Hurricane Joaquin Direct Hit To NYC Possible, Upgraded To Category 3 Storm With 120 MPH Winds

Hurricane Joaquin is causing concern, as forecasts show it could make a direct hit on New York City and New Jersey. The revelation follows an upgrade in the storm’s severity to a Category 3 storm, which includes 120 MPH winds. Those still reeling from Hurricane Sandy in 2012 are especially on edge, as some forecasts show Hurricane Joaquin devastating the same area.

The Daily Mail reports that much of the east coast is on high alert as Hurricane Joaquin approaches the Bahamas. The storm, which was upgraded to a Category 3 storm late Wednesday evening, has the potential to wreak havoc on the area that is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Though a threat exists for the majority of the east coast, meteorologists are still unsure exactly where Joaquin will hit.

The Weather Channel models of the potential path of Hurricane Joaquin shows a potential path that includes anywhere from the Carolinas to a direct hit on NYC. However, there is good news. Other models predict that the hurricane will turn and head back off into the Atlantic ocean.

Hurricane Joaquin
This Weather Channel six day predication shows the possible landfall points for Hurricane Joaquin.

As you can see in the model above, Hurricane Joaquin is highly unpredictable at this point. However, there are a number of concerning landfall points, including a direct hit to New York City. This possibility has left some meteorologists asking if Joaquin could be “another Sandy.” Sadly for those on the east coast, the chance does exist for mass devastation in coastal communities with high winds and heavy rainfall.

If Joaquin does make landfall, meteorologists point out that it would be the first hurricane to make landfall in the United States in 15 months.

“The first U.S. landfalling hurricane in 15 months may still occur later this weekend along some part of the East Coast, however, considerable uncertainty remains at this point.

Hurricane Joaquin
The latest photo from the Weather Channel of Hurricane Joaquin's location.

The Weather Channel shows Hurricane Joaquin currently located near the Bahamas, with Hurricane warnings for a large portion of the Bahamas and tropical storm warnings expanding to include the Turks and Caicos as the storm intensifies.

“An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft flying through Hurricane Joaquin Thursday morning found estimated surface winds of 117 knots, or roughly 135 mph, in the southwestern eyewall’s deep thunderstorms.”

Other images show that the hurricane was starting to form a “distinct eye,” which is also a sign of intensification. Therefore, the classification of Hurricane Joaquin was upgraded to a Category 3 storm. The storm is expected to intensify as it continues towards U.S. soil, possibly reaching Category 4 before making landfall.

With uncertainty surrounding the hurricane’s official path, the Weather Channel has issued an alert for much of the east coast to remain “aware” at this time.

Hurricane Joaquin
From the Carolinas to Massachusetts, meteorologists are wanting east coast residents to remain alert as Hurricane Joaquin approaches.

Therefore, meteorologists are encouraging all people in the potential path of the hurricane to remain alert and prepare for the worse. It was also noted that even if Hurricane Joaquin does not make landfall in the U.S. and takes a turn out into the Atlantic, the coast will still experience impact from the large storm, which includes heavy rainfall and flooding.

“Regardless of the ultimate outcome of Joaquin’s path, portions of the East Coast will still see multiple impacts from the evolving large-scale weather pattern, including flooding rainfall, coastal flooding, high surf, beach erosion, and gusty winds.”

If you live on the east coast, are you making preparations for the possibility of Hurricane Joaquin making landfall?

[Image Credit: The Weather Channel]