely weakening it to a tropical storm. Over the weekend, Jose threatened to deliver a second punishing blow to St. Martin after Irma pounded the islands with sustained winds reaching 130 mph. Instead, Jose stayed to the east, rolled well offshore the Bahamas, and began making a loop on Monday.
Jose was very close to finishing its loop Wednesday as it drifted slowly to the south. It’s expected to begin turning to the west-northwest over the next day, then slide through a break in a tropical ridge and head to the north-northeast.
After Irma’s coast-to-coast pounding in Florida, that’s good news. What’s also good news? The west coast of Africa where hurricanes are born — Jose formed just six days after Irma — looks to be quiet for the time-being. But that may not last.
Irma arrived on the morning of the statistical peak of the hurricane season Sept. 10. But the back half of the season tends to be busier as conditions for storms become more ripe.
“Especially into October,” Feltgen said. “Remember Wilma was an October hurricane [in 2005], so we don’t want anyone to let their guard down just yet.”