How Hurricane Jose Could Affect Hurricane Maria's Future Path

Hurricane Maria is currently carving a path into the northeast Caribbean, having already devastated the island of Dominica as a Category 5 storm Monday night.

The storm has now weakened to a Category 4, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said early Tuesday, via CBS News, and is now approaching the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Tuesday night and Wednesday.

The Weather Channel reports that Hurricane Jose, which already traveled near the area, could play a role in the path Maria takes, as Jose could help create an alleyway in the western Atlantic for Maria. If that happens, Maria's effects on the islands will not be quite what Irma's were, although Maria is currently on a similar path to Irma, which tore up the East Coast of the United States last week.

Jose is forecasted to stall off the Eastern Seaboard, which could potentially alleviate Maria's impact on the East Coast of the U.S., although it is not certain that this will happen. If Maria does impact the U.S., it will likely do so early next week.

Maria and Jose could also possibly meet to create what is called the Fujiwhara effect, which happens when two tropical cyclones 800 to 900 miles apart rotate counterclockwise around one another.

"Think of the teacup ride at Disney or the Tilt-a-Whirl at your local county fair, but with tropical systems instead," explained weather.com senior meteorologist Jonathan Erdman.

The effect could result in a less powerful Jose heading back towards the U.S. while Maria travels out to sea, although the theory is still a projection at this point.

Photo Credit: Twitter / @cnnbrk, NASA

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