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Hurricane Joaquin: Will It Hit New York City?

Thu, October 1, 2015 1:07pm EDT by 3 Comments
Courtesy of The Weather Channel

Hurricane Joaquin is on the way, and for so many terrified New Yorkers, the question on their minds is when the storm could hit. Three years after the debilitating Hurricane Sandy, the fear of devastation lingers.

Joaquin was updated to a Category 3 Hurricane late at night on Wednesday, September 30, with a course headed due north over the Atlantic Ocean — in the direction of New York City. Though forecasters are still uncertain if the hurricane will reach New York, they’re warning citizens to prepare, lest the storm does arrive. How absolutely terrifying, especially for a region still haunted by the memory of Hurricane Sandy.

“I hate to compare anything to Sandy, but the setup isn’t all that different,” Rob Reale, a meteorologist at WeatherWorks, told the NY Post. “I know a lot of things can get overhyped, but this, I actually think, may be underhyped.”

Are you sweating yet? Hurricane Joaquin is heading North over the Atlantic from the Bahamas, where it is currently producing 115mph winds. There’s something called a “cone of uncertainty,” meaning forecasters are still unsure of the magnitude of the hurricane’s spectrum, but if the storm does come roaring into NYC, it could bring massive landfall, pounding winds, and damaging coastal flooding. Nothing to take lightly.

However, some meteorologists believe that the hurricane will strike south of New York, nullifying this worry. There are so many weather patterns that could alter the hurricane’s path, that it’s hard to tell what will happen at this time.

The European model, which confirmed Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 just before it raged in NYC and New Jersey, is predicting that Hurricane Joaquin will miss the East Coast entirely.

“According to the European model, the storm hangs out in the Bahamas a little bit longer and misses the connection with the upper-level trough from the west,” meteorologist John Feerick of AccuWeather, told the NY Post. “That will nudge it to the north and east and it will stay over the Atlantic.”

Even if the hurricane doesn’t hit NYC, the city is still going to have a wet few days, with five inches of rain expected! While the status of Hurricane Joaquin remains up in the air, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has told New Yorkers that they need to remain cautious, lest something of Sandy proportions happens again; state emergency responders are on alert.

HollywoodLifers, are you preparing for Hurricane Joaquin? New Yorkers, you can see if you’re in the evacuation zone here. Stay safe out there! 

— Samantha Wilson