TALLAHASSEE (WTXL) - Hurricane force winds, heavy rains and high storm surges are expected for parts of the Bahamas through Friday evening as the storm continues to move very slowly towards the islands.
Beyond tomorrow, the system will turn northbound, likely as a Category 4 storm. Currently Joaquin has winds of 120 mph, but it is expected to strengthen to 140 mph winds by early Friday morning! If that happens, it'll make it the strongest hurricane of the season, surpassing Danny's peak strength.
As it moves north and advances over cooler water, it will likely weaken as it approaches the East Coast of the U.S. but will still likely maintain its hurricane status. The forecast cone is quite wide this weekend and beyond, indicating forecasters are quite uncertain of where the system will end up.
A digging upper-level trough along the jet stream will steer this storm one way or another, but if it digs deep enough, it could keep the storm offshore completely. Meanwhile, other computer model outputs indicate it could threaten anywhere from the Carolinas, all the way to New England.
However, it's important to note that there are no local impacts expected from Joaquin. Stay tuned this afternoon for further updates.