UPDATED: Hurricane Joaquin moving east, but still a threat to NYC

Hurricane Joaquin is forecast to move more to the east, but New York City and Long Island are still at risk of taking a hit from the storm.
Map courtesy of National Weather Service

The track for Hurricane Joaquin has shifted more to the east, and even though there is hope it will move out to sea, there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the storm’s path.

The National Weather Service’s (NWS) advisory on Thursday morning has the storm, currently a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds churning in the Bahamas, slowly moving up the Eastern Seaboard this weekend.

Currently, a wind shear is keeping Joaquin to the south, but the storm is expected to move north once that shear dissipates, which forecasters indicate will happen around Saturday. Forecasts on Wednesday night had Joaquin potentially making landfall somewhere near North Carolina, but by Thursday morning, the NWS shifted the storm’s projected path more eastward.

New York City and Long Island remains within the “cone of uncertainty” that forecasters use to predict possible tracks of a hurricane. The NWS anticipates Joaquin will weaken to a tropical storm by 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, with its center sitting just south of eastern Long Island.

Regardless of where Joaquin goes, the storm will generate enough moisture to fuel storms in the New York City area this weekend and into early next week. Some areas could get as much as 6 inches of rain.

Joaquin’s track will also determine its impact on the city’s coastline, as flooding risks will increase if the storm’s center is close to the area.

Though it’s still to early to definitively tell where the storm will land, Governor Andrew Cuomo urged residents across the state on Wednesday to begin making preparations to guard against possible flash and coastal flooding in the days ahead.

“Our state has seen the damage that extreme weather can cause time and time again – and I am urging New Yorkers take precautions for more heavy storms in the coming days,” Cuomo said. “I have directed state agencies to ready their emergency response equipment in partnership with local governments, and I encourage all of our state’s residents to be prepared and stay safe.”