Major hurricane Joaquin continues over the central Bahamas this morning… with max winds a dangerous 130 mph… moving slowly to the northwest at 3 mph.
The storm will gradually pull north today… and northeast tonight and pull away from the Bahamas. The storm will move well east of the Coastal Empire and Low Country this weekend… holding on major hurricane status. It will then likely pull between Bermuda and Cape Hatteras and stay over the open ocean Sunday night. It will then stay well offshore the northeast United States and gradually weaken early and mid parts of next week.
So the good news this morning… the core of this system will not impact the eastern United States.
HOWEVER… tropical moisture associated with Joaquin will pull into the southeast states… leading to developing very heavy rainfall over the next couple of days. It will combine with a stalled coastal front… surface low pressure and upper level trough to bring a high risk of flooding through portions of Georgia… the Carolinas and the mid atlantic.
There is the risk for significant rainfall induced flooding in our area over the next couple of days… especially along and north of I-16. For the very latest forecast… radar and information from StormTeam 3… see our weather page at http://www.wsav.com/weather
HERE IS THE LATEST ADVISORY FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER…….
SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 30 MI…50 KM NNE OF CLARENCE LONG ISLAND BAHAMAS
ABOUT 45 MI…70 KM SSW OF SAN SALVADOR BAHAMAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…130 MPH…215 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 3 MPH…6 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…937 MB…27.67 INCHES
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Central Bahamas
* Northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Berry Islands,
Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence
* The Acklins, Crooked Island, and Mayaguana in the southeastern
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Andros Island
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Remainder of the southeastern Bahamas including the Turks and
* Andros Island
* Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Los Tunas, Holguin, and Guantanamo
Interests in Bermuda should monitor the progress of Joaquin. A
Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch may be required later today.
At 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Hurricane Joaquin was
located near latitude 23.4 North, longitude 74.8 West. Joaquin is
drifting toward the northwest near 3 mph (6 km/h). A faster
northward motion is expected to begin later today, followed by a
turn toward the northeast and an increase in forward speed tonight
and Saturday. On the forecast track, the core of the strongest winds
of Joaquin will continue moving over portions of the central and
northwestern Bahamas today. Joaquin will begin to move away from the
Bahamas tonight and Saturday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher
gusts. Joaquin is a dangerous category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-
Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are
possible during the next 24 hours. Slow weakening is expected to
begin on Saturday.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the
center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles
The minimum central pressure just reported by an Air Force Reserve
Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 937 mb (27.67 inches).
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to continue across portions
of the central and southeastern Bahamas through today. Hurricane
and tropical storm conditions are expected over portions of the
northwestern Bahamas today. Tropical storm conditions will affect
other portions of the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos
Islands today. Tropical storm conditions are expected over portions
of eastern Cuba through this morning.
STORM SURGE: A very dangerous and life-threatening storm surge will
raise water levels by as much as 6 to 12 feet above normal tide
levels in the central Bahamas in areas of onshore flow. A storm
surge of 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels is expected in the
remainder of the Bahamas within the hurricane warning area. Near
the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous
RAINFALL: Joaquin is expected to produce total rain accumulations
of 12 to 18 inches over the central Bahamas with isolated maximum
amounts of 25 inches. Rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches are
expected over the southeastern Bahamas, with 2 to 4 inches over the
northwestern Bahamas, eastern Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic,
and the Turks and Caicos Islands. This rainfall could result in
life-threatening flash floods.
SURF: Swells generated by Joaquin will affect portions of the
Bahamas during the next few days. Swells have begun to affect
portions of the southeastern coast of the United States and will
spread northward along the east coast of the United States through
the weekend. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf
and rip current conditions. Regardless of Joaquin’s track, a
prolonged period of elevated water levels and large waves will
affect the mid-Atlantic region, causing significant beach and dune
erosion with moderate coastal flooding likely.
Next complete advisory at 1100 AM EDT.