Hurricane Jose Spins North, With East Coast Watching Warily

 nytimes.com  9/16/2017 2:05:37 AM   Jacey Fortin
A satellite image on Thursday showed Jose, which was upgraded to a hurricane on Friday, northeast of Cuba and Hispaniola. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The storm Jose reclaimed its hurricane classification as it spun over the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, a day after it had been downgraded to a tropical storm.

People in coastal areas from North Carolina to New England “should monitor the progress of this system,” the National Hurricane Center said in its latest public advisory, adding that parts of North Carolina might be placed on a tropical storm watch on Saturday.

The storm follows on the heels of Hurricanes Harvey, which brought catastrophic flooding to Texas, and Irma, which destroyed communities in the Caribbean and led to flooding and power failures in Florida.

But this hurricane does not appear to pose the same kind of risk. “Jose does not show any signs of the rapid intensification that both Harvey and Irma underwent,” Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the center, said in an email on Friday evening.

Still, he added, people should keep an eye on the forecasts.

“Although the center of Jose is forecast to pass well east of the North Carolina coast early next week, tropical-storm-force winds are expected to extend well west of the center and could approach the North Carolina Outer Banks on Monday,” he said. “Farther north along the U.S. East Coast, the chance of some direct impacts from Jose is increasing, but it is too soon to determine their exact magnitude and location.”

The places where the storm could hit land directly include Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York City and Rhode Island. But there is also a good chance that Jose will never make landfall at all.

People on the East Coast are still being advised to watch out for more powerful waves and currents. The same goes for residents of Bermuda, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

“Starting this weekend and then into next week, the beach conditions will be getting worse,” Melissa Di Spigna, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said in a phone interview on Friday. “The surf conditions could start getting rough and we could have more risk with rip currents.”

As of Friday evening, Hurricane Jose was hundreds of miles east of Florida. It was heading northwest at about 10 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds near 75 m.p.h. It is expected to get stronger through Saturday, though it could weaken again beginning late Sunday.

For the past few days, Jose has been on a loop. After taking a northwesterly route near the Caribbean last week — skirting but not hitting islands like Barbuda and St. Martin, which were devastated by Irma — it doubled back on itself, heading southeast for a few hundred miles.

Jose was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday morning, just as it was resuming its track toward the southeastern coast of the United States.

It is still too early to predict the exact path the storm will take, Ms. Di Spigna said, adding, “Pretty much anyone on the coast needs to be watching the forecast.”

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