Hurricane Jerry Becomes the 4th Hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season

As of 11:00 AM Thursday AST, the National Hurricane Center continues to issue advisories on now Hurricane Jerry, 785 kilometers east of the Leeward Islands.

The center of Hurricane Jerry was located near latitude 16.8 North, longitude 54.4 West. Jerry is moving toward the west-northwest near 26 KM/H. A west-northwest motion at a similar forward speed is expected over the next few days. On the forecast track, the center of Jerry will be near or north of the northern Leeward Islands Friday, pass north of Puerto Rico on Saturday and east of the southeastern Bahamas on Sunday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 KM/H with higher gusts. Jerry is forecast to strengthen during the next day before some weakening begins this weekend.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 20 kilometers from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 75 kilometers. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft recently reported a minimum central pressure of 988 millibars.

Hurricane Jerry Forecast Cone as of 11:00 AM Thursday 19th September 2019. Credit: National Hurricane Center
Hurricane Jerry Forecast Cone as of 11:00 AM Thursday 19th September 2019. Credit: National Hurricane Center

Watches & Warnings

Hurricane Jerry Watches and Warnings as of 11:00 AM Thursday 19th September 2019. Credit: National Hurricane Center

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Barbuda
  • Anguilla
  • St. Maarten
  • St. Martin
  • St. Barthelemy
  • Saba and St. Eustatius

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Interests elsewhere in the northern Leeward Islands should monitor the progress of Jerry. Additional watches could be issued later today.

Hazards Affecting Land

Hurricane Jerry East of the Leeward Islands. Credit: Weathernerds
Hurricane Jerry East of the Leeward Islands. Credit: Weathernerds

Wind: Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch areas by early Friday.

Rainfall: Jerry is expected to produce 1 to 3 inches of rainfall, with isolated maximum totals of 4 to 6 inches from Barbuda northwest across St. Marteen/Anguilla into Anegada. Jerry is forecast to produce total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 2 inches with maximum amounts of 3 inches across the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

These rainfall totals may produce flash floods.

Seas: Swells generated by Jerry are forecast to begin to affect portions of the northern Leeward Islands this afternoon. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.

This system is of no threat to the Windward Islands, including Trinidad and Tobago.

Tropical Storm Jerry Discussion

Satellite images indicate that the center of Jerry is on the northwestern side of the central dense overcast near a very deep convective burst. An Air Force recon plane just flew through the center and found a central pressure of 988 mb and SFMR values near 65 kt. These data support making Jerry the 4th hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season with initial wind speed of 65 kt.

Jerry has the potential to further strengthen today, but an increase in northwesterly shear related to an upper-level ridge is anticipated overnight. This change in shear will likely arrest the development of Jerry and start a slow weakening trend sometime tomorrow. In 3 or 4 days, Jerry could enter a more conducive environment for strengthening, but there is a pretty large spread in the shear forecast near the cyclone at this time, related to the positioning of Jerry relative to the ridge. Since the environmental uncertainty at long range is so high, little change has been made to the previous forecast.

The initial motion is estimated to be west-northwestward, or 295/14 kt. The track forecast has remained rather consistent during the past several cycles, taking Jerry just north of the Leeward Islands during the first couple of days due to seemingly reliable steering flow from the subtropical ridge to the north. The track is a little trickier beyond that time due to some dependence on the strength of Jerry, with a stronger system likely moving a
bit longer toward the west-northwest, similar to the latest ECMWF/HWRF forecast. Regardless, the cyclone should eventually turn northward and northeastward by day 5 due to a substantial break in the subtropical ridge. The track forecast puts slightly greater weight on those stronger solutions, and the official track forecast is a little left of the various consensus aids and not too far from the last NHC prediction.

Key Messages:

  1. Although the core of Jerry is expected to pass north of northern Leeward Islands, tropical-storm-force winds and locally heavy rainfall are possible, and tropical storm watches are in effect.

Forecast Discussion by Forecaster Blake from the NHC.

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