The 2 PM update from the National Hurricane Center has increased Hurricane Joaquin to a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds. This comes from the latest Air Force Recon mission (shown below). The central pressure has dropped another 6 mb to 936 mb. That is a drop of 1 mb per hour since the last measurement, which in meteorological terms would relate to a winter storm ‘bombing out’.
The storm is still drifting to the southwest. That all important turn should take place before midnight, to account for the track up the east coast. Any further delay or push faith south, and the track will end up faith off the east coast. So if you want to avoid this storm, that is what you will be hoping for.
Rapid pressure drop is reflected in the healthy structure seen on satellite. The storm has great outflow, seen by the high clouds surrounding the system. Little to no sheer. The eye is not fully cleared out yet, but a building eye wall and the pressure drop will dry to do that by evening. However the eye is not directly in the center, so this is no fully symmetrical. Basically, there could be more strengthening if Joaquin cleans that up.
This is an interim update, so no major changes with the track… yet. Look for a full report at 5PM. But see the latest stats, warnings, and more below.
SUMMARY OF 200 PM EDT…
LOCATION… 23.0N 74.2W
ABOUT 70 MI…115 KM SSE OF SAN SALVADOR BAHAMAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…130 MPH…210 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…SW OR 230 DEGREES AT 6 MPH…9 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…936 MB…27.64 INCHES
National Hurricane Center Forecast Track
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.
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]