Hurricane Jose was the tenth named storm and seventh hurricane of the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season. Jose developed on October 8 while 400 miles east of the Windward Islands. Jose quickly strengthened, and over 2,000 people in the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands were evacuated because of the hurricane. It moved northwest, and it passed over Antigua, Saint-Barthélemy and St. Martin on October 20 and October 21. In St. Martin, Jose produced over a foot of rain. As Jose approached the U.S. Virgin Isles, it weakened to a tropical storm, and Jose turned north-northeast as it neared Puerto Rico. Jose continued north-northeast until becoming absorbed on October 25 in the cold waters of the North Atlantic, absorbed by another non-tropical low pressure system.
Jose killed two people directly; one in Antigua and the other in St. Martin. Extensive damage was reported in St. Martin from flooding and mudslides, although damage totals are unknown. Damage to the affected U.S. areas was minimal.
|Formation||October 17, 1999|
|Dissipation||October 25, 1999|
|Highest winds||100 mph|
|Lowest pressure||979 mbar|
|Damages||<$5,000,000 (1999 USD)|
|Areas affected||Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico|
A tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on October 8. The wave moved slowly westward for several days until it was halfway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles. At 1800 UTC on October 17, the wave was classified as a tropical depression, while located east of the Windward Islands. After forming, the depression moved northwest, and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Jose on October 18. By October 19, a strong mid-tropospheric high over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean was predicted to steer Jose on a west-northwest track. However, the ridge of high pressure weakened, and Jose turned to the north in response to this weakness. On October 19, Jose strengthened into a hurricane, while located about 150 miles east of the Leeward Islands. As Jose neared the islands, it reached its lowest pressure of 979 mb, and six hours later, its winds reached 100 mph, making Jose a Category 2 hurricane. Just before, Jose had winds of only 90 mph, resulting in two different peaks in intensity. Turning back northwest, Jose struck the northern Leeward Islands, passing over Antigua around midday on October 20. Jose then passed near St. Barthelemy and St. Martin on October 21. As Jose moved over the islands, strong wind shear weakened Jose, and by the time it had reached Tortola in the British Virgin Isles on October 21, Jose had weakened to a tropical storm. That same day, Jose moved northwest, with its center passing 50 miles east of Puerto Rico. Jose headed north-northeast from October 22 to October 23, with its foward speed increasing. As Jose bypassed the island of Bermuda, it briefly regained hurricane strength. Jose continued north-northeast before being declared extratropical when it merged with a mid-latitude cyclone and a front associated with the low.
Jose as a hurricane again near Bermuda.
24 shelters were set up when Jose passed over the Leeward Islands. Only 506 people used the shelters, however.
The islands of Antigua and Barbuda were greatly affected by the hurricane. Damage was severe on both of the islands, while damage in St. Kitts and Nevis was minor because Jose passed north of those islands.
Antigua and Barbuda
There was considerable flooding of major roads in Antigua and Barbuda from Hurricane Jose. 2,000 people were severely affected and evacuated, with about 516 of those people being put in emergency shelters. Jose killed one person across these islands, injured 12, and left an elderly man who was blind missing. 500 houses were also destroyed, including a newly built church. In the village of Crab's Hill, 64 of the 81 houses were either severely damaged or destroyed. Jose disrupted 50% of the telephone service and 90% of the homes were left without electricity. A wind gust of 102 mph was reported by the Antigua Meteorological Service on October 20.
Rest of the Carribean
In St. Kitts and Nevis, flooding was the primary threat associated with the hurricane, as several main roads were washed out and landslides were also reported. In St. Maarten, rainfall reached as high as 13.75 inches, and much of the Leeward Islands received anywhere from 12 to 15 inches of rain from Jose. Because of the flooding, numerous flash floods mudslides were reported, which damaged buildings and roads. One person was reported to have died because of the hurricane. Dominica received no more than a little bit of rain from the hurricane, the rain only persisting for one morning. Damage in Puerto Rico from Jose was minimal, though up to 5 inches of rain fell in some parts of the country from the hurricane. The highest rainfall that was reported in Puerto Rico from Jose was 6.54 inches at Rio Blanco Lower.
Lack of Retirement
In spite of the damage, the name Jose was not retired in the Spring of 2000 by the World Meteorological Organization. It was used again in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It is on the list of names to be used for the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season.