The Weather Channel is reporting hurricane warnings have been expanded to include more of the Bahamas as Hurricane Joaquin churns toward the nation of islands east of Florida. Despite considerable uncertainty, the odds of a landfall on the U.S. East Coast appear to be increasing, and the official forecast track suggests that Joaquin could become the first land falling hurricane on the U.S. mainland in 15 months.
The author writes:
“An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft measured sufficiently strong flight-level winds and low surface pressure to prompt the National Hurricane Center to upgrade Joaquin Wednesday morning. The Hurricane Hunters found a 55-mile-wide eye, but it was open on its north side – meaning that robust thunderstorms had not fully encircled the Joaquin’s center of circulation.
Hurricane Joaquin continues to intensify slowly, as wind shear – harmful to the intensification of tropical cyclones – lessens, and a complicated atmospheric pattern makes its future track – including any potential landfall on the U.S. East Coast – extremely difficult to forecast.
Residents along the East Coast of the U.S. should pay close attention to the forecast now through this weekend. It’s a particularly difficult forecast that hinges on the behavior of several different atmospheric features over North America and the North Atlantic Ocean.”
For more information about Hurricane Joaquin, visit The Weather Channel.