Overshadowed by Irma, Hurricane Jose has the Atlantic basin, at least temporarily, all to itself. In doing so, it continues to remain a threat, though hopefully that threat will not be realised to any great extent.
Jose formed after Irma had already begun to wreak havoc in the Caribbean, but it, too, reached hurricane status on September 6.
By September 9, Jose had intensified into a Category 4 hurricane, on the five point Saffir-Simpson scale, setting a record for the first time that two hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 250km per hour (km/h) had been recorded in the Atlantic basin.
After Barbuda was devastated by Irma, the island was evacuated ahead of Jose’s arrival.
Despite maintaining its Category 4 status, Jose remained just far enough to the north of the Leeward Islands, not to have a major impact.
Now lying around 765km southeast of the southeastern Bahamas, and 800km to the south of Bermuda, Jose could persist for the best part of a week.
Fortunately there is little wind in the upper atmosphere to steer Jose in any particular direction. Indeed winds through the atmosphere are light.
This lack of wind shear is expected to keep Jose going in the coming days.
After Jose passes over its own cold wake in the ocean it will be able to take advantage of the main cause of these intense hurricanes [along with Hurricane Harvey], namely very warm waters in the western Atlantic.
The sea surface temperatures here are around 29.5C, well above the 26.5C threshold usually required to support hurricane development.
The situation in the Atlantic is now much quieter. There are two disturbances, clusters of thunderstorms, but both stand no more than a 10 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies