Thursday, 1 October 2015

Joaquin now a major hurricane

A NOAA satellite image of a strengthening hurricane Joaquin in the central Bahamas early Thursday morning. 
It has been a rather quiet Atlantic hurricane season to this point, as is typical during El Nino years. But as forecasters always remind us, all it takes is one storm to make the season memorable or infamous. Will Joaquin be that storm? In less than 24 hours the system has gone from a tropical storm to a major hurricane. The Category 3 storm with winds in excess of 120 mph is drifting southwest in the central Bahamas this morning. The Bahamas will have strong winds, pounding waves and torrential rain for the next 24 hours. Joaquin is a small but dangerous storm for that region today with life threatening wind and rain. Beyond that the storm is forecast to move northward and increase in forward speed through Friday. Interests all up and down the east coast should be monitoring Joaquin. At this time computer models have the storm track all over the place from out to sea to landfall along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. An average forecast path takes the storm into the waterlogged middle Atlantic and eventually into New England and southern Quebec by Tuesday. That scenario is far away and Joaquin has several chapters to write before that point. I have been tracking Atlantic hurricanes since 1979 and will watch this one closely and update the blog as needed.

Before Joaquin arrives on the weather scene, Montreal is looking at much cooler air to start October but with plenty of sunshine. Temperatures are expected to be near the freezing point at night and into the low teens for highs through Saturday.

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