Posted by: coastlinesproject | October 8, 2015

Hurricane Joaquin, flooding as more than a foot of water comes down rivers to meet the coast,

NewsALERT™ AIR WORLDWIDE Hurricane Joaquin Moving Northward to Soak the East Coast Current location: 23.8°N, 74.8°W at 2:00 p.m. EDT Friday, October 2 Movement: Northwest at 3 mph (6 km/h) Maximum sustained winds: 130 mph (215 km/h) Hurricane and tropical storm warnings: A hurricane warning is in effect for the central Bahamas, northwestern Bahamas (including the Abacos and the Berry Islands), Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, New Providence, The Acklins, Crooked Island, and Mayaguana; a hurricane watch is in effect for Bimini and Andros Island; a tropical storm warning is in effect for the remainder of the southeastern Bahamas, including the Turks and Caicos Islands, Andros Island, and the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Los Tunas, Holguin, and Guantanamo NewsALERT icon Distance to nearest population center: About 10 miles (15 km) north-northeast of Long Island, Bahamas, and about 25 miles (40 km) south-southwest of San Salvador, Bahamas Other hazards: Storm surge and power failures Expected damage: Coastal flooding, and beach and dune erosion Forecast track and intensity: Tracking northeastward as a major hurricane until Sunday, then gradually weakening Hurricane Joaquin has been moving very slowly northwestward through the central Bahamas as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph. As expected, it now appears to be starting to move northward. The track of the storm remains uncertain and there is still a lot of spread among the forecasting models, but the convergence of the models is now suggesting that a U.S. landfall is less likely. However, the storm could still bring rain and flooding to the East Coast, which is already soaked from recent heavy rainfall. Impact in the Bahamas Hurricane Joaquin brought strong winds and heavy rain as it moved over the Bahamas on Thursday and Friday. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center of the system, and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km). Wind gusts of 55 mph (88 km/h) were reported on Thursday as far away as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A total of between 12 and 18 inches (30-45 cm) of rain may fall over much of the central Bahamas through Friday. People at risk in the islands were evacuated ahead of the storm, schools closed, and Bahamasair, Sky Bahamas, and Southern Air canceled flights to the central and southern Bahamas. There appear to have been no casualties from the hurricane, but power outages and roof damage have been reported. The most serious impact has been storm surge flooding, which has been severe in some locations. A very dangerous and life-threatening storm surge was expected to raise water levels by as much as 6 to 12 feet (1.8-3.6 m) above normal tide levels in the central Bahamas in areas of onshore flow. Satellite Image Joaquin A MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Joaquin on September 30. (Source: NOAA) The Bahamas has a stringent and well-enforced building code, which helps limit severe structural damage. Insured losses are also affected by take-up rates. In New Providence Island (Nassau) and Grand Bahama Island (Freeport), which are not being severely impacted by Joaquin, take-up rates are high, but on other islands of the Bahamas—which are currently being significantly effected—they are quite low. United States Hurricane Joaquin is still a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph (215 km/h) located in the Bahamas and barely moving. The storm appears to have started to track north a little. There is still a lot of spread among the various forecasting models and the storm’s track remains uncertain, but recent convergence of the models suggests that the track will shift to the east and even farther from the U.S., making a U.S. landfall less likely. However, the storm could still affect the Northeast when it makes its way northward early next week. Intensity-wise, the official forecast keeps the storm as a major hurricane until Sunday, after which a gradual weakening is expected. There is also a possibility that the storm may undergo an eyewall replacement. If this happens, the storm will likely expand and this will have a direct result on its impact on the U.S. coast. On the other hand, the storm’s intensity will also be affected by the eyewall replacement and, given a track over colder water and higher wind shear, it might not be able to recover by the time it gets close to the coast. The storm could still be a hurricane at its closest approach to the U.S. Even without a landfall, Joaquin could bring rain and more flooding to the East Coast, which was just soaked by heavy rainfall. As a result, precautionary flood warnings are in effect from parts of Georgia to New Jersey, and some extend as far west as parts of West Virginia and Tennessee. Nearly all of North Carolina was already under a flood watch because of recent rainfall. The governors of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey have declared states of emergency and, according to a White House spokesman, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is preparing in case Joaquin does make landfall. The eastward shift of Joaquin’s track, which now seems likely, would reduce the impact of wind and rain upon the East Coast compared to what was expected when a much closer track was anticipated. Swells have already begun to affect portions of the southeastern coast of the United States and will spread northward along the East Coast through the weekend causing life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Regardless of Joaquin’s track, a prolonged period of elevated coastal water levels and large waves will affect the mid-Atlantic region, causing significant beach and dune erosion with moderate coastal flooding likely. Track Map Joaquin Five-day track map of Hurricane Joaquin, as of 2 p.m, October 2. (Source: NOAA) The AIR tropical cyclone team continues to monitor Joaquin’s progress and will provide additional updates as warranted.


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