Tropical Storm Jose was forecast on Friday to strengthen to a hurricane and bring high surf and life-threatening rip currents along parts of the U.S. East Coast.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center estimated the storm to have maximum sustained winds of 70 mph according to an 11 a.m. advisory. A Hurricane Hunter aircraft was deployed to get a more accurate reading of the wind speeds.
“Environmental conditions seem to be conducive for intensification,” NHC wrote in a storm discussion advisory, citing water vapor readings.
Jose was roughly 280 miles across as of 11 a.m. The storm was located 350 miles northeast of the Bahamas and was moving northwest at 9 miles per hour. Jose is expected to strengthen in the next 48 hours.
People on the stretch of coast from North Carolina to New England should monitor the progress of the storm, NHC advised.
The storm is already generating swells that are affecting Bermuda, the Bahamas, the northern coasts of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, and the southeast coast of the United States, the NHC said. The effects are expected to spread north along the Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States over the next few days.
“These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” NHC said in a public advisory.
The storm is expected to turn north sometime this weekend and may intensify as it moves over warm waters.
Although the center of the storm is well east of North Carolina, NHC said, “tropical-storm-force winds are expected to extend well west of the center and could approach the North Carolina Outer Banks on Monday.”
Waves higher than 10 feet will begin to reach the coastline north of Georgia and South Carolina later this weekend, according to Weather.com
“We’re gonna see some pretty high surf all along the East Coast this weekend,” said Domenica Davis, a meteorologist with Weather.com. “So it’s a high wave and a rip current threat right through Saturday, Sunday, and into Monday.”