Hurricane Joaquin rapidly grew in strength Wednesday night, generating winds at speeds in excess of 111 miles per hour and elevating it to a Category 3 hurricane shortly after the storm had been classified Category 2.
“The bottom line is: We are expecting very heavy rains all the way from the Carolinas up into new England”, said Bruce Terry, lead forecaster for the government’s Weather Prediction Center. The 5 p.m. EDT advisory shows Joaquin moving southwestward toward the central Bahamas, with sustained winds of 85 miles per hour. and a minimum pressure of 967 mb. — The Delaware Emergency Management Agency released this statement Wednesday: DEMA wants you to know that we are monitoring Hurricane Joaquin, and are in communication with our partners at the National Weather Service, and the National Hurricane Center.
A complicated atmospheric pattern has made Joaquin particularly hard to track, according to Weather Channel forecasters, who said it was too soon to determine what impact Joaquin could have on the U.S. East Coast starting this weekend.
Once Hurricane Joaquin moves north, it will bring with it an elevated risk of rip currents along the coast, and the week’s rain may result in localized flooding in areas of poor drainage. Hurricane conditions are expected to reach portions of the Central Bahamas by Thursday morning.
Forecasters remain uncertain if or where it will strike the US coastline. A few parts of the Bahamas could get more than a foot of rain and flash floods, the hurricane center said.
There is still a decent amount of uncertainty about where the hurricane is headed, but as the storm continues to move, models start to get a better handle on the overall track. The storm is expected to start heading north and could possibly effect the east coast later in the week. Unrelated rain expected ahead of Hurricane Joaquin further complicates the situation. The National Hurricane Center predicted possible landfall anywhere from North Carolina to Delaware.
A Hurricane Watch continues for the Northwest Bahamas, including the Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence, but not Andros Island.
Still more rain is forecast for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Friday and Saturday, again not directly related to Joaquin.