Hurricane Joaquin gains strength; risk of landfall in US

As it blew through the Bahamas on Thursday, Hurricane Joaquin leaped in intensity to a Category 4 storm, making many afraid that the new hurricane could lead to a repeat of 2012’s superstorm Sandy. Recent hurricane hunter missions found surface winds of 100 miles per hour over the islands of the central Bahamas.


Cuban officials issued a tropical storm warning for much of the south-eastern part of the island, meaning that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Areas from the Outer Banks to New England need to monitor the storm.

[RELATED: Hurricane Joaquin stirs memories of Sandy]. If this track holds, then the D.C. Metro would see minimal impacts from Joaquin, with coastal areas affected the most. By the weekend, an upper-level trough of low pressure and a breezy cool front will team-up to steer and accelerate Joaquin northward – well east of the US coast.

The storm now has maximum sustained winds at 80 miles per hour. Away from the Hurricane, the island region is experiencing mostly fair skies with a few isolated showers.

Joaquin is centered about 70 miles South-Southeast of San Salvador and moving generally Southwest at 6 mph.

Weather models conflict over whether the storm will hit the United States’ East Coast, Wolf said, and the governor was receiving regular briefings from meteorologists and emergency managers. The rain will become heavier Friday and Friday night, so keep the risk of flooding in mind. “Please stay tuned as these models and forecasts will be constantly updated”, he said.


The Miami-based NHC said the hurricane, a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm on a scale of 1 to 5, was poised to make a sharp northerly turn on Friday. And regardless of whether Joaquin makes landfall, it probably will cause plenty of rain and more flooding along an already soaked East Coast. He expects other events in the city will also be called off as the storm nears. Joaquin will likely be closest to Virginia and North Carolina on Sunday. This week’s weather has set the stage for an ominous weather event starting Thursday night and going through the weekend on the Atlantic Coast. “In the past, we did not take the worst-case scenario into full consideration”. A hurricane watch could be required for portions of the USA coast as early as Thursday evening.

Gov. Larry Hogan