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Jose could mean strong winds, rain for Long Island, forecasters say

Tropical Storm Jose is pictured in this NOAA

Tropical Storm Jose is pictured in this NOAA image on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Credit: NOAA

As Jose regained hurricane strength Friday evening, chances were also increasing for Long Island to see tropical storm winds next week, along with some possible rain and coastal flooding, forecasters said.

However, “considerable uncertainty” remains with Jose’s track, which ultimately will determine “the intensity of any winds, coastal impacts and rain,” according to the National Weather Service’s Upton office.

Any direct impacts from Jose “are still unknown and uncertain,” said Mike Rizzo, News 12 Long Island meteorologist. For Long Islanders, “the take away is basically to be aware of the coastal impacts, and to be aware that a storm is out there nearly 1,000 miles to the south.” The picture should be becoming more refined by Sunday, he said.

As of Friday, most of the Island had a 10 to 20 percent chance of seeing tropical storm force winds of 39 to 73 mph — make that a 20 to 30 percent chance for the easternmost tip — from early Tuesday to early Wednesday, based on a wind-speed probability graphic from the National Hurricane Center.

One-to-2 inches of rain were possible for the Island, with the heaviest looking to arrive from Monday night to Tuesday night, according to a weather service briefing.

And, with tides already running high thanks to Tuesday’s new moon, there could also be minor to locally moderate coastal flooding for South Shore back bays, with peak impacts increasing Monday through Thursday, the weather service said.

Those calls were made Friday after the hurricane center’s forecast showed Jose, expected again to be classified a tropical storm, passing southeast of Long Island late Tuesday into Wednesday.

A more westerly track shift would mean higher chances for stronger winds, heavier rain and more significant coastal flooding for the Island, said Jay Engle, weather service meteorologist in Upton. A track farther to the east would mean those impacts would be lessened.

Despite the track uncertainty, the weather service said in its forecast discussion, “we are expecting beach hazards in advance of the storm as long period swells increase the risk of rip currents and allow surf to build.”

Starting Sunday the area can expect to see a high risk of rip currents at ocean beaches, with high surf and possible washovers and beach erosion.

Hurricane center advisories and forecast discussions are updated at 5 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., with special bulletins as warranted.

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