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NWS Forecasts Drenching Rain through Weekend; Joaquin's Track Still Highly Uncertain

National Hurricane Center
Hurricane Joaquin 5-Day Forecast Track October 1, 2015 8 AM

No one can say with certainty yet how much Hurricane Joaquin will impact the Cape Fear region.  But at the very least, serious flooding is high on the probability scale.

There a few reasons for that.  Steven Pfaff is a Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington.  He says the situation that’s unfolding now is complex.  If Joaquin stays on the current track, this area could see breezy conditions along the coast – but, says Pfaff, it’s the potential for flooding that’s a serious concern. 

"In addition to the storm, there’s a deep plume of moisture coming up from the Gulf of Mexico.  We anticipate a lot of heavy rain just from that feature alone, and any additional rainfall from the hurricane would just compound the situation.  So I think we’re at a higher level of risk for seeing some flooding – especially since the ground is already saturated in many areas from the heavy rains we had last week."

Meteorologists will have a better feel for Joaquin’s track over the next day or so – when the models start showing some consistency, says Pfaff.  But in the meantime, listen for watches or warnings, don’t take chances driving through standing water, and don’t take the boat out this weekend. 

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.