MIAMI, Florida - As of 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, October 2, 2015, the National Hurricane Center has issued a public advisory due to the presence of Hurricane Joaquin which is a Major Hurricane (Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) that could bring high surf and coastal flooding to parts of the U.S. east coast this weekend.
Hurricane Joaquin's Projected Path
Hurricane Joaquin is located over the the Central Bahamas and moving toward the northwest at 3 mph. The storm is forecast to begin to leave the Bahamas tonight. Joaquin is then projected to travel northward over the Atlantic Ocean parallel to the Florida coast during the weekend, and to later parallel the rest of the U.S. east coast on Monday and Tuesday.
Joaquin remains at Category 4 Hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds at 130 mph, with higher gusts. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 50 miles, and tropical storm force winds extend up to 205 miles, from the storm's center.
Joaquin's maximum sustained winds are forecast to remain around 130 mph on Friday and Saturday, then decrease to 115 mph on Sunday, and 100 mph on Monday.
Because Joaquin is a large hurricane, its expanded wind field could bring tropical storm-force winds just off the U.S east coast from Florida to Maine regardless of whether or not the storm finally makes landfall.
Hurricane Joaquin Spaghetti Plots
Spaghetti models have changed their guidance overnight, with the the GFS trending west from its previous forecast with a track still offshore but closer to Cape Cod, Massachusetts in about 5 days. The ECMWF has also trended westward this cycle away from Bermuda and now lies closer to the middle of the guidance suite. The UKMET is now the eastern-most model, but still shows a track west of Bermuda. The spread in the guidance at these time ranges appears to be due to differences in the strength and speed of the westward movement of the upper-level low passing north of Joaquin in the next 2 to 3 days.
The new NHC forecast at days 3 and 4 has been shifted a little to the east of the previous one and now lies near the latest consensus aids. At day 5, all of the guidance shows the cyclone accelerating east-northeastward, and the NHC track reflects this trend.
National Hurricane Center's Hurricane Joaquin Official Public Advisory:
CZC MIATCPAT1 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
HURRICANE JOAQUIN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 18A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112015
800 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 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
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 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 (335 km).
The minimum central pressure just reported by an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 937 mb (27.67 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 waves.
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.
Next complete advisory at 1100 AM EDT.