Satellite loops show Hurricane Joaquin continuing to intensify as the pressure falls continue at the rate of about 1mb per hour now down to 968 mb and top winds are now 85 mph. The track continues southwestward at about 6 mph bringing Joaquin closer to the central Bahamas where Hurricane Warnings are in strengthening trend. The visible satellite shows what appears to be an eye forming. The latest European run has begun and we will report on what it shows and try to zero in on what may happen later this afternoon.
…HURRICANE JOAQUIN CONTINUING TO STRENGTHEN…
SUMMARY OF 200 PM EDT…1800 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 190 MI…305 KM ENE OF THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…85 MPH…135 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…SW OR 230 DEGREES AT 6 MPH…9 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…968 MB…28.58 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Central Bahamas including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island,
Rum Cay, and San Salvador.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini,
Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence, but excluding
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and
property should be rushed to completion.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
within the watch area.
KEY MESSAGES FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER FORECAST DISCUSSION
1. Confidence in the details of the track forecast late in the period remains low, since the environmental steering currents are complex and the model guidance is inconsistent. A wide range of outcomes is possible, from a direct impact of a major hurricane along the U.S. east coast to a track of Joaquin out to sea away from the coast. It is therefore way too soon to talk about specific wind, rain, or surge impacts from Joaquin in the U.S. 2. Should the threat to the U.S. increase, any further adjustments of the forecast to the west would likely be accompanied by an increase in the forecast forward speed, with impacts along the coast occurring sooner than currently forecast. A hurricane watch could be required for portions of the U.S. coast as early as Thursday evening. 3. Many areas of the eastern U.S. are currently experiencing heavy rains and gusty winds associated with a frontal system. This inclement weather is expected to continue over the next few days, which could complicate preparations for Joaquin should it head toward the coast.
We will have more on this as the day progress and also please read my post regarding the global models and their handling of Joaquin.
The Hurricane Center forecast track is to the right of the global GFS and Canadian Models and to the left of the European of last night. Needless to say if this is right and the track is to just east of Delaware Bay this would be a serious hurricane hit. We are still a long way away from the final outcome.
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