The combination of front stalled across the region, an upper level storm system over the southern us, tropical moisture in place and Hurricane Joaquin well off shore will come together to create periods of very heavy rain from through the weekend.
Joaquin’s hurricane-force winds, which extended 80km from its centre, were forecast to miss the larger Bahamas islands and the main cities and cruise ship ports of Freeport and Nassau.
A hurricane watch was in effect for Bimini and Andros Island.
A hurricane warning was in effect for the central Bahamas; the northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Berry Islands, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence; and the southeastern Bahamas, including the Acklins, Crooked Island and Mayaguana.
“We’re looking at historic flooding in coastal South Carolina“, said CNN meteorologist Rachel Aissen.
The USA states of New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia have declared an emergency and have warned residents along the east coast to prepare for flooding and power outages.
“A strong majority of forecast models is now in agreement on a track farther away from the United States East Coast”, the NHC said.
“[Although] it looks like direct landfall (for the U.S. East) will be avoided, a unsafe rainfall situation is setting up over the Southeast and parts of the Mid-Atlantic this weekend, due in part to the influence of Joaquin“. Joaquin is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
The National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to speed up and turn north, toward the USA, over the next day or so.
The East Coast is anxiously waiting to see what impact – if any – Hurricane Joaquin will have.
The rainstorm was blamed for at least one death in South Carolina, where heavy rain has fallen for days.
Joaquin is forecast to strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane with 130 miles per hour to 156 miles per hour winds. “As we continue to track the path of Hurricane Joaquin, I have instructed the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to make every preparation for a major event Thursday and Friday”.
Weather forecasters are warning of coastal flooding and high winds up and down the New Jersey coast.