The latest storm raging in the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose, may be headed for Florida. The storm has been on a rather wonky path, ping-ponging and looping this way and that due to a lack of pressure to push it in any one direction. Though Jose has slowly weakened to tropical storm status, USA Today reports that Jose is expected to strengthen to a hurricane again by Monday, Sept. 18 -- and it could possibly head in the direction of Florida.
While there's a chance that Irma, the storm that just pounded Florida, could push Jose away from the southeastern state with atmospheric pressure, there's no real way of determining its already unpredictable path. After Irma wreaked havoc in Florida and Harvey ravaged Houston, the southern U.S. is sick of hearing of storms heading their way. Even the suggestion of another storm would be enough to make anyone who just lived through Irma upset.
Predictions on Monday, Sept. 11, had the storm heading toward the Bahamas and Florida, according to the Miami New Times. Another model posted by meteorologist Fred Campagna on Thursday, Sept. 14 shows Jose missing Florida completely, making landfall far north of the beleaguered state -- which has been corroborated by the National Hurricane Center.
Other models show that the storm hasn't moved very much in the past 24 hours.
Still other models show impending destruction in the northeast.
That, of course, is unwelcome news for the northeastern U.S. -- and those models don't necessarily mean Florida is out of the woods yet. According to some meteorologists, that northern landfall model may not be accurate.
AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey told USA Today on Sept. 13, just a day before Campagna's assertion of a northern Atlantic landfall, that he and other meteorologists are not confident in predicting Jose's track. He said,
We are not feeling too confident on where it goes. It's been looping around, and that is when things start to get really tricky.
And so Jose's path isn't the only thing that is ping-ponging. So are all the predictions about when and where it will make landfall, which means Florida must remain on alert for another potential storm. That said, all predictions point to it being a weaker storm -- somewhere between a tropical storm and a category two hurricane, a comparatively gentle system when stacked up next to Irma.
After the devastation of Irma, this is not particularly welcome news. Per the New York Times, Irma's death toll was 56 as of Tuesday, Sept. 12, with 13 of those deaths in Florida. Millions in the state were still without power, and upwards of 94,000 were still in shelters as of the 12th. The cost of clean-up from the storm could break records, with the U.S. looking at approximately $172 billion worth of damage, and the Caribbean looking at billions in damage, as well, as many islands were practically razed to the ground.
Similarly, Hurricane Harvey, which put Houston and the surrounding areas under water, will take years and billions of dollars to clean up, with officials from FEMA calling the historic flooding "a landmark event."
According to Florida Governor Rick Scott, the west coast of Florida may just have to wait until Sept. 22 to get power back to their homes and businesses. He also said there's a lot of work to do, though Floridians of all stripes are heeding the call -- including a chainsaw-wielding nun.
And for what it's worth, many Floridians reportedly rode out the brunt of Irma with sense of humor. That said, a state can only take so much, especially when recovery from Irma is just now beginning.
For the time being, it's very much up-in-the-air (and up to the air) where, exactly, Jose will land. We'll have to wait it out a little longer to see if Florida will have to deal with yet another hurricane.