Hurricane warning issued in Bahamas as Joaquin approaches

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Hurricane’ Schwartz: Tropical Trouble.

Millions of Americans in the country’s most densely populated corridor are braced for serious flooding through the weekend as a major storm front appeared poised to converge with a tropical storm now brewing in the Atlantic.

(Reuters) – Tropical Storm Joaquin strengthened east of the Bahamas and is expected to become a hurricane on Wednesday before making a sharp northerly turn taking it parallel to the U.S. east coast, forecasters said. This is a very complex setup, but as mentioned yesterday, this is an extreme weather pattern that is setting up, leading to the potential for flooding in some areas. Long-range forecast models were highly uncertain as it moves north and it could stay well offshore or brush the Outer Banks, before possibly heading towards the north-east coast, the NHC said. This isn’t a knock on the state of forecasting – the practice of figuring out what trillions upon trillions of air molecules are going to do days in advance. The government’s annual forecast predicted a quieter-than-normal 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, with six to 10 named storms and up to four reaching hurricane status of 74 mph (119 kph).

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. (Reporting by David Adams; Editing by Grant McCool and Chris Reese) If it weren’t for the extreme blocking pattern over the North Atlantic, the name “Sandy” would be just another one of hundreds of names of hurricanes that curved out to sea. A few computer models suggest that Joaquin stays out in the ocean, but a type of nor’easter develops along the East Coast, bringing heavy rain up our way.

When you take a step back and do this, you notice that even though models are all seeing different paths, they’re all quite similar in the main players involved. The stronger the winds and the larger stretch of ocean they cover (the “fetch”) will determine how much coastal flooding and beach erosion will result. It’s not out of the question that the storm could quickly jump to a Category 2 hurricane, and in a ‘worst case’ scenario even get to ‘Major’ Cat 3 status.

That’s a big area for now, but the idea is to raise the alarm that people should be vigilant and proactive in their preparations, so as to not wait until it’s too late to get ready.

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