Hurricane Joaquin has left the Bahamas and is now embedded in a well defined generally northeastward flow. Yesterday morning saw a second peak in intensity as Joaquin moved away from the Bahamas, but the hurricane has since weakened as expected. As of the noon update from the National Hurricane Center, Joaquin had weakened to a category two hurricane with 110mph maximum sustained winds and a minimum central pressure near 957mb. The center of Joaquin is expected to pass roughly 60 miles to the west and northwest of the island.
- The Bermuda Weather Service issued a Hurricane Warning for Bermuda and the surrounding marine area yesterday and that remains in effect. This means that hurricane conditions (sustained winds greater than 74mph or 64kts) are expected in part of the warning area generally within 36 hours of issuance.
- As of noontime, it looks like sustained tropical storm force winds (>39mph or 34kts) are already occurring in the marine area and at elevated and exposed areas. Sustained winds should continue to increase this afternoon, exceeding 60mph (50kts) at times with higher gusts as Joaquin makes its closest point of approach. Elevated areas exposed to southeast, south, and southwest winds, particularly in the west end could see a period of sustained hurricane force winds with higher gusts tonight. Expect isolated to scattered power outages and mainly vegetative damage with some isolated minor structural damage possible in areas of highest winds. It doesn’t look likely that Joaquin will make a direct hit on Bermuda tonight, but in the event that happens, be prepared for significantly higher winds.
- Dangerous sea states are developing now and some minor coastal flooding is possible in areas of onshore winds. Heavy showers of rain have occurred and should become more steady this afternoon as the center of Joaquin gets closer. Unofficial rainfall totals near 2″ have been reported on some wunderground personal weather stations since last night. Additional accumulations of 1-3 inches are possible as Joaquin passes and could lead to flooding in low-lying areas particularly around high tide. As with any tropical cyclone, there is the threat of isolated tornadoes in the heavier squally showers in the outer bands.
- Continue to monitor official updates from the Bermuda Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center regarding the track and intensity of Joaquin and any changes to expected impacts.