HURRICANE JOAQUIN IN THE ATLANTIC

It is getting late in the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season, already past the traditional historical peak of the annual season, and here we are on 2 October watching a major category 4 Hurricane JOAQUIN that has been hammering the central Bahamas for the past two days.

Infrared satellite image of 10/02/2015 [NASA] showing a strong ang strengthening hurricane JOAQUIN hammering the Bahamas
Infrared satellite image of 10/02/2015 [NASA] showing a strong and strengthening hurricane JOAQUIN hammering the Bahamas
Because of the interaction of several atmospheric systems over the Atlantic and North America forecasting where JOAQUIN will actually go has been rather difficult. Just a couple of days ago with the hurricane nearly stationary over the Bahamas, panic waves spread along the U.S.A. eastern seaboard as several models traced a track pointing toward New Jersey and New York, and memories of SANDY vividly flashed back for million of residents along the Atlantic coastal region.

Satellite image of 10/02/2015 [NOAA] showing water vapor in the atmosphere, which helps visualize the path of least resistance opening between two atmospheric system that may pull JOAQUIN away from a direct hit on the U.S.A. coastal region
Satellite image of 10/02/2015 [NOAA] showing water vapor in the atmosphere, which helps visualize the path of least resistance opening between two atmospheric system that may pull JOAQUIN away from a direct hit on the U.S.A. coastal region
More recently the picture has become clearer as the various weather systems have gotten more organized in the atmosphere and a definite path of least resistance has opened. which appears will take JOAQUIN on a northeasterly track paralleling the U.S.A. coastline and most probably avoiding a direct land-falling impact of these still Sandy-traumatized regions.

Projected track for Hurricane JOAQUIN (courtesy of the U.S. Naval research Laboratory) as of 10/02/2015
Projected track for Hurricane JOAQUIN (courtesy of the U.S. Naval research Laboratory) as of 10/02/2015

To the east of JOAQUIN we are watching a disturbance in the central Atlantic that appears to be getting much better organized, and a strong tropical wave just emerging from Equatorial Africa over the eastern Atlantic to the south of the Cape Verde Islands.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image (NOAA) of 10/02/2015 showing Hurricane JOAQUIN and two other potentially cyclonic systems over the northern Atlantic basin
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image (NOAA) of 10/02/2015 showing Hurricane JOAQUIN and two other potentially cyclonic systems over the northern Atlantic basin

So it appears there is still plenty of fuel for potential cyclonic activity in the north Atlantic basin, despite the dampening effects of a strong and  still developing El Niño off the Pacific coast of Peru.

Like recently departed New York Yankee legend Yogi Berra  used to say “it ain’t over until it is over”, so the prudent course of action for all interest around the basin will be to pay attention, remain alert, be prepared, and above all MITIGATE, as we go through the final stretch of the ‘official’ 2015 Atlantic Hurricane season. Keep in mind, it won’t be over until mother Nature says it is!