The Lowcountry's next big question: 'What about Hurricane Jose?'

Computer models project Hurricane Jose will spin back torward the North Atlantic. (Source: Live 5)
Computer models project Hurricane Jose will spin back torward the North Atlantic. (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The last thing some Lowcountry residents want to think about after Hurricane Irma battered South Carolina Monday is the next storm.

"We hope we don't see Jose," S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster said of the hurricane at a Tuesday morning news conference focused on Irma's aftermath.

But Hurricane Jose is in the Atlantic near the same spot Irma was when computer models were pointing it directly at the South Carolina coast, leading many to worry about whether another tropical punch is coming.

On Tuesday, the hurricane had weakened as it turned eastward.

As of the latest update, Jose's center was located near latitude 25.5 North and longitude 65.6 West, about 510 miles east-northeast of the Southeastes Bahamas and about 470 miles south of Bermuda. The storm was moving southeast at about 7 mph.

Maximum sustained winds held steady to near 75 miles per hour, making it a weak Category 1. (According to the Saffir-Simpson Scale a storm does not become a hurricane until maximum sustained winds reach 74 miles per hour.)

The forecast track of Jose shows it making a spiral path in the general direction of the southeastern United States.

"There's no high-pressure system in the Atlantic at the moment like the one that pushed Irma toward the Bahamas," Live 5 Meteorologist Stephanie Sine said.

But as the storm heads west toward the weekend, things will change.

By Monday, a ridge of high pressure will ride along the east coast.

"That's good for us," Sine said. "It will push the storm away from us."

Computer models, commonly known as the "spaghetti models," have the storm turning to the northeast late this week or in the weekend and then spinning towards the North Atlantic.

Sine said a high surf and an increased risk of rip currents this weekend are likely impacts of Jose.

"It could make water along the shore more choppy," Sine said.

But the European computer model, the one that was most accurate tracking Irma as it moved closer to landfall, shows a turn back towards the Atlantic beginning sometime Saturday.

Even the GFS, which initially showed Irma headed towards a South Carolina landfall, agrees with the European model about Jose, she said.

"It has the potential to completely miss the east coast," she said.

Of course, forecast models can change; Irma was definitely proof of that, with models originally pointing at a landfall as far north as North Carolina before consistently shifting west to a landfall on the west coast of Florida at Marco Island Sunday afternoon.

So no one is taking their eye off Jose and its path, yet.

Click here to download the free Live 5 News and First Alert Weather apps where you can follow the latest information and tracks for Jose as well as recovery efforts from Irma.

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