Air force recon this morning reported winds of 119 kts so while the official max sustained wind is 125 mph it may have briefly been higher. Hurricane Joaquin winds are borderline category 4 with the lowest pressure holding at 942 mb. There appears to be a tiny eye near the center. When hurricanes become intense they to have strengthening and weakening mini cycles. Conditions are still favorable for strengthening so we are likely to some fluctuations in strength over the next 24 hours’
Motion appears to me more west right now at least on the last few frames.
..EYE OF JOAQUIN PASSING OVER SAMANA CAYS IN THE BAHAMAS... ...CENTRAL BAHAMAS TO EXPERIENCE HURRICANE FORCE WINDS...STORM SURGE...AND HEAVY RAIN THROUGH TONIGHT... SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT...1500 UTC...INFORMATION ----------------------------------------------- LOCATION...23.0N 73.9W ABOUT 80 MI...125 KM SSE OF SAN SALVADOR MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...125 MPH...205 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...SW OR 220 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...9 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...942 MB...27.82 INCHES
Overnight model runs of the model track guidance. You can see how the cluster of models is focused now just offshore with some models still insisting on west tracks but the vast majority are to the east now. This is following the European which has led the way for the last 2 days showing an out to sea track.
Meanwhile we are experiencing noreaster conditions here with strong onshore winds that are increasing to gale force. This will produce higher than normal tides, moderate risk of coastal flooding and beach erosion regardless of what the hurricane does. The new model cycle is beginning and we will of course update you on this later today.
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