Hurricane Joaquin strengthened into a Category 4 storm as it approached the Bahamas on Thursday afternoon.
Forecasts remained unclear as to whether it’s on track to make landfall on the East Coast or turn and head out to sea, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Despite that, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency for the state. South Carolina is already experiencing heavy rainfall.
WTNT31 KNHC 020841
HURRICANE JOAQUIN ADVISORY NUMBER 18
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112015
500 AM EDT FRI OCT 02 2015
...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS JOAQUIN MOVING SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD AS IT
BATTERS THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS...
...HURRICANE CONDITIONS TO CONTINUE OVER THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS
SUMMARY OF 500 AM EDT...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 20 MI...35 KM NE OF CLARENCE LONG ISLAND BAHAMAS
ABOUT 50 MI...80 KM SSW OF SAN SALVADOR
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...130 MPH...215 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 3 MPH...6 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...935 MB...27.61 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
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
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
within the watch area.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area.
Interests in Bermuda should monitor the progress of Joaquin. A
Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch may be required later today.
For storm information specific to your area, please monitor
products issued by your national meteorological service.
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
At 500 AM EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Joaquin was
located near latitude 23.3 North, longitude 74.7 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 estimated minimum central pressure is 935 mb (27.61 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
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. Please consult
products from your local weather office.