Category 1 ’cane tracks toward Cape

Hurricane Jose is churning its way toward New England, sparking fears that parts of the Bay State could take a direct hit from the Category 1 storm as weather experts scramble to predict how close it will come to the coast when it swirls into the region later this week.

“It does look like it will approach the Cape. We’re looking at the closest approach for Jose to be sometime around late Wednesday into early Thursday. We’ll see some winds and rains from it,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Alan Reppert, who called the Category 1 storm “definitely something to keep an eye on, even for the Boston area. It’s not completely ruled out for Boston itself. But it does look like the worst will be somewhere along the coastline.”

Reppert said the most likely track for Jose will bring the hurricane about 100 miles off Cape Cod. As of last night, Reppert said the story system looked “more like a winter storm on the Cape, with stronger waves and strong winds over the area, which we typically see for nor’easters.”

And though it’s too early to tell where Jose will end up, marinas, coastal residents and fisheries across the Northeast are preparing for the worst.

At the Brewer Fiddler’s Cove Marina in Falmouth, manager Scott Carpenter said one customer had asked for his boat to be hauled out ahead of the storm.

“I don’t trust the weather people,” Carpenter said, noting he hadn’t made any other preparations. “Once it gets a little closer, we’ll start making decisions.”

Although Hurricane Jose was moving slowly and far from land, the storm was generating powerful swells that were affecting coastal areas in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the U.S. Southeast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said yesterday that tropical storm watches were possible for the U.S. East Coast over the next day or so and advised people from North Carolina to New England to monitor Jose’s progress because of the potential for life-threatening rip-currents.

The hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and was located about 485 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and was heading north at 6 mph.

The storm formed Sept. 5 in the open Atlantic, brushed northeast Caribbean islands as a Category 4 storm and did a loop-the-loop before tracking westward.

Herald wire services contributed to this report.

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