NEW JERSEY – The National Weather Service (NWS) is currently advising citizens of the East Coast to ready for the potential of the storm now known as Joaquin, which has gathered up hurricane strength and is now classified as “Hurricane Joaquin.”
“Joaquin has strengthened into a hurricane and while there is still much uncertainty in its path, people along the U.S. East Coast should monitor the National Hurricane Center and local NWS forecast offices, as well as local media, for the latest updates and be sure to have a plan in place should Joaquin threaten their area,” was the message posted on the NWS map this morning.
Joaquin is presently classified as a “Category 4” hurricane, with winds that can gust between 130 to 156 mph. Storm surges can rise to 18 feet.
Joaquin, as of this afternoon, was 200 miles wide and 150 mph in speed, according to ABC News.
The 2012 Hurricane Sandy, often known as “Superstorm Sandy,” was a Category 3 Hurricane. New Jerseyans are still reeling from the effects of Sandy, with some still repairing their lives and property following the devastation one of the greatest disasters of our recent history imposed.
The track for this storm is still not certain but meteorologists are watching intently. If Joaquin is to challenge New Jersey, the anticipated time for the storm striking is Sunday night into Monday morning, should it hit New Jersey. Some models track the hurricane heading off into sea, but others describe it as more erratic, and perhaps heading to New Jersey as a Tropical Storm.
In either case, Governor Chris Christie has already declared a State of Emergency, and has advised on his Twitter Page for residents to be prepared, not panic, and continue to check ready.nj.gov.
JCP&L has provided storm preparedness information on its Facebook Page. Click here for information.
Through today, the forecast is expected to be light precipitation, with the weather intensifying with periods of heavy rain throughout the area Friday and Friday night. A Hazardous Weather Outlook is in effect for New Jersey area, specifically the Northern and Northwest New Jersey areas, plus Central New Jersey, stretching through sections of Pennsylvania and Maryland.
New Jersey’s coastline, along with much of the Eastern Seaboard, is currently marked with a “Gale Warning” on the NWS map. The Hurricane Warning area that is denoted red, is a large block in the Atlantic distantly off the coast of Florida through the Carolinas, which is marked in red.
The National Hurricane Center, which is part of the National Weather Service, currently reports that Hurricane Joaquin’s “eye” is in the Samana Cays region of the Bahamas, and the central area of those islands will endure Hurricane strength winds, storm surge, and heavy rain. Those winds have been maximally sustained at about 120 mph, covering an area of about a 35-mile circumference from the storm’s center. The tropical storm area could impact regions about 140 miles from the eye of Hurricane Joaquin. Effects from this storm are expected to batter the Bahamas over the next few days.
Hurricane Warnings, which means the hurricane is imminent, is in that region currently with Hurricane Watches for Binimi and Andros Island, and Tropical Storm Warnings for the Turks and Caicos and some of Andros Island.
Stay on the scene with NJInsideScene.com, as we continue to follow the track of this storm. Click here to follow us on Facebook.