The “cone of uncertainty” includes those states as well as parts of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency ahead of a storm expected to bring heavy rain and flooding.
Joaquin is battering the Bahamas, with torrential rains, storm surge flooding and hurricane-force winds. “I’m not here to say Sandy II is coming. You went to the store to get milk and bread and everything was gone so I think that’s what’s going to happen again and hopefully we don’t get it”, said Melissa Jenkins of Westfield.
Will the storm hit New York?
The state emergency operations centers was activated Thursday afternoon, and the National Guard is on alert.
The Weather Channel described the storm’s potential impact in one word: “massive”.
The National Hurricane Center and The Weather Channel said the storm’s impacts could reach the New Jersey-Pennsylvania region by late Sunday or early Monday morning. The heavy rain seen in New England came up from the Gulf of Mexico, and it fueled torrential rains as it moved along a slow-moving cold front. There is also a chance it will move into the Atlantic Ocean away from land.
Staten Island may be spared the worst of Hurricane Joaquin after all.
President Obama was briefed about federal preparations for Joaquin in case it hits the East Coast, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday.
Earlier Thursday, the Bahamian government issued a tropical storm warning for the Turks and Caicos islands.
A hurricane warning remains in effect for the Central Bahamas and the Northwestern Bahamas, as well as the Acklins, Crooked Island and Mayaguana in the Southeast Bahamas. It’s now a Category 4 storm with sustained winds at 130 miles per hour. The service reported that 1 to 3 inches of rain is expected Thursday night into Saturday morning but that additional heavy rainfall is less likely.
Among the factors in this year’s predicted weaker hurricane season is the El Niño weather phenomenon, the warming of Pacific waters that affects wind circulation patterns and makes the formation of hurricanes in the Atlantic-Caribbean basin less likely.
Hurricane Joaquin is now a Category 4 major hurricane, but is still expected to take an abrupt turn north in the next 24 hours, avoiding Florida completely. Events scheduled along the East Coast are being canceled or are ending early because of the storm.