Tropical Storm Josephine (previously Tropical Depression Eleven and INVEST 95L) is forecast to track northeast of the Leewards this weekend, with little to no impacts to the Lesser Antilles.
This tropical storm has now broken the Atlantic’s record for the earliest named 10th storm on record, edging out Jose on August 22nd, 2005.
Based on the forecast track, no impacts are anticipated for T&T, though its influence on our winds and associated moisture, as well as the ITCZ will bring showers and thunderstorms to T&T through the weekend.
At 5:00 PM AST, the center of Tropical Storm Josephine was located near latitude 17.8 North, longitude 56.1 West. Josephine is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 MPH (26 KM/H), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days followed by a turn toward the northwest late this weekend or early next week. On the forecast track, the center of Josephine is expected to pass to the northeast of the Leeward Islands over the weekend.
Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 40 MPH (65 KM/H) with higher gusts. Slight strengthening is possible tonight. After that, Josephine is expected to weaken over the weekend as it encounters unfavorable upper-level winds.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 KM) mainly to the north of the center. The estimated minimum central pressure reported by the Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 1004 millibars.
Watches & Warnings
There are no alerts, watches or warnings in effect from the NHC for coastal areas.
Hazards Affecting Land
RAINFALL: Josephine is expected to cause storm-total rainfall of 1 to 3 inches over portions of the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Isolated minor flooding is possible in Puerto Rico through Monday.
This system is of no direct threat to the Windward Islands, including Trinidad and Tobago.
Tropical Storm Josephine Forecast Discussion
An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft reported that the circulation of Josephine was still closed, and that the center was a little farther to the north than previously thought – possibly due to reformation close to a strong convective burst. The aircraft reported a minimum pressure of 1004 mb, and the combination of flight-level and SFMR winds support an initial intensity of 35 kt. Satellite imagery indicates that Josephine is encountering increasing westerly shear, with cirrus clouds west of the storm blowing into the cyclone.
Aside from the nudge to the north, the initial motion is generally west-northwestward or 300/14 kt. There is again no change to the track forecast philosophy. Josephine should continue a west-northwestward motion as it approaches a weakness in the subtropical ridge in 48-60 h. Then, the cyclone should gradually turn northward and move through the weakness in 72-96 h.
Late in the forecast period, Josephine or its remnants are expected to turn north-northeastward along the southern edge of the mid-latitude westerlies. Portions of the forecast track have been adjusted northward based mainly on the initial position, and the new forecast track lies close to the various consensus models.
The increasing shear means that Josephine is just about out of time to intensify. The intensity forecast calls for a little strengthening tonight in case a convective burst causes some spin up. After that, the cyclone should weaken, with the new forecast showing it becoming a depression in 48 h and a remnant low by 96 hr. The global models continue to forecast a faster weakening, and there is still the alternative scenario that Josephine could decay to a tropical wave before 96 h.
- Josephine should pass far enough to the northeast of the Leeward Islands over the weekend to prevent major impacts. However, interests there should continue to monitor its progress until the storm has passed north of that area.
- Locally heavy rainfall is possible in the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico as Josephine passes by to the northeast. Isolated minor flooding is possible in Puerto Rico through Monday.
Forecast Discussion by Forecaster Beven from the NHC.