The latest update from the National Hurricane Center has Hurricane Joaquin gaining intensity and size as it sits over very deep, warm water. Top wind speeds are up to 125 while the pressure level is the same. It looks more organized and trying to clear out a central eye on satellite. As it crawls, hurricane Warnings remain for The Bahamas while we wait in the US for it to make the turn north. Reminder that the east coast rain over the next few days have nothing to do with the hurricane. If Joaquin were to arrive in the Mid Atlantic, it would have impacts on Sunday through Monday.
Wind speeds above hurricane force reach 45 miles away from the center, tropical storm force winds are now 140 mile away. The drift to the southwest should bend to a northward curve by the end of the day, but the impacts will behave like it is stalled over the Bahamas for a few days. The crawl and turn is really what is making the forecast for the US so hard. The cold front seen in this image is what should help pull the storm north. More time in the Bahamas will make the timing up north push it off the coast. But should it arrive sooner, then it can get pulled onshore. I discussed that earlier and the latest models below are still spread widely.
Closer look at the visible satellite. Notice the center is trying to clear out an eye. We may see that this afternoon if current intensity is maintained or increases. These islands have little to no impact on the storms which is sitting over water warmer than 86F
There are two main aspects of this storm. First is what it is doing now and will continue for a few days. Second will be the eventual track north and where it might impact the US coast.
SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT…
And Air Force Recon Flight Path Storm Measurements
ABOUT 80 MI…125 KM SSE OF SAN SALVADOR
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…125 MPH…205 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…SW OR 220 DEGREES AT 6 MPH…9 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…942 MB…27.82 INCHES
Hurricane Warning For Bahamas
This is serious! The storm has destructive winds, high storm surge, and will rain on low lying islands for a few days.
- Up to 20 inches!
- 5 to 10 inches on southern islands
- 2 to 4 inches on northern islands
Winds: 125 mph with gusts to 140 mph around the immediate eye wall.
- 5 to 8 feet in central Bahamas
- 2 to 4 feet in north (where less rain will fall)
- 1 to 2 feet in south (where more rain will fall)
See the official NHC warning at the bottom of this post.
Here is a look at all the possibilities with the National Hurricane Center plot below. I continue to stress the cone of uncertainty or margin of error. Farther out in time is less accurate based on the timing of Joaquin with other weather systems. In short, after the Bahamas we still don’t k now. The National Hurricane Center shows the middle of the cone, but that is NOT the exact track. Just like yesterday when it was up the Chesapeake Bay, that was just one potential result. Compare NHC to the tropical models here and see how there is a lot of work ahead to call this storm, but all hinges on how fast it moves north of The Bahamas
Note a few models has it close to Category 4. The drop off in wind speed is related to the storm moving north over colder water. This is stronger than it was supposed to be at this time, so getting back to Cat 2 near the Carolinas is similar to the original forecast.
National Hurricane Center Plot
This still has Maryland on the western edge and only a slight adjustment to the east. This also maintains potential US landfall, but better chance in New England.
NHC Warnings Below…
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SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Central Bahamas
* Northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Berry Islands,
Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence
* The Acklins, Crooked Island, and Mayaguana in the southeastern
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Andros Island
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Remainder of the southeastern Bahamas excluding the Turks and
* Andros Island
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and
property should be complete in the central Bahamas.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
within the watch area.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]