The National Hurricane Center’s latest bulletin, issued at 5:00 EDT, notes that the “government of the Bahamas has issued a Hurricane Warning for the central Bahamas, including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador.”
The NHC said “Joaquin is moving toward the west-southwest near 6 mph (9 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the west and a decrease in forward speed are forecast on Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Joaquin is expected to move near or over portions of the central Bahamas tonight and Thursday.”
According to the latest bulletin maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts, which is slightly below hurricane strength at 72 mph. The NHC said, however, that “strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Joaquin is forecast to become a hurricane today. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is en route to investigate Joaquin this morning.
“Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 988 mb (29.18 inches).”
On the NHC’s 5-day forecast track, Joaquin is expected to veer to the north, and could come ashore by early Monday morning in North Carolina. Later in the week the forecast map indicates the storm is expected to continue up the eastern coast of the U.S., and pass over heavily populated areas of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York City. The wind speed, however, is expected to decrease as the storm moves north.
Source: National Hurricane Center
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