UPDATE-Alert! Warning! Freak Storm & Hurricane Joaquin To Combine & Flood Parts of East Coast [VIDEO]

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Update -

Joaquin upgraded to Cat 3 hurricane as East Coast braces for more flooding (VIDEO)

The East Coast is bracing for a weekend of potential flooding as Hurricane Joaquin bears down on the Bahamas. The storm was upgraded from a tropical storm to a Category 3 hurricane, and weather forecasters expect it to turn northwards towards the US.

Joaquin’s winds “have increased to near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts,” according to Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft measurements.

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Joaquin becomes a hurricane over night. Find the most recent warnings and forecast 

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Hurricane Joaquin is intensifying slowly, as the wind shear drops. The storm’s 55-mile-wide eye remains open on the north side.

Forecasters predict Joaquin will become major hurricane

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXwMGMZyffc

Originally listed as a Category 1 cyclone, it was upgraded to Category 3 Wednesday evening by the US National Hurricane Center. Hurricane warnings and watches are in effect for much of the Bahamas. The storm is expected to arrive near the central part of the coral-based archipelago Wednesday night and Thursday.

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 (NOAA GIV) captured this image from JOAQUIN this evening. The night crew heads out soon.

Hurricane force winds ‒ meaning wind speeds of 74 to 95 mph (119-153 km/hr) ‒ extend outward up to 30 miles (50 km) from the center. Tropical storm force winds ‒ meaning wind speeds between 39 mph and 73 mph (63-118 km/hr) ‒ extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km) from the center.

VIDEO*Recommendations by the  Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection offer the following tips that all  residents take three simple preparedness steps: Get a kit, make a plan, and stay informed”.*

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Air Force recon collecting data on #Joaquin as we speak. GPS drops show avg. wind in lowest 500m ~85 mph, E of center

The storm will move southwest through Wednesday night before turning north towards the US. One model, the American GFS, predicted an alarming northwestward turn,” the Weather Channel said, with the storm slamming into Virginia and Maryland over the weekend.

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However, another, the European ECMWF model, shows Joaquin running parallel to the East Coast and offshore before turning to the northeast and heading further out to the North Atlantic off New England and Canada’s eastern provinces.1

Coastal Watches/Warnings and 5-Day Forecast Cone for Storm Center © National Hurricane Center

As Category 3 cyclone, it is classified as a “major hurricane with sustained wind speeds between 111 and 129 mph (178-208 km/hr).

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“Joaquin's future depends critically on the position and relative strength of those players – not to mention its own strength,”the Weather Channel said. “It's a particularly difficult forecast that hinges on the behavior of several different atmospheric features over North America and the North Atlantic Ocean.”

Hurricane Joaquin - Caribbean Alert - 85 MPH.

Forecasters are struggling to predict Joaquin’s path and intensity because of the uncertainty with how the hurricane will interact with a complex set of other weather factors, including a cold front near the East Coast, the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida, a strong bubble of high pressure aloft over the North Atlantic Ocean and a potentially strong area of low pressure over the US Southeast towards the end of the week.

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1Latest (06z) GFS has big NC/VA Joaquin landfall. 3rd run in a row w/ similar solution and many other models agree.

The East Coast, which was slammed by torrential downpours that caused flash flooding Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, can expect more flooding this weekend, regardless of whether Joaquin makes landfall.

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Total precipitation forecast, September 30 through October 7 © National Hurricane Center

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The areas hit by that storm spread from Virginia in the south ‒ where the Roanoke River crested at 9.32 feet at Shawsville on Tuesday, above the 9-foot "major flood" threshold ‒ to Maine in the north ‒ where much of Portland is covered in 5 inches of rain ‒ and as far west as Ohio ‒ where Wheeling Creek was reportedly flooded out of its banks and onto US Route 40 in Blaine.

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Early afternoon visible shot of #Joaquin reveals an eye feature with stronger storms on the western side.

Major Hurricane Joaquin to Hammer US East Coast With Flooding, Strong Winds (video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFf64G9JWv4

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Alert! Warning! Freak Storm & Hurricane Joaquin To Combine & Flood Parts of East Coast [VIDEO]

Hurricane Joaquin is the sort of high uncertainty and high impact extreme weather event that the meteorology community has been preparing for since Hurricane Sandy's historic and deadly hit on the Mid-Atlantic states in 2012.

Joaquin, which was a Category 1 hurricane as of early afternoon on Wednesday, is forecast to become a major hurricane, which means it would reach Category 3 intensity or greater, before it begins barreling its way up the East Coast toward the end of the week.

Exactly where it goes is a giant question mark right now, though it is helping to aim a firehose of moisture at the East Coast, presenting the near-certainty of dangerous amounts of heavy rain during the next several days.

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The task of communicating these threats, from the more certain hazards (heavy rain) to the less clear ones (hurricane-force winds and storm surge flooding) falls to meteorologists and climate and weather reporters, including yours truly.

Alert! Warning! Freak Storm & Hurricane Joaquin to combine & flood parts of East Coast

Many of these experts have been trying to learn from their experience during Hurricane Sandy while dealing with a rapidly changing media landscape, where storms are not just hyped on cable news, but also on Twitter and Facebook.

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Since Sandy, there has been much soul-searching and studying going on in the meteorology and social sciences communities about risk communication. There were many mistakes made during Sandy, many forecasters concluded, including the lack of specific storm surge warnings that were separate from hurricane warnings, as well as the effect that switching the designation of the storm from a hurricane to a post-tropical storm may have had on the perceived threat among the public and emergency officials.

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Maria LaRosa, a meteorologist at the Weather Channel, told Mashable that her task right now is to communicate to viewers that they need to pay attention to this forecast while also communicating the uncertainty involved at this point.

"There's been so much discussion recently (a very good thing) about communicating uncertainty when forecasting," she wrote via a Twitter message. "The message for Joaquin this many days out needs to illustrate that uncertainty without causing people to tune out the forecast. Leave room to elevate the strength of the wording."

Hurricane Joaquin churns towards U.S. East coast

"For instance, I just texted my family in N.J. a snapshot of Joaquin's track and said, "OK, here's what I suggest you do now, this many days out." When it's time to pull the trigger, say in few days when things are more certain, I'll be saying things like, "OK, here's what you NEED to do NOW."

Nate Johnson, a meteorologist and executive producer at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina, told Mashable via Twitter that the proliferation of social media presents a challenge for forecasters.

Nate Johnson, a meteorologist and executive producer at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina, told Mashable via Twitter that the proliferation of social media presents a challenge for forecasters.

VIDEO*Recommendations by the  Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection offer the following tips that all  residents take three simple preparedness steps: Get a kit, make a plan, and stay informed”.*

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"We’re still learning how to communicate complex, multi-hazard weather systems like hurricanes (and predecessor rainfall events) across different media or even different forms of social media. And the result can be unintentionally confusing or misleading for people who only get a bite-sized piece of what we might intend to be a meal," Johnson wrote.

"Just like we can’t reduce a storm to a single category number, for example, we can’t reduce a hurricane down to a single tweet without cutting something out."

Johnson said he is emphasizing two key points for his viewers and readers, which is the likelihood of heavy rain regardless of the track of Hurricane Joaquin.

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"We need to make sure we’re communicating well for the individual platform, and not just with an eye toward being first or getting the most shares but leaving people with a better understanding of what we think is going to happen."

As for the hurricane itself, Johnson is trying to "synthesize and contextualize" the projections from computer models.

"... We’ll look not just to put data out there but to synthesize & contextualize it… all within the frame of what people need to be thinking about or doing today, something for which I don’t need a perfect forecast to do," he wrote.

"When tomorrow comes, the forecast data, models, and so forth will all be different… and so too will what people need to be thinking about and doing. In essence, we’re trying to keep the forecast and preparedness thoughts in sync and not forcing the forecast precision beyond what’s either available scientifically or what’s needed for most folks to be ready for whatever will come."

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3D Flyby of Hurricane Joaquin by GPM

Johnson, LaRosa and Marshall Shepherd, a meteorology professor at Georgia State University and the former president of the American Meteorological Society, each told Mashable of their concerns regarding the potential for inland flooding to be the biggest story of this weather event.

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As Shepherd pointed out, focusing too much on the hurricane threat "may cause many to miss one of the real threats of this event. The significant amounts of rainfall that will fall on one of the most urbanized regions of the country and nearby mountainous regions too."

The National Weather Service is forecasting a huge swath of five-to-ten-inch rainfall amounts during the next several days. This area, forecasts show, could encompass more than 1500 miles in north-south distance and 700 miles in width, from west to east.

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Shepherd also says the comparisons to Hurricane Sandy, which was a storm that made a sudden left turn into the Mid-Atlantic, "are fair given the large-scale set up," be he noted key differences. "Sandy was a much larger storm footprint wise and was relatively weak. This storm may actually be a smaller storm area-wise, but pack more of a punch, intensity wise," he wrote.

"This, coupled with the already startling moisture availability makes for a set of impacts likely different than Sandy."

Studies have shown that inland flooding kills more people than any other hurricane-related hazard, Shepherd noted.

Hurricane Joaquin threatens East Coast

In New Jersey and along much of the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern coast, strong winds and heavy rain will occur prior to any effects from Hurricane Joaquin. This is because of the combination of weather systems moving across the area, from a strong high pressure area over Quebec to a frontal boundary draped along the East Coast.

Gary Szatkowski, who has been lauded for his risk communication efforts during Hurricane Sandy, said he is concerned the focus of attention in his region is being misdirected toward the hurricane threat.

"We have a Coastal Flood Watch anda High Wind Watch up for high impact weather Friday into Saturday, associated with very strong northeast flow, all independent of Joaquin," he wrote via Twitter. "[I'm concerned that focus has been on Joaquin, and that people will be 'surprised' even though ut has been in the forecast. If Joaquin does threaten our area, these antecedent conditions will make preparedness activities very problematic."

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Source:http://mashable.com

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