Tropical Storm Josephine Moving North of the Leewards

Tropical Storm Josephine (previously Tropical Depression Eleven and INVEST 95L) is now moving north of the Leewards, with little to no impacts to the Lesser Antilles.

This tropical storm has 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 20.0 North, longitude 61.6 West. Josephine is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 MPH (28 KM/H), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next day or two, followed by a turn toward the northwest and north early next week. On the forecast track, the center of Josephine is expected to pass to the northeast and north of the Leeward Islands today through tonight.

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 MPH (75 KM/H) with higher gusts. Josephine is now in an area of unfavorable upper-level winds, and weakening is expected during the next couple of days. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 KM) to the north of the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1008 millibars.

Tropical Storm Josephine Forecast Track as of 5:00 PM AST Saturday 15th August 2020. (National Hurricane Center)
Tropical Storm Josephine Forecast Track as of 5:00 PM AST Saturday 15th August 2020. (National Hurricane Center)

Watches & Warnings

Tropical Storm Josephine Watches and Warnings as of 5:00 PM AST Saturday 15th August 2020. (National Hurricane Center)
Tropical Storm Josephine Watches and Warnings as of 5:00 PM AST Saturday 15th August 2020. (National Hurricane Center)

There are no alerts, watches or warnings in effect from the NHC for coastal areas.

Hazards Affecting Land

Tropical Storm Josephine probabilities for tropical-storm-force winds as of 5:00 PM AST Saturday 15th August 2020, as well as the most likely time of arrival of tropical-storm-force winds. (National Hurricane Center)
Tropical Storm Josephine probabilities for tropical-storm-force winds as of 5:00 PM AST Saturday 15th August 2020, as well as the most likely time of arrival of tropical-storm-force winds. (National Hurricane Center)

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

Tropical Storm Josephine, well east to northeast of T&T and the Windward Islands (Weathernerds)
Tropical Storm Josephine, well east to northeast of T&T and the Windward Islands (Weathernerds)

Josephine continues to feel the effects of westerly shear, and the low cloud swirl denoting the center is partly exposed at the western edge of the convection. Satellite intensity estimates have not changed significantly since the earlier recon flight, so the initial intensity remains 40 kt. Animation of satellite imagery suggests that the low-level circulation is at best barely closed, but there is insufficient evidence right now to justify a downgrade to a tropical wave. Another aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system near 0000Z.

The initial motion is west-northwestward or 295/15 kt. It sounds like a broken record, but there is little change to either the forecast guidance or the forecast track since the last advisory. For the next 36-48 h, Josephine or its remnants are likely to continue to move west-northwestward on the southwest side of the subtropical ridge. After that, the system is forecast to recurve to the north and north-northeast through a break in the western portion of the ridge. As before, the new NHC forecast lies near the center of the tightly-clustered guidance and near the various consensus
models.

Josephine is expected to remain in an environment of moderate to strong westerly shear for at least the next 48-60 h which should cause the system to weaken. The intensity forecast, which assumes some sort of closed circulation will last for 5 days, now calls for the system to weaken to a depression between 24-36 h and become a remnant low by 60 h. An alternative scenario is that the system degenerates to a tropical wave, which could occur at almost any time given the state of the circulation. There is a chance that Josephine or its remnants could encounter a less hostile environment after 72 h. However, it remains unclear at this time whether there will be enough left of the system to take advantage of those
favorable conditions.

KEY MESSAGES:

  1. Josephine is passing far enough to the northeast of the Leeward Islands to prevent major impacts. However, interests there should continue to monitor its progress until the storm has passed north of that area.
  2. 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.

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