As major Hurricane Irma moves closer to the United States, newly-formed Tropical Storm Jose will churn across the central Atlantic while Tropical Storm Katia strengthens in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico this week.
Tropical Storm Jose, which formed on Tuesday morning, is located thousands of miles southeast of the Lesser Antilles.
Tropical Depression 13 formed Tuesday afternoon in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and strengthened into Tropical Storm Katia on Wednesday morning. It will continue to bring enhanced rainfall to eastern Mexico over the next few days.
Will Jose strike the Leeward Islands days after Irma?
Tropical Storm Jose will remain in an environment favorable for intensification with dry air and very little wind shear, or change in wind speed or direction with altitude.
There is the potential for Jose to become a hurricane as it tracks to the west-northwest this week.
This projected path would take it near or just north of the Leeward Islands late this week and into the weekend, less than a week after major Hurricane Irma batters the area.
“The northern Leeward Islands are at risk of contending with enhanced showers and tropical-storm-force conditions this weekend, which could hinder Irma recovery efforts,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller said.
“At the very least, rough surf will be stirred once again,” he added.
Beyond the Leeward Islands, Jose will likely get caught up in a lack of steering flow, causing it to meander in the open Atlantic early next week and posing mainly a concern to shipping interests.
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Tropical Storm Katia to trigger enhanced rainfall, local flooding in eastern Mexico
Tropical Storm Katia could strengthen further as it stews in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.
The system may wobble to the north, east and south this week, but it will move very little overall.
A large area of dry, sinking air over Texas and Louisiana will keep Katia from creeping northward into Harvey disaster areas
“The system will likely end up moving inland over the northern coast of southeastern Mexico sometime late this week or this weekend,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.
Disruptive winds are forecast to stay north of the system, allowing it to strengthen slowly and feed off of the very warm water over the Bay of Campeche.
Regardless of further strengthening of the system, eastern Mexico will face enhanced rainfall and the threat for localized flooding, according to Miller. Mudslides can occur in the mountainous terrain.
Southern portions of the state of Tamaulipas and eastern portions of Veracruz will lie within the zone of increased downpours.
Rough surf will also batter the coast and lead to increased rip currents.