It's certainly possible, but the first threat is to portions of the Bahamas. Throughout the day today, Joaquin has been strengthening and winds are up to 85 mph. Strong thunderstorms have developed and maintained near the center, and the storm is growing in overall size. The wind field also appears to be expanding in response to lowering pressures. Throughout the next 24 to 36 hours, the hurricane will move SW into the central Bahamas where hurricane warnings are in effect. It's important to note that portions of the Bahamas may see prolonged periods of hurricane force winds and flooding rainfall. Receive our detailed discussions via email as soon as they are published, please tap here.
In about 48 hours, a strong cut off low over the southeastern United States will likely begin to lift Joaquin towards the north away from the Bahamas. The NHC is forecasting the hurricane to reach CAT 3 status with 115 mph winds Friday night or Saturday morning and making landfall in NC as a 100 mph hurricane on Sunday. The water is very warm and the environment will be favorable for intensification. The NHC is also stating their confidence in the track beyond 3 days is low (read key points below from the NHC).
Most of the model guidance does forecast Joaquin to track towards the north, or possibly to the north northeast before making a left turn towards the mid-Atlantic coast this weekend somewhere between lower NC and NJ. There's still a slight possibility that Joaquin could move NE out into the open Atlantic as the EURO model (and now its ensembles) show a weakness in the central Atlantic which would allow the storm to miss the U.S. This is the least likely of the two scenarios as the EURO model has little to no support for a track out to sea. We will be watching that model closely to see if it shifts west with all the other models. It will likely take another 24-48 hours for the models to get a better handle on what the final track may be. Stay aware and keeping checking in for updates.
If you are a resident or have interest along the coast anywhere from the SC/NC border to Long Island, please check in often to see what the latest forecast is, as it will change. Be mindful that there is a possibility of a strong hurricane (CAT 2 or higher) impacting some portion of the coast this weekend. Too soon to know the details. Wind, rain and storm surge will be the main issues. See our 5 Day Alert Level Map below.
Latest Video Update: https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=qJ9NQ1-GV0Q
Please stay tuned here at the Hurricane Tracker App for frequent updates on Joaquin throughout this week.
We highly recommend following our Twitter (hurrtrackerapp) for real time coverage as the new data comes in every 6 hours.
A new post will be issue sometime on Thursday afternoon, usually before 5PM EDT. Please check the Real Time Feed for Joaquin on the storm page for frequent snippets from us as the data changes.
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