Jose was a dud, but will Maria pack a wallop?
Jose came, we saw him, but he didn’t necessarily conquer, as top winds from the now tropical storm reached just 17 mph in Providence and amounted to not even an inch of rain.
Although some might chuckle or roll their eyes in the wake of what was, based on some earlier reports, an over-hyped storm, to Rhode Island emergency preparedness personnel, the result wasn't disappointing news.
"It's quite alright that Jose was something less than advertised," said Peter Gaynor, Director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. "[The predictions] are all based on forecasts and models and sometimes they represent a best scientific guess based on history and the current weather...Sometimes you can't predict the future."
Gaynor said that Jose is presenting more of a problem for the Massachusetts Cape and its islands, as well as Block Island, than any part of the Rhode Island mainland. He predicted that the storm should be totally dissipated by the end of Friday.
"Jose is winding down but it's a slow lingering wind down," Gaynor said.
Next week, however, Maria will be moving right in. Although that storm had been downgraded to a Category 2 as of press time, it wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico and surrounding island communities as it climbed as high as a Category 5 storm. It is currently moving north, and could regain steam or fizzle out as it does so.
“It looks like Maria might take a similar path to Jose, meaning it’ll go just south of us then stall before moving out to sea,” said the National Weather Service Spokesman Bob Thompson. “Hopefully it moves out north/northwest like Jose did. That’s what we think so far.”
Maria's overall effects might be felt greater than Jose’s were. However if it does follow in the same path as Jose, the impact on Rhode Island may be just as serious, which in fact wasn’t very serious at all.
That won't stop the state from preparing for the worst, though.
"It only takes one storm to ruin our day in Rhode Island," Gaynor said. “So whether it's Jose or Maria we want to be prepared.”