Jose Not As Powerful As Originally Forecast, Wind and Flooding Still A Concern

Sep 19, 2017

Forecasters predict Hurricane Jose will slowly weaken to a tropical storm as it moves up the coast, although Southeastern New England is still not in the clear.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Lenore Correia said Jose will bring nor’easter-like conditions with strong wind gusts and heavy rainfall affecting mostly the Cape and islands.

According to Correia, Block Island can expect wind gusts nearing 50 mph and up to 1.5 inches of heavy rain. But the rest of Rhode Island will see less rain than originally forecast.

“It’s not going to make landfall, it’s going to stay further away from New England than we were expecting,” Correia said. “It means there’ll be less rainfall—probably closer to an inch-- especially for the state of Rhode Island.”

Wave heights, however, will remain high because of Jose, and rip currents are still a concern across the region, Correia said. Around Block Island waves are expected to reach about 13 feet.

Jose could bring flooding to some coastal communities and erode beaches in southern Rhode Island.

The state’s Coastal Resources Management Council says the main concern is ocean-facing portions of the coastline from Westerly to Point Judith. The area could experience beach erosion and storm surge flooding because of bigger waves and high water levels. The council says as long as the storm stays offshore, beach erosion should be minor.

Officials said communities with low-lying areas near Narragansett Bay could also be at risk of flooding during high tide Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. They expect there will be no need for evacuations and flooding will likely recede after high tide.