Hurricane Jose is currently rifling swell into the OBX and the US east coast, with a long sustained pulse that looks like it's going to deliver for several days yet.
The storm is currently taking a north east track, skirting the States' right coast – continuing what has been an incredible run of swell. Yesterday's forecast peaked at 10.5ft @ 12 secs from the north east, coupled with strong offshore winds. Today, we'll see a max swell of 5ft @ 12 secs, with lighter 14mph winds from the north west, swinging to south west as the day progresses - and the long-range forecast is even more tantalising.
And while Jose is dazzling the East Coast, ripping in behind it is the catastrophic Maria, a Category 4 juggernaut (downgraded from 5) and the fourth major Atlantic storm of the year. Maria made landfall in the Caribbean yesterday, totally bludgeoning the isle of Dominica, causing widespread damage. Now, Maria has just made landfall in Puerto Rico.
There are similarities in the paths of Maria and Irma, but Maria is currently forecast to take a more north westerly track much sooner than Irma, heading on a path towards the east coast of the USA. Below, you can see the path Irma had taken and the current trajectory of Hurricane Maria, just slide the centre line left and right to compare the two.
"A west-northwest to northwest motion is expected to continue through today, followed by a northwestward motion on Thursday," says the NHC. "On the forecast track the eye of Maria will make landfall in Puerto Rico in a couple of hours, cross Puerto Rico today, and pass just north of the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic tonight and Thursday.
"Maximum sustained winds are near 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, and it should maintain this intensity until landfall. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km).
"The minimum central pressure recently reported by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 917 mb (27.08 inches). A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques, Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion."
Rescue and relief efforts are still underway to help stranded people in the wake of Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic storm in recorded history, which made landfall across the Caribbean and the States earlier this month. It is estimated that around 37 million people have been impacted by Irma, with a variety of different charities and initiatives raising funds and delivering aid. You can help by going HERE.
Cover shot by Joe O'Connor.