MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL) -- Hurricane Joaquin continues to stay vigorous. As of the 8pm advisory Saturday, the hurricane has winds sustained at 145 mph (For reference, Category 5 strength is 156+ mph). The storm has finally pushed away from the Bahamas after lashing some of the islands with strong tropical storm force to hurricane force winds for nearly two days. A cold front, coupled with a strong trough off the eastern seaboard is essential shielding the country from this powerful system. This shield, along with a weakness in a high pressure system to the north should help guide Joaquin to the north and east at an accelerated pace over the next 5 days. Bermuda is very close to the cone of uncertainty for the hurricane's path. Category 3 winds will likely be very close to the island, but if the storm jogs further east, Bermuda may be under the cone by the next advisory. For now, Bermuda is under a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch. By late next week. Joaquin should be well to the north in the ocean, but may impact Europe as a non-tropical system.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, there are two disturbances to watch for possible development in the coming days. A disturbance several hundred miles east of Joaquin has lost intensity and its previous high chances of developing have shrunk to 20% in the next 5 days. Wind shear from Joaquin should help prevent the system from organizing much. Also well in the eastern Atlantic, a tropical disturbance has a 20% chance of development within the next 5 days as it pushes west.