Hurricane Jose is headed for the East Coast and could encounter New York and other northeastern cities within a week, according to a report from National Hurricane Center (NHC).
Jose, which started out in the warm waters of the Atlantic before meandering to the North, strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane late Friday night as it plowed through the Atlantic Ocean. It was at one time following the same route as Hurricane Irma, which pounded parts of Florida earlier this month.
The hurricane’s path could place the storm near New York by Wednesday morning, NHC’s report notes. Forecasters say Jose could weaken to a tropical storm again by then. Hurricanes generally need warm waters to maintain their structure.
High winds and choppy waters from Jose could disrupt vessels channeling crude oil and other refined products along the Atlantic, “particularly those making deliveries to New York Harbor,” Shunondo Basu, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance meteorologist and natural gas analyst in New York, told reporters Friday shortly after NHC’s report.
Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have caused widespread damage and all but destroyed several areas inside the Caribbean islands. Harvey, meanwhile, swept into the Gulf of Mexico in August and dumped more than 50 inches of rain on southeast Texas.
Harvey was especially damaging to the U.S. It caused Exxon and other oil producers in early September to cap nearly 22 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, which accounts for about 378,000 barrels per day. Shell was forced to shut down a refinery that supplies more than 340,000 barrels of oil per day.
Petrobras made a similar admission on the same day Exxon and Shell made their announcements. The company shut down its Pasadena, Texas, refinery due to “severe weather,” according to Dow Jones. The refinery is responsible for churning out 100,000 barrels of oil a day.
Jose might not have the same impact as its brothers and sisters. Some forecasters believe the storm will avoid any major impact to the U.S. The hurricane center expects Jose to pass within 200 miles of New York. The center’s margin of error for a storm five-days out is about 225 miles.
There’s about a 20 percent chance Jose could pummel New York City with tropical storm-force winds during the early parts of Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground. If it stays course, Masters added, the country could see enormous waves “pounding the coasts” until Wednesday.
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