Hurricane Joaquin predictions

Hurricane Joaquin has been on the news as a very destructive hurricane for several days now. The only issue was no one was sure of where exactly the storm was going to hit. As the storm heads to the north to the U.S. from the Bahamas, we finally see a clearer model.


Photo Source: The Weather Channel (I did have a current model of the storm’s path at the time, but the photo is no longer available – updated Oct. 22, 2015).

Although the model doesn’t show Joaquin making landfall, the effects of the strong hurricane may still be felt inland and on the coast, from South Carolina all the way up to New Jersey. In fact, most of those states have declared a state of emergency already.

Joaquin has been hitting the Bahamas hard since Thursday, and will continue to be in danger through Friday night. According to AccuWeather, Joaquin will continue to hit the islands with strong gusty winds and catastrophic flooding. Wind gusts are expected to get as high as 75 to 120 mph on some east-central islands.

It is hard to say exactly how much rain, flooding, and wind the inland parts of states will get, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Many locations are preparing for the Category 4 hurricane by canceling classes and outdoor activities and taking time to stock up on food and water. The amount of rain and the high wind gusts could lead to power outages and downed trees due to the wind knocking the power lines and trees down. Major flooding is expected, too. The Weather Channel just stated on television that some parts of South Carolina could see up to 18 inches of rain. Those on the coast will be hit with coastal flooding and beach erosion, especially since there is rain and storms happening there now. Below are the three maps with the latest predictions for the east coast (provided by AccuWeather).


Photo Source:
AccuWeather


Photo Source:
AccuWeather


Photo Source:
AccuWeather

The biggest question I’ve heard all over social media and the news is if this storm will be another Superstorm Sandy. My guess is it won’t be as disastrous as Sandy was, but there will be threats of serious flooding in the states that will be hit by Joaquin. The good news is that the storm won’t actually make landfall; however, the call for major flooding is what will make this storm so incredibly dangerous. Take the proper precautions to ensure you and your family are safe during this storm.

I know a lot of people don’t take these storms seriously when they are all over the news like this, but it is always better to take the precautions rather than be left in danger. The truth is, meteorologists can’t actually “predict” the weather, rather they make educated guesses on what they believe will happen from what a myriad of models show them (this isn’t their fault, it just can’t happen – just like how scientists can’t actually “prove” anything in studies). Unfortunately no human or machine can actually predict what EXACTLY will happen, but they can get pretty close. We are lucky to have meteorologists; their weather and science knowledge help us prepare for severe weather. It is better to have an educated guess then no warning at all! So everyone should stop making fun of forecasters when they don’t have a clear picture of what a storm will bring, because chances are their predictions are better than yours! It is also true that it is hard to know the real path and strength of a storm until the time of it happening gets closer.

It will be interesting to see what Joaquin ends up bringing to the east coast of the U.S. Please stay safe, everyone!

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