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WeatherBELL Meteorologist: Carolinas, Virginia, New Jersey 'may have to deal with Maria'

WeatherBELL Meteorologist: Carolinas, Virginia, New Jersey 'may have to deal with Maria' Read Transcript


Hurricane Maria is one of the strongest hurricanes

ever to hit Puerto Rico.

The storm hit the US territory this morning

as a category four hurricane.

Weatherbell Analytics Chief Meteorologist, Joe Bastardi,

joins us now with an update on Maria.

Welcome, Joe.

Well, nice to be here.

Tell us, what is the latest?

Where does this storm stand now?

Well, this is the strongest storm

to hit Puerto Rico that I've ever seen.

And looking at it versus Harvey, was not the strongest storm

to hit where it hit in Texas.

There have been several hurricanes stronger.

In the Florida Keys, hit directly by Irma first,

1935, and Hurricane Donna, back in 1960

were stronger than that.

But this looks like the worst storm I've ever

seen to hit Puerto Rico.

It directly bisected the territory.

Came in from the southeast side, is leaving on the Northwest

side this afternoon.

The future track will be a bit north of Hispaniola.

But I do think that the island Hispaniola will influence

the storm in that it will prevent it

from ramping back up to a four or five

very quickly, because it will draw dry air off that.

The path relative to the Turks and Caicos islands,

which were absolutely devastated by Irma,

it will not be a direct hit on them.

The path will be a bit to the north, which

means they will have hurricane conditions, but not as bad

as what they had with Irma.

After that, well, Jose could save

the day for the United States.

Jose is a tropical storm.

It's weakening off New England.

And if Jose was not there, the big, high pressure system

that's leading to the fine, summer-like weather across much

of the United States, with the exception of New England, that

would get out over the Atlantic and block this thing

and turn it back toward the Northwest.

As it is, residents of the Carolinas and Virginia Beach

on up toward New Jersey, in about a week,

may have to deal with Maria.

And here's how this happens.

Jose, being where Jose is, starts influencing Maria,

and Maria will turn to the north, out over the Atlantic.

Jose will then weaken, and that ridge I'm talking about

could build back overtop of the storm

early next week, overtop of Maria,

and try to send Maria more toward the Northwest,

more toward the Carolinas and Virginia.

This will be a very long, protracted forecast--

protracted forecast problem, and it's one

that we're going to watch very, very closely.

But certainly, it can provide some anxious moments

for people on the eastern seaboard.

Not for Florida.

Florida is out of the woods.

OK.

So kind of break it down for us as far as other populations.

Who is at risk of being hit by Maria?

Well, directly, like I said before, north of Hispaniola

and to the east, and north of the Turkos--

Turks and Caicos, I should say.

And then I expect it to be about 100 miles

or so southeast of Cape Hatteras in about a week.

And then we'll see whether it wants to get on shore or not.

That-- that's a difficult forecast.

These storms, if they try to come in slow,

they generally don't make it all the way to land.

You saw what happened with Jose.

And their cooler water starts decaying the storm,

and the storm is weakening now.

It's when they sit between Hatteras and the Bahamas,

and then all of a sudden get picked up and start

moving very, very quickly, you have to worry about it.

But again, the forecast headache,

it's very interesting, Mark.

And you see this happen in the Pacific all the time.

It's called the Fujiwhara effect,

named after a Japanese scientist back in the--

1921, who noticed that typhoons would dance around each other.

We're seeing a similar effect in the Atlantic.

Hopefully, that dance stays offshore.

OK.

So what is-- what is on the horizon next?

Any more named storms that we need to be concerned about?

Yeah, the pattern-- the pattern this year is something

that, again, I know this sounds pompous.

I don't mean to push the issue.

But the Weatherbell preseason forecast

said this is going to be a big impact year.

The end game may be shaping up in the Western Caribbean

between October 1 and 10, something developing there

and trying to come up toward the southeast part of the United

States.

I think Texas is out of woods as far as the hurricane

season goes.

It's very, very difficult for Texas

to get hit during the month of October.

But as you know, that area in the Western Caribbean,

especially in this kind of pattern, is something to watch.

And it doesn't necessarily have to come all the way

across the Atlantic.

You can get home brew, what we call

home brew, where it just develops in place over there,

given the overall pattern.

And the kind of pattern we're in this year

was conducive for the tropical cyclones you're seeing.

Any advice for people seeing this, Joe,

that might be in the path of Maria or any future storms?

Well, I would not--

I would not take anything seriously until--

if I-- if I-- if you had me on, and I say,

this is going to hit you, I'd take it seriously then.

But for right now, it's a lot of speculation

and a lot of just trying to educate the public as

to what's going on.

So I don't think there's some magic entity

up in the sky that's just bestowed all this upon people.

You could see this season coming as plain

as the nose on my face, and I think

you can all see that nose.

All right.

So are you amazed by the ferocity of Maria?

Absolutely not.

This is what happens in the atmosphere.

When you look at what storms can do,

when you look back at what's happened, I mean,

you look at Hugo, it was a category five,

much quicker than Maria was.

But the rapid feedback intensification

is something that we've all seen before.

The problem we have today, folks,

is the general public is unaware of what happened before.

I can use a 1935 hurricane in the Florida Keys.

Went from a tropical storm to the strongest hurricane

on record in the Western hemisphere

to hit land in the Florida Keys, back in '35.

Did it in 36 hours.

So, no.

The-- when you look at the majesty of the atmosphere,

nothing should surprise you.

Let me ask you this question, Mark, OK?

I'm the journalist now.

MARK: OK.

If-- if two major hurricanes hit New England--

hit New England within 11 days, would that surprise you?

Probably not, to be honest with you.

Yeah.

Well, two major hurricanes hitting up near Providence,

Rhode Island in 11 days?

I mean, have you-- do you know if that's ever happened before?

It's a trick question.

It has happened.

Wow.

And when I look at that, now, you know,

Providence, Rhode Island is not San Juan, Puerto Rico, folks.

Right?

The water temperature up in Providence is 70 degrees.

They don't get a lot of hurricanes up there.

But how about two majors?

Or how about the Carolinas?

Connie and Diane, within seven days of each other.

Or how about 1933, a major hurricane

hitting in South Texas and another one

hitting near Virginia Beach within 23 hours of each other?

So when you look at the majesty of the atmosphere

and this creation we live in, it shouldn't surprise you at all,

as long you know what happened before.

OK.

Joe Bastardi of Weatherbell.

Thanks so much for your time today, sir.

MARK: Thank you for having me.

I appreciate it.

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