There is a lot of speculation about Hurricane Joaquin, the next major hurricane now swirling far off the coast of Florida. But with all the speculation, it appears that no one can really pin down the path this storm will take.
Forecasters have variously said that the hurricane will make landfall in north Florida, some say it will be further north in the Carolinas, and still others think it won’t hit until the New England area. And then others say it won’t make landfall at all but will stay out to sea.
Joaquin is currently battering Samana Cays in the central Bahamas, with dangerously high winds measured at 125 miles an hour. On Wednesday, the storm was rated as a Category 3 storm, qualifying it as a “major” hurricane.
On Wednesday, the forecasters said the storm was poised to grow past category 3, though, and is said to continue to grow over the next 36 hours. As it grows over the Bahamas, forecasters say it is headed north west toward the U.S. But where it will hit seems to be a frightening mystery.
As Andrew Freeman of Mashable notes, “the bottom line is that no one yet knows where this storm is going. The storm could make landfall or hug the coast. An out-to-sea scenario is still in play as well.”
This is making it difficult for authorities trying to make plans to respond to this storm.
— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) October 1, 2015
Others are worried that this unsteady and unforeseeable path might fool people about what plans to make in response to this storm.
“I’m concerned that the focus has been on Joaquin, and that people will be ‘surprised’ even though it has been in the forecast,” said Gary Szatkowski, a forecaster with the NWS office in Mount Holly, New Jersey. “If Joaquin does threaten our area, these antecedent conditions will make preparedness activities very problematic.”
And just along those lines, already CNN is scaremongering that Joaquin “could be” the next Superstorm Sandy.
At the least, NBC News says that Joaquin will bring “historic rains” for the Carolinas, Virginia, and the New England area.
As forecasters imagine, by Thursday afternoon, the storm had already been upgraded to a category 4; and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had declared a state of emergency for his state.