East Coast communities brace for Hurricane Joaquin

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ending September On A Wet Note, Watching Joaquin.

Joaquin has become a hurricane overnight, but whether it moves toward the United States remains highly uncertain and we may not know until Friday or so.NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Tri-State area is keeping a close eye on Joaquin, which strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday morning as it neared the Bahamas.Update, 11:40 a.m.: The National Hurricane Center’s late morning update to Hurricane Joaquin’s forecast now has the storm aimed squarely at the East Coast, with the center just offshore the Delmarva Peninsula on Monday morning. After an abnormally dry July and August, the recent rainfall brought Philadelphia’s total for September to 6″ even, 2.35 above average for the month.

We can be pretty confident that Joaquin will to drift to the west-southwest during the next couple of days, strengthening perhaps into a Category 2 or even 3 hurricane and threatening the Bahamas, before turning north on Friday. It also includes a must-read “key messages” section that emphasizes the uncertainty in the current forecast: Basically, all options are still on the table, but the characteristically deliberate NHC seems increasingly on board with an East Coast landfall. The hurricane was expected to pass near the islands of San Salvador, Cat Island, Eleuthera and Rum Cay late Thursday and early Friday, close enough that it could bring tropical-storm-force winds, coastal flooding and 13-25 centimetres of rain, said Geoffrey Greene, a senior forecaster with the Bahamas Meteorology Department.

Forecast models develop a trough of low pressure over the southeastern United States this weekend, and if the trough is strong enough it could capture Joaquin as it’s moving north this weekend and pull it toward North Carolina or Virginia. The steady rain is departing this Wednesday morning, and we’re expecting a dry window through later tomorrow before rain returns to the picture yet again.

According to the NHC, most of New Jersey and a small part of New York City are currently in the storm’s possible path and the area could see the effects late this weekend. While that disaster is unlikely to occur with Joaquin, it’s worth considering, which feels shocking to say since this storm wasn’t even on many meteorologists’ radar two days ago. As a caveat it is worth noting that in additional to the “operational” run of the European model, dozens of other lower resolution simulations are run by the European modelers as well. In New Hyde Park, the combination of rain and wind took down some tree branches, which sagged onto power lines and landed on a car, CBS2’s Elise Finch reported. Widespread minor tidal flooding is expected during high tide beginning Thursday and possibly lasting into the weekend. (TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries.

But what’s increasingly clear is the atmospheric and oceanic environments supporting Joaquin are becoming nearly ideal for rapid strengthening—very low wind shear is forecast, which should help create a symmetric and darkly beautiful major hurricane over the next two or three days fueled by very warm tropical waters near the Bahamas. Some weather models, like the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting and the GFS—the two flagship models of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—have consistently showed that’s not such a far-fetched scenario. A high-end Category 3 or 4 is now likely for Joaquin at its peak, which would pack sustained winds of more than 120 mph and generate a large storm surge should Joaquin make landfall—and 50-foot waves even if it doesn’t.

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site