December 15, 2019
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Jose could bring strong seas to coastal Maine

Hurricane Jose is shown in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of the United States in this September 17, 2017 NASA handout satellite photo.

A hurricane headed up the East Coast could cause high surf and minor flooding once it hits Maine late Tuesday, officials warned.

Jose is expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm and to curl eastward away from the East Coast later this week, but it could damage property along the shore, according to the National Weather Service.

NWS forecasters issued high surf and small craft advisories through Tuesday evening for the entire coasts of Maine and New Hampshire and advised mariners to monitor the latest forecasts on Jose from the National Hurricane Center.

“Conditions may become hazardous by Tuesday evening and continuing through Wednesday with increasing north to northeasterly winds and long period swells as tropical storm conditions are possible,” NWS forecasters said. “Mariners should also check moorings in the event Jose comes close enough to create rough conditions along the outer coastal waters and harbors.”

The storm is expected to generate high surf, sneaker waves and rip currents along the shore, Acadia National Park officials on Monday warned. Minor splash-over flooding and erosion are the primary threats at “vulnerable,” low-lying places in the park, they said.

In southern New England, a tropical storm warning has been issued for Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and parts of mainland southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as well for coastal waters. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Long Island in New York and for the coasts of Connecticut, New Jersey and southern Delaware.

As of Monday afternoon, Jose was approximately 265 miles east of North Carolina and less than 500 miles south of Nantucket, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, according to the National Weather Service. The storm is predicted to turn to the east on Wednesday, drifting away from Cape Cod, and then to turn back south and slightly to the west on Friday and Saturday.

The Coast Guard said in a statement that Jose could pose life-threatening conditions to mariners by bringing 39-to-72 mph winds and 20-to-30 foot seas to southern New England.

On its Facebook page, the nonprofit group Friends of Acadia said large swells could reach the coast by Tuesday, with the biggest waves expected on Wednesday. Minor coastal flooding is possible as large swells and above-average high tides coincide over the next couple of days.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, high tide is expected to occur along the coast around midday — roughly between 10:30 and noon, depending on the location — and again from around 11 p.m. until midnight or so, according to

In August 2009, a large wave generated by Hurricane Bill as it blew past Maine far offshore crashed over tourists watching the surf along Ocean Drive in Acadia National Park, dragging several of them into the water. Two people had to be rescued by the Coast Guard and a 7-year-old girl from New York drowned.

While Jose veers to the northeast, another tropical cyclone is predicted to approach the East Coast from the Caribbean. Hurricane Maria, which has sustained winds near 125 mph, is expected to strengthen over the next several days as it moves northwest across the Leeward Islands toward the Bahamas.


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