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Joaquin Hammers Bahamas; Future Track Still Uncertain

By: Jeff Masters and Bob Henson 4:06 PM GMT on October 01, 2015

Category 3 Hurricane Joaquin is giving the Central Bahama Islands a ferocious pounding as the storm moves very slowly over the islands. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft made three penetrations of Joaquin's center on Thursday morning, and found top surface winds of 125 mph. The central pressure held steady at 942 mb between the first two passes at 7:47 and 9:23 am EDT, but dropped to 939 mb at 11:20 am, so Joaquin is still intensifying. The hurricane had a large 36-mile diameter eye that was fully closed in their second pass through. Joaquin took advantage of wind shear that had fallen to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, on Thursday morning. Visible and infrared satellite loops show that Joaquin is a moderate-sized hurricane with impressive organization, with a solid core of intense eyewall thunderstorms surrounding a clear eye. Upper level winds analyses from the University of Wisconsin show that the hurricane has maintained an impressive upper-level outflow channel to the southeast, which allowed the hurricane's rapid intensification over the past 24 hours. Ocean temperatures in the region remain a record-warm 30°C (86°F), but may start to cool due to Joaquin's slow motion.


Figure 1. GOES-13 image of Hurricane Joaquin over the Bahamas as seen on Thursday, October 1, 2015, at 10:30 am EDT. At the time, Joaquin had top winds of 125 mph. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.


Figure 2. Winds were rising across the Central Bahamas on Thursday morning, and were a brisk 39 mph, gusting to 58 mph, at 3:13 am EDT at a personal weather station on Exuma Island. Shewp's Webcam from Exuma Island on Thursday morning showed a darkening sky with heavy whitecapping of the waters, as Joaquin approached, but the webcam and weather station stopped reporting at 8:52 am.

Impact of Joaquin on the Bahamas
Joaquin's main threat to the Bahamas is likely to be wind damage. The 11 am Thursday Wind Probability Forecast from NHC gave the highest chances of hurricane-force winds of 69% to San Salvador Island (population 930). Hurricane-force winds are slightly less likely on Cat Island (population 1,500), to the northwest of San Salvador Island. Heavy rains of 10 - 15 inches in the Central Bahamas may also cause considerable flooding damage, as well as the large waves of the storm riding up on top of the expected 5 - 10' storm surge. Thursday morning satellite imagery showed that Joaquin had stalled out over the Central Bahamas; with only a slow motion expected for the next day, the islands will receive and extended pounding, increasing the odds of significant wind damage.


Figure 3. This Maximum Water Depth storm surge image for the Bahamas shows the worst-case inundation scenarios for a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds, as predicted using dozens of runs of NOAA's SLOSH model. For example, if you are inland at an elevation of ten feet above mean sea level, and the combined storm surge and tide (the "storm tide") is fifteen feet at your location, the water depth image will show five feet of inundation. No single storm will be able to cause the level of flooding depicted in this image. The regions of the Bahamas most vulnerable to storm surge tend to lie on the southwest sides of the islands. Since Joaquin is approaching from the northeast, the storm's peak on-shore winds will be affecting the northeast sides of the islands, where deeper offshore waters tend not to allow larger storm surges to build. NHC is forecasting peak water levels (the depth of water above the high tide mark) of 5 - 10 feet from Joaquin in the Bahamas. See wunderground's storm surge pages for more storm surge info.

Outlook for Joaquin: Out to sea?
With favorable conditions for at least the next day (low wind shear and very warm sea-surface temperatures), Joaquin may yet intensify further. The 11 am EDT Thursday advisory from NHC pegs Joaquin’s top sustained winds at 125 mph, and the NHC outlook brings Joaquin to Category 4 status, with top sustained winds of 140 mph projected by Friday. Joaquin is located close to the region where Hurricane Andrew grew from Category 1 to Category 5 status during a year with very suppressed hurricane activity, 1992 (featuring an El Niño event during the first half of the year.) This serves as a reminder that the subtropics can be a worrisome breeding ground for strong hurricanes even during an El Niño year, when activity in the deep tropics tends to be suppressed. We can expect some fluctuation in strength if an eyewall replacement cycle takes hold over the next day or two, as is common after hurricanes go through a rapid intensification phase. Once Joaquin begins moving northward under the influence of stronger upper-level flow, we can expect its top sustained winds to eventually decrease while the size of its wind field increases. The waters are unusually warm across much of the Northwest Atlantic, which may help Joaquin sustain its strength longer than one would otherwise expect.

The track forecast for Joaquin remains low-confidence, although there was an important shift in the 00Z and 06Z Thursday computer-model guidance in favor of keeping Joaquin away from the U.S. East Coast. The global-scale GFS model, which had been predicting a North Carolina landfall for more than a day, shifted in its 00Z Thursday run to a track toward Long Island. The 06Z Thursday run of the GFS showed an even more dramatic shift eastward, with Joaquin hugging the Nova Scotia coastline. Members of the GFS ensemble also reflected this shift, with most but not all of the 06Z GEFS members showing an offshore track. (Ensembles are produced by running a model many times, each with slightly different initial conditions to represent uncertainty in the atmosphere’s starting point.) The UKMET also shifted significantly eastward, moving from a North Carolina landfall in its 12Z Wednesday run to a Cape Cod brushing in its 00Z Thursday run. The high-resolution HWRF and GFDL models stuck to their guns, with their 06Z Thursday runs continuing to depict landfall in North Carolina or Virginia.

If the trend toward an offshore track holds up in Thursday’s model guidance, kudos must go to the ECMWF model. Its operational run has consistently called for a track well away from the U.S. East Coast, as was the case at 00Z Thursday. Just as significant, most of the ECMWF ensemble members (about 40 out of 50) showed an offshore track in the 00Z Thursday runs, whereas a large part of the ensemble had previously shown of a U.S. landfall. Analyses of the ECMWF ensemble for 12Z Wednesday and 00Z Thursday indicate that the ensemble members who did the best in the first few hours of the forecast were consistently taking Joaquin offshore (see Figure 6).


Figure 4. The latest runs from our two top models for forecasting hurricane tracks: the 8 pm EDT Wednesday September 30, 2015 (00Z Thursday) run of the European model (left), and the 2 am EDT October 1 (06Z) run of the GFS model (right) both took Joaquin on a path out to sea that misses the U.S. coast, but were still very far apart. Image credit: wundermap with the "Model Data" layer turned on.





Figure 5. The ensemble runs of our two top models for forecasting hurricane tracks, both run at 8 pm EDT Wednesday September 30, 2015 (00Z Thursday). The 50 members of the European model ensemble (top) had only about 10 of its 50 members that showed a U.S. landfall, while about 10 of the 20 members of the GFS model ensemble (bottom) did so. Compared to the runs done 24 hours previous, the European ensembles had shifted considerably to the east, away from the U.S., with the GFS ensemble members less so. Ensemble runs take the operational version of the model and run it at lower resolution with slightly different initial conditions, to generate an "ensemble" of possible forecasts. 




Figure 6. The European model ensemble run at 8 pm EDT Wednesday September 30, 2015 (00Z Thursday, October 1) had four of its 50 members (grey lines) that tracked the movement of Joaquin exceptionally well during the period 00Z - 12Z October 1. All of these four members had tracks for Joaquin that missed the U.S., with two of them hitting Canada. The operational (high-resolution) version of the European model is shown in red. Image taken from a custom software package used by TWC.

The ECMWF model is known for its high-quality representation of atmospheric physics and its ability to smoothly incorporate data from a variety of sources. The model is not infallible; back in January, it famously and erroneously predicted that Manhattan would get walloped by several feet of snow, the result of it having placed an upper-level low about 100 miles too far to the west. However, in cases of model disagreement, the ECMWF is often the first to pick up on subtle large-scale features that turn out to be crucial in steering a hurricane or other storm. This was the case during 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, when the ECWMF was ahead of all models in depicting the rare leftward hook into New Jersey that Sandy ended up taking. Two key factors at play with Joaquin are the upper-level low cutting off over the Southeast U.S. and another upper low taking shape well northeast of Joaquin. Most models had projected that the Southeast low would pull Joaquin into its northeast side, a la Sandy, whereas the ECMWF and other models now appear to be reckoning that the upper low in the Atlantic will play a larger role in steering Joaquin.



Figure 7. This WunderMap image shows the GFS-analyzed steering flow at 200 mb (about 40,000 feet) at 06Z (2:00 am EDT) Thursday, October 1, 2015. Joaquin's future track is being shaped by an upper-level low that will cut off from a sharp trough now in the eastern United States (A) and by another upper low developing at the base of another sharp trough in the north central Atlantic (B).


Given the interplay between these two features, it is still too soon to confidently project that Joaquin will remain offshore, but it is fair to say that the ominous HWRF and GFDL tracks are now lower-probability, high-impact possibilities. The strength of Joaquin and the residual disagreement among models calls for continued keen vigilance and careful analysis. Another caveat is that the onshore and offshore forecast tracks do not diverge a great deal until after Friday, so quick action would be needed if the lower-probability onshore solution turned out to be correct.

A key experimental tool for better forecasts missing for Joaquin
One potential aid to making better hurricane track and intensity forecasts is the use of real-time radar data from NOAA's two P-3 hurricane research aircraft. Over the past two years, these aircraft have flown numerous missions into Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms, sending back real-time radar data that was ingested into the HWRF model, one of our top models for predicting both hurricane tracks and intensities. This real-time data was shown to measurably improve the forecasts from this model. Unfortunately, both NOAA P-3 aircraft are grounded this week for maintenance issues. One aircraft has been undergoing a months-long process to have new wings put on, leaving just one P-3 for this year's hurricane season. Unfortunately, last Friday, de-lamination of that plane's lower fuselage radome, which was deep and too broad to fix at the Aircraft Operation Center's base in Tampa, was discovered. The shell has been trucked to Jacksonville for repair, and the repair will not be done until Friday at the earliest. However, NOAA's jet has been flying upper-level dropsonde missions around the clock, and data from these missions has been getting fed into the models for Joaquin.

Regardless of Joaquin's path, a potentially devastating rain/flood/surge event
Even if Joaquin does stay offshore, a very large pressure gradient between it and a surface high far to the north will keep a broad easterly fetch of wind heading into the U.S. East Coast, leading to a prolonged bout of coastal flooding and erosion over the next several days. Storm-surge expert Hal Needham emphasized the rarity of the situation in a blog post on Thursday morning. “The duration of this wind event is absolutely mind-boggling,” says Needham. Strong, sustained onshore winds (more than 20 mph) could be affecting the mid-Atlantic coast for more than 96 solid hours, regardless of Joaquin’s track. High water will be present for as many as 10 high tides over several days, increasing the risk of erosion and flooding along the coast as well as up to a few miles inland. “This developing situation is truly historic and has not been observed in the modern history of the Mid-Atlantic Coast,” says Needham.

Complicating matters even further, a potentially destructive multi-day bout of heavy rain and inland flooding is on tap, focused on the southern Appalachians and nearby coastal plains, as the cutoff Southeast low continues to pump rich tropical moisture (with at least some contribution from Joaquin’s circulation) over a preexisting frontal zone. Both the ECMWF and GFS model solutions lead to moisture inflow at the 850 mb level (about a mile above sea level) that is close to unprecedented amounts—“off the charts,” as NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC) put it in a Thursday morning discussion.


Figure 8. 5-day predicted rainfall amounts from 12Z (8 am EDT) Thursday, October 1, to Tuesday, October 6. Image credit: NWS Weather Prediction Center.

Widespread rainfall in recent days (2” – 4” in many areas) has saturated the ground in many areas, which will add to the flood risk. The focus of the heaviest rain may shift from western GA/SC/NC/VA toward the mid-Atlantic toward Sunday and Monday, depending in large part on interactions between the Southeastern upper low and Joaquin. The 5-day rainfall amounts predicted by WPC are astounding: most of the region from northeast Georgia to New Jersey is projected to receive at least 5”, with 15-20” predicted across the bulk of South Carolina. Local amounts are often substantially greater than these large-scale predictions.

The bottom line: regardless of Joaquin’s track, a large and populous part of the United States is in for what could be historic rainfall and a very serious flooding risk.

We’ll have another update later today.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson

Hurricane

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

The deluge has begun...

Quoting 944. NasBahMan:



Don't know about you but I am starting to feel a little twitch, hopefully the turn happens soon.
Yeah.... I'm feeling no twitchier than I have been all week .... I've been expecting more of a "scoop" - i.e. shallow wide turn through the islands - rather than a "checkmark" type turn since this started to strengthen. Any more extended westerly track will mean increased impacts for New Providence, and after tomorrow morning Joaquin is very likely indeed to speed up the forward motion, which would mean less time to make any preparations. I fully expect we will experience impacts at least as bad as we saw with Irene, and with the potential cat 5 status, perhaps considerably worse.
So I have been feeling pretty twitchy all along. ............ Just not for Florida.
Quoting 993. Tazmanian:




yes there is the main talk right now is JQ most of us dont care about 90L right now


90L will influence JQ's path afaik (right?)
Looks like Joaquin is moving west again.
Stalled? What

5:00 PM EDT Thu Oct 1
Location: 23.0°N 74.4°W
Moving: SW at 6 mph
Min pressure: 936 mb
Max sustained: 130 mph
Quoting 987. help4u:

Every good model has it hundreds of miles off shore.


Nice to hear....what models made this track up? they are a guide not law.
But that would be GREAT news. : )

Reality:
1007. flsky
Did you post this because of the spin below Canaveral?

Quoting 943. JrWeathermanFL:


1008. help4u
Never has moved due west and not forecast too.
1009. Sangria
Quoting 1004. Camerooski:

Looks like Joaquin is moving west again.





JQ will land fall some where around NC the NHC will be wrong
1011. Antm500
So everybody here thinks the storm will go out to sea? The NAVGEM impacts South Carolina at 974mb, circles around, then rides up the East coast as a Nor'Easter at 961mb 12PM Wednesday.



1012. LargoFl
Quoting 995. stormpetrol:

Just got our first rain squall from the tail of Joaquin, look like more is to come. Wind gusts up to 32mph and pressure at 1006mb.


You got more than us, no rain in Nassau yet today and winds only between 10-15 mph.
011L/MH/J/C4
Definitely a WNW jog/turn starting on visible satellite in the last two frames. We'll need to watch and see if it continues.

Link
1016. IDTH
Quoting 1000. DavidHOUTX:



No there isn't. This is a weather blog. Some people are just ... ya know.

Like the conspiracy theorists.
Looks like the ECMWF again will beat the GFS. The storm's heading out to see, luckily for the East Coast folks.
Quoting 1010. Tazmanian:






JQ will land fall some where around NC the NHC will be wrong


Yes, we've heard. The NHC actually talks about multiple possibilities, then gives reasons why they think one is more likely than the other. Posters should try doing this too.
Quoting 985. JrWeathermanFL:



Why not post it...? Is there something wrong with posting this?
As long as it is weather related I see nothing wrong with that post.
Lots of roof loss being reported in acklins. Also if there was anyone on samana cay then they were there harvesting cascarilla bark... Which is one of the key ingredients of Campari.

Baha.. I'm afraid this storm is going to cross over lgi somewhere between Clarence town and Simms... In which case I'm in doggy do-do. Cape Santa Maria is only 20miles to my northeast... Clarence town is south of me and Simms is about even.
the ECMWF and GFS are outliners so are the rest of the models that show OTS
Probably just some clouds blowing across the eye. Makes it look like a change in motion.
Oh at 5pm Cat 4.


...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY 4 JOAQUIN MOVING THROUGH THE
CENTRAL BAHAMAS...

SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...23.0N 74.4W
ABOUT 15 M....25 KM NW OF CROOKED ISLAND BAHAMAS
ABOUT 70 MI...110 KM S OF SAN SALVADOR BAHAMAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...130 MPH...215 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...SW OR 235 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...9 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...936 MB...27.64 INCHES
Quoting 1022. Tazmanian:

the ECMWF and GFS are outliners so are the rest of the models that show OTS


And why do you say that? You seem pretty confident (I've been away from the blog since the 11AM advisory)
Regarding the turn we are all awaiting - think of it as a car needing to slow down to make the curve...Joaquin has slowed a bit and as they have been saying at the NHC, will start making the turn in 12-24 hrs. You aren't going to see it put it's blinker on first - you need to watch several hours of loops - not a few frames. The NHC has a lot of experts working around the clock. Sure - stay alert to what the storm is doing if you live anywhere from FL up to the New England Coast. Prayers for those in the Bahamas - looks like they will take a beating through the night.
Quoting 1002. BahaHurican:

Yeah.... I'm feeling no twitchier than I have been all week .... I've been expecting more of a "scoop" - i.e. shallow wide turn through the islands - rather than a "checkmark" type turn since this started to strengthen. Any more extended westerly track will mean increased impacts for New Providence, and after tomorrow morning Joaquin is very likely indeed to speed up the forward motion, which would mean less time to make any preparations. I fully expect we will experience impacts at least as bad as we saw with Irene, and with the potential cat 5 status, perhaps considerably worse.
So I have been feeling pretty twitchy all along. ............ Just not for Florida.


Yeah I haven't experienced one turn as abruptly has they are forecasting, sure hope this verifies.
It really seems incredible that Joaquin is just going to slam on the breaks... If it reaches Long Island, Bahamas does that nullify the new track?
Quoting 1022. Tazmanian:

the ECMWF and GFS are outliners so are the rest of the models that show OTS


Why are they outliers? Perhaps if this was 1-2 days ago then sure but today i'd hardly call them outliers.
Yes, I find it a bit concerning, something like this hurricane looking like it is heading towards my region. If I was the judge, I'd say this hurricane will be affecting Florida soon. I'm not the experienced predictor, so everybody wait before stocking up, filling up, and shuttering up, but those eluding that this storm has a real chance of coming to Florida, well, you should shut up! No storm educated scientist is remotely concerned about Florida with this storm. It appears they are a bit concerned about the Carolinas on up; but even that concern is dimming before our eyes. Florida, we lucked out this time, however we'll have our day, and those that think they want a Cat 4 or 5 will; think afterwards, why did I wish for this. Trust me hurricanes cause a lot of problems and a lot of inconveniences. I know we look at auto crashes or fires with interest, but we do not want to be the victim; this is the same type of event, so watch it on line, T.V. etc. but don't want to be directly involved and be happy you were not.
Quoting 1021. ExumaMET:

Lots of roof loss being reported in acklins. Also if there was anyone on samana cay then they were there harvesting cascarilla bark... Which is one of the key ingredients of Campari.

Baha.. I'm afraid this storm is going to cross over lgi somewhere between Clarence town and Simms... In which case I'm in doggy do-do. Cape Santa Maria is only 20miles to my northeast... Clarence town is south of me and Simms is about even.


Stay safe
Poor islands if it stalls. A stalled cat 4 overhead is among the worst conditions ever.
Quoting 877. Patrap:


Road closures: It's raining, so here's where to avoid
Flash flood warning in effect until 7:30 p.m.


The National Weather Service in Charleston has issued a flash flood warning for portions of Charleston County. The warning is in effect until 7:30 p.m. Thursday evening. Motorists are advised not to travel downtown unless absolutely necessary.

CARTA Express buses are running as regularly scheduled but expect delays due to detours and traffic congestion as a result of flooding.

As the sky opens up and the sea comes to reclaim what was once its own, the following roads have been closed due to flooding:

ROAD CLOSURES



!! What routes are people taking to MUSC and Roper hospitals?? The VA Hospital? Talk about having all your eggs in a waterlogged basket...

1035. LargoFl
5pm NHC update. Joaquin at 130mph and 936mb pressure. Movement to the SW at 6mph.

Quoting 1031. sebastianflorida:

Yes, I find it a bit concerning, something like this hurricane looking like it is heading towards my region. If I was the judge, I'd say this hurricane will be affecting Florida soon. I'm not the experienced predictor, so everybody wait before stocking up, filling up, and shuttering up, but those eluding that this storm has a real chance of coming to Florida, well, you should shut up! No storm educated scientist is remotely concerned about Florida with this storm. It appears they are a bit concerned about the Carolinas on up; but even that concern is dimming before our eyes. Florida, we lucked out this time, however we'll have our day, and those that think they want a Cat 4 or 5 will; think afterwards, why did I wish for this. Trust me hurricanes cause a lot of problems and a lot of inconveniences. I know we look at auto crashes or fires with interest, but we do not want to be the victim; this is the same type of event, so watch it on line, T.V. etc. but don't want to be directly involved and be happy you were not.

Wouldn't it be nice if all did it your way? My way is prepare..laugh later if it wasnt needed. I wait on boards till close.


Very messy and very intense. Eye will probably get covered up for a few frames as the hot towers build. North Western quadrant should get the wrap around making the coverage more symmetric.


Is Joaquin 135 mph or 130? The forecast path is 135..
Quoting 1015. Sfloridacat5:

Definitely a WNW jog/turn starting on visible satellite in the last two frames. We'll need to watch and see if it continues.

Link

I don't see what you see.
1040. IDTH
I am going to post my opinion now, if I see more W movement than what I have seen in the models, I am going to go out on a limb and say the models will be wrong. I am not one to say it, i'm not the nhc and I am not an expert so I expect nobody to take my opinion with a lot of weight but I have noticed the west movement of the storm, and I for one am concerned because the timing is slower in the models but I feel like it is happening sooner than they projected. I don't know what that entails, but I do not believe anyone on the East Coast is out of the woods. I feel like the north movement is about to begin very soon.

Again would like to point out i'm not an expert, i'm not the NHC take my opinion with a grain of salt.
people saying that Joaquin has started its turn over one frame lol its still moving W and is supposed to be moving W for another 12 hrs...
Quoting 1039. hurricanefishfla:

I don't see what you see.


I see a stall.. that's all..
Looks like the OBX can take a breath!!

Animated: Link
I believe it is drifting SW slowly and NHC said that too. PRESENT MOVEMENT...SW OR 235 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...9 KM/H
1045. sar2401
Quoting 982. JWMatthews:

It's really annoying when people just assume everyone is an idiot and a wishcaster or whatever. It's not true at all. The bottom line is that there's a monster hurricane 300 miles away and people are concerned it hasn't turned away from the area yet.
Saying you're keeping an eye on it is fine. Doing some last minute stock ups is a good idea. Following the NHC forecasts and discussions, along with other experts like Masters and Henson, can really help with understanding what's likely to happen with the storm.

What's annoying is some people (not saying you) who constantly post "what if" scenarios" of things that are not only unlikely to happen, but are almost meteorologically impossible to happen. What's annoying is I only see these kinds of posts from Florida bloggers. The Bahamas are really at risk now, yet the bloggers I've seen from there seem to be pretty calm and pretty knowledgeable about the storm. I don't generally see people for GA, SC, NC, and points north, who are really at more potential risk than people in Florida, coming up with question about "what if the trough splits" or "what if that high just isn't strong enough". It shows that many never even looked at a surface map and tried to understand the actual synoptics of the situation. What's really annoying is when the same people have been told over and over again why their fears, or hopes, are not realistic, yet they persist in posting the same things, some to the point of copying and pasting previous replies. Those are things that are really annoying to the rest of us in the world.
Quoting 1041. Camerooski:

people saying that Joaquin has started its turn over one frame lol its still moving W and is supposed to be moving W for another 12 hrs...


5:00 PM EDT Thu Oct 1
Location: 23.0°N 74.4°W
Moving: SW at 6 mph
Min pressure: 936 mb
Max sustained: 130 mph

Haven't looked at any satellite loops since 11AM but this is a pretty fresh update
1047. LargoFl
Quoting 1015. Sfloridacat5:

Definitely a WNW jog/turn starting on visible satellite in the last two frames. We'll need to watch and see if it continues.

Link

5pm NHC update says JQ is currently moving SW
Quoting 1033. Starhopper:

Poor islands if it stalls. A stalled cat 4 overhead is among the worst conditions ever.


If it doesn't stall there's gonna be some problems for a lot more people.
Quoting 977. NasBahMan:



I still don't understand what people were doing on Samana Cay, all I can think is they went over to watch the surf of what they thought would be a storm heading out to sea.


For more than 100 years residents of Acklins and Crooked Island go over to farm, fish, cut braziletto wood and cascarilla bark, and even to go crabbing. In the old days they used to say for months. My family comes from down there, and I've been told that people had stone houses there, as well as clapboard houses and short-term camps. I also have heard that there is at least one cave where those attempting to get away from the storm's effects could shelter.
1050. AVL
Wow! Very little of the conus is even in the cone now...I guess we can all breathe again
The thing that scares me the most is no residents in Florida even know about this yes I know it's supposed to turn but the longer this doesn't turn the scarier it's getting no prep time at all if things do change really hope this turn starts soon I do not want this coming
Quoting 1001. SavannahStorm:

The deluge has begun...




Indeed, this may be the most rain that we've seen in South Carolina since hurricane Floyd, and that only affected the northernmost portion of the state.
People aren't talking much about Charleston, but Charleston really doesn't handle rain like this well, much less several times the amount that normally would cause it to flood.
Quoting 1042. Articuno:



I see a stall.. that's all..
6mph is almost stall,but NHC says movement still SW.
People seem to just be making stuff up. I just don't get it, the 5 PM advisory states the storm is still moving SW at 6 mph. So should I just through out there that the storm is NW, and then it is going NE, then back to Due North. Come On Man, you have been awarded the prize
Joaquin was moving more WSW this morning but over last few hours is moving SW again.
The last image in the loops look like it is still going SW which matches what NHC is calling. Going to be interesting to see when it makes its move. It better turn soon.
1057. LargoFl
Quoting 1053. hurricanefishfla:

6mph is almost stall,but NHC says movement still SW.

Its been going 6mph for god knows how long. So, its not a stall :)
1059. olnutt
Everybody is calling this a category four with 130 mph winds but everything I read says a category four storm has sustained winds between 131 mph and 155 mph.
1060. Ryuujin
I don't see a stall? I see movement to the SW again. What is this thing doing...
It wont be able to penerate the front... Look how the front is almost reaching, cleaning and blocking the Eastern shore... So when picked up it will stay East of it...

Quoting 986. DeepSeaRising:



Are you experiencing any conditions from Joaquin yet? Stay safe, praying for the Bahamas. Haven't seen one like this in awhile. This is what you've always said you feared this time of year. And now a stalled major. Back door ULL that becomes Joaquin, wild.
Joaquin is slow, slow, slow. We had regular pre-storm conditions all day, but not even a prolonged squall. Even as far south as parts of Cat Island, winds are picking up but the storm effects have not yet quite begun. This time tomorrow we're more likely to be in the mix here in New Providence.

JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Quoting 1059. olnutt:

Everybody is calling this a category four with 130 mph winds but everything I read says a category four storm has sustained winds between 131 mph and 155 mph.


From the NHC

4
(major)
130-156 mph
113-136 kt
209-251 km/h
1067. sar2401
Quoting 1039. hurricanefishfla:

I don't see what you see.

Looks like it just started a NW movement since the last ATCF center fix. You can see it here, which works a lot better than the holding your finger over the monitor method.
I didn't get an answer before but: Is NYC going to dodge a bullet or are we going to be scraped while it passes by/possible landfall?
And is a landfall in the NE a good chance?
PRESENT MOVEMENT...SW OR 235 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...9 KM/H
Quoting 1061. sunlinepr:

It wont be able to penerate the front... Look how the front is almost reaching, cleaning and blocking the Eastern shore... So when picked up it will stay East of it...




Do storms ever penetrate fronts?
I just don't understand why i don't see a change in the outflow of JQ. His outflow to the west doesn't indicate a sharp turn to the north coming. Even the storms near the ocean coastline of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are retrograding back to the west. I need to see more evidence than just models. Where's the proof!
Is there any chance this storm is annular? And if so how can you tell?
I'm having a moment of awe watching the Morphed Integrated Microwave Imagery at CIMSS - Total Precipitable Water (MIMIC-TPW) loop. The trough in the midwest just nudges the tropical feed over Florida right towards Joaquin. I was outside a bit and I knew I felt less soggy, but to see it happen in the loop...
1074. IDTH
Quoting 1067. sar2401:


Looks like it just started a NW movement since the last ATCF center fix. You can see it here, which works a lot better than the holding your finger over the monitor method.

I'm going to bookmark this. Thanks Sar.
Quoting 1051. Austin72893:

The thing that scares me the most is no residents in Florida even know about this yes I know it's supposed to turn but the longer this doesn't turn the scarier it's getting no prep time at all if things do change really hope this turn starts soon I do not want this coming

You can't say no one knows, there are a lot of us that know. I was at the store in the upper keys and there were people getting supplies, some not so much, but that is the same for all storms, some just don't pay attention even when a storm is on their door step. I always say until it is way above my lat anything goes. I did my usual prep by getting a sheetload of beer, froze water, always have supplies on hand anyway. I hope it stays away from us but for now watching and waiting

Hi Res Animated of same: Link
What we should really be watching, as opposed to every slow meander Joaquin makes, is the progression of the front, and any signs of an increasing negative tilt.
Quoting 1060. Ryuujin:

I don't see a stall? I see movement to the SW again. What is this thing doing...


Go frame by frame. Any movement during the last four hours is minimal.
1080. hydrus
Quoting 1070. FunnelVortex:



Do storms ever penetrate fronts?
Yes...Especially when the system is weakening.
Quoting 1066. JrWeathermanFL:



From the NHC

4
(major)
130-156 mph
113-136 kt
209-251 km/h


After the 2013 season, the range of a Category 4 was increased by 1 mph on both ends, so instead of 131-155 it is now 130-156. Apparently word didn't get out because I've seen this explanation posted here several times before (once or twice by me even) dating back to Gonzalo.
Quoting 992. SandyCheeks13:

Out to sea? I'm in NYC and we are still in the cone.
Sandy Here is a good site to check if you want to see if you are in the NHC cone. Give it a try http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
Quoting 1072. Austin72893:

Is there any chance this storm is annular? And if so how can you tell?

Annular hurricanes have large eyes, are very symmetric, and lack spiral bands.

2003's Isabel is an example:



The chances of Joaquin becoming annular are slim.
Quoting 1084. TropicalAnalystwx13:


Annular hurricanes have large eyes, are very symmetric, and lack spiral bands.

2003's Isabel is an example:



The chances of Joaquin becoming annular are slim.

Okay thank you (: do you know when the next model runs come out
well what would ya all say if I told ya its done
and on its downward turn
ir already shows its losing that nice look it once had
but that might just be the day effect
but I got a feeling its slow motion
is causing waters under it to cool significantly
and this thing may just spin itself out just as fast as it spun up
Quoting 1063. WunderAlertBot:

JeffMasters has created a new entry.

NEW BLOG!!!
Quoting 969. Starhopper:


FL here too. Advice? Prepare now and laugh later if it was a waste. You will use whatever you buy.


Especially if you make a case of Caramel Cans (simmer cans of sweetened condensed milk in your crockpot) and hand out with sleeves of cookies: nobody will want to be rescued!



This is a population map: overlay the WPC projected rain totals map on the coast with JQ going OTS. Then imagine he hugs by 50 miles the coast without making technical landfall, adding 5-10" of rain all up the coast. JQ has never been in a hurry, one could expect that when he does turn it will be leisurely.
Quoting 697. Grothar:

Has anyone heard from Bahamagirl. She was also in Nassau.




If you mean me...I'm in Freeport, not Nassau.
1090. Grothar
Quoting 1089. Bahamagal:



If you mean me...I'm in Freeport, not Nassau.


Hey, How you doing? Been a long time. OK, so it's Freeport. You know I'm getting old. Just wondering if you were safe. It does look bad from here.
Quoting 1090. Grothar:



Hey, How you doing? Been a long time. OK, so it's Freeport. You know I'm getting old. Just wondering if you were safe. It does look bad from here.


Safe and sound - prepared for the worst and hoping the forecast holds. No weather to speak of here at this point. Worried about all those in the southeast islands getting hammered. Hope you are well!