Jose drive-by prompts flood advisory at shore; surf ripping

The Jersey Shore is bracing for beach-eroding pounding surf and high winds as Hurricane Jose crawls north in the Atlantic.

While Jose is expected to track well east of the coast, it still could conspire with the new moon to incite moderate oceanfront back-bay flooding with Tuesday night’s high tides, between 7:30 and 9 p.m.,  according to the National Weather Service.

A flood advisory is in effect from 6 p.m. Monday until 5 a.m. Wednesday, and although the tropical-storm watch has been dropped, the weather at the beach towns will be doing a decent imitation of one.

Strong, sustained onshore winds of 20 to 30 mph with tropical-storm force gusts reaching 40 mph are expected to cause significant beach erosion.

In its Tuesday Morning advisory, the National Hurricane Center said, “On the forecast track, the center of Jose is forecast to pass well offshore of the Delmarva peninsula later today, pass well to the east of the New Jersey coast on Wednesday, and pass offshore of southeastern Massachusetts by Thursday.”

On the plus side, computer guidance has shifted the axis of heaviest rain to the east, away from the Shore. But the lunar cycle favors higher tides, thus the elevated threat of flooding.

Early Tuesday morning, Jose was about 285 miles south-southeast of Atlantic City as a minimal hurricane with top winds at 75 mph, one mile per hour above the minimum. It was moving north at about 9 mph, and the National Hurricane Center forecast it to track north and then jog northeast.

One local impact already has been dangerously evident.

The weather service continued to warn of possible “life-threatening” rip currents, and officials say they are as bad as they’ve seen in recent years, the Atlantic City Press reported.

So far, this has been a particularly deadly year for rip currents, with reported deaths exceeding those of previous years.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Maria, a dangerous “major” hurricane with peak winds of 130 mph, threatened some of the same Caribbean regions devastated by Irma.

The National Hurricane Center posted hurricane warnings for Puerto Rico, and the island towns Culebra and Vieques.