Having spun erratically in the open Atlantic since it was knighted as the 10th named tropical storm of the season 10 days ago, Jose has now gained a sense of direction and could become a threat to the Jersey Shore and coastal areas from North Carolina to New England by the middle of this week.
Tropical storm winds and at least some coastal flooding are possible at the Shore, starting with the high-tide cycle Monday and continuing into Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. Jose is forecast to track along the Mid-Atlantic either on Tuesday or Wednesday, possibly at minimal hurricane strength with winds near 75 mph, the National Hurricane Center said Friday.
Even absent Jose's influence, minor flooding is possible along the Jersey coast because of the lunar cycle, said Mike Silva, a meteorologist with the weather service in Mount Holly.
"The concern obviously is the track of Jose," he said. "The other issue that next Wednesday, we have a new moon."
With the influence of Jose, "now we are talking about the potential for perhaps moderate flooding," he added.
Jose is certain to keep agitating the surf, plunging waters for hundreds of miles.
The storm-incited waves "will spread northward," the hurricane center said in its late-day update, "reaching the Mid-Atlantic coast and the coast of southern New England during the next few days. These swells are likely to cause dangerous surf and rip current conditions."
It is way too early to venture precisely what the impacts might be, however.
One thing is certain: After a record 12-year lull in major hurricanes making landfall, this is going to be the most expensive hurricane year since 2005, the year of Katrina. In fact, 2017 might even rival 2005.
On Friday, AIR Worldwide, the catastrophe-modeling service, estimated that Irma had caused up to $50 billion in insured losses to properties in the Caribbean and the United States.