With Florida preparing for the current threat of Hurricane Irma, there's a new storm brewing in the Atlantic Ocean that might pack a similar, severe punch. Hurricane Jose is following right on the heels of Irma, and "he" is making everyone a little nervous. Many are wondering whether Hurricane Jose will hit Florida, the way Hurricane Irma is projected to. And if it doesn’t, where is its projected path?
Hurricane Jose is a Category 3 storm, with winds of 125 mph — which is only 5 mph under the minimum for a Category 4 storm, according to The Orlando Sentinel. It is forecast to strengthen Friday and then close in on the Caribbean on Saturday. As a result, a hurricane watch is currently in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Maarten, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy, according to the Sentinel.
But is it going to hit the state of Florida in any capacity? Apparently, Hurricane Jose is forecast to steer north, which may mean it misses the state altogether. The Daily Express reported that the hurricane is projected to move northwestward, then northward and back into the Atlantic. But hurricanes can be unpredictable, like most intense weather events. So no one is 100 percent sure of what Jose will do next.
Hurricane Jose's path is not currently projected to be as destructive as Hurricane Irma's, according to Business Insider. But that doesn't mean it isn't a serious storm that could cause a whole lot of damage to some areas that are still dealing with destruction in the wake of Irma.
One place that was absolutely devastated by Hurricane Irma is the tiny island of Barbuda. The island is just 62 square miles, and the hurricane left around 60 percent of Barbuda's nearly 2,000 residents homeless, according to The Washington Post. Irma destroyed or damaged 95 percent of property on the island, and the people of Barbuda may not be out of the woods yet — because while Hurricane Jose may miss Florida, it sounds like it might head for the already struggling island. Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said of the destruction, according to The Washington Post:
Barbuda right now is literally a rubble.
There is a voluntary evacuation in effect for residents of Barbuda to flee to nearby Antigua, according to The Antigua Daily Observer. But The Daily Express reported that the evacuation is actually mandatory. So clearly, there's some confusion over how bad this storm will be for the region and where exactly it will make landfall.
Jose won't make the same "land impact" as Irma, according to Quartz Media. It is not currently expected to hit Florida, and it should make its way north of the coast of Puerto Rico on Sunday before it goes back into the ocean.
So for now, Floridians can concentrate on preparing for Irma. Unfortunately, other islands and countries aren't so lucky, and it sounds like other areas will have to make it through yet another severe storm while still cleaning up from a previous hurricane. Here's hoping that after Hurricane Jose hits, Florida, the Caribbean, and other affected areas can take a breather.