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Major Hurricane Bears Down On Bahamas, May Make US Landfall By Sunday

It’s no secret that PhD economists employed both in the public and private sectors enjoy scapegoating the weather for bad economic outcomes (e.g. “snow in the winter,” “residual seasonality,” poor jobs data is all summer’s fault, etc.), and all sarcasm aside, natural disasters can and do occasionally wreak havoc on economies (not to mention people) and so it’s probably important to take note of Joaquin, the 10th storm of the season which is bearing down on the Bahamas, threatens the US East Coast, and has some folks buying Home Depot shares.

Here’s Bloomberg:

Joaquin became a major hurricane as it tears toward the Bahamas and government forecasters said they can’t rule out a strike on the U.S. East Coast as early as Sunday.

 


 

The 10th storm of the Atlantic season had top wind speeds of 120 miles (193 kilometers) an hour as of 5 a.m. New York time, up from 115 mph earlier. It was about 65 miles southeast of San Salvador, Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. Computer models diverge on the storm’s track, with one from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts taking Joaquin away from the U.S. mainland and into the Atlantic. Others predict it will hit the Eastern Seaboard, possibly near Washington.

 

Joaquin’s hurricane-strength winds are forecast to reach the Bahamas early Thursday. It’s a Category 3 system on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, a major hurricane with sustained wind speeds of at least 111 mph. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next day with top winds of 140 mph, according to the NHC.

Here's your full Joaquin preview courtesy of the National Hurricane Center:

BULLETIN

HURRICANE JOAQUIN ADVISORY NUMBER  14

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL112015

500 AM EDT THU OCT 01 2015

...MAJOR HURRICANE JOAQUIN WILL BATTER THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS WITH HURRICANE FORCE WINDS...STORM SURGE...AND HEAVY RAIN THROUGH TONIGHT...

SUMMARY OF 500 AM EDT...0900 UTC...INFORMATION

----------------------------------------------

LOCATION...23.4N 73.7W

ABOUT 20 MI...35 KM N OF SAMANA CAYS BAHAMAS

ABOUT 65 MI...105 KM SE OF SAN SALVADOR BAHAMAS

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...120 MPH...195 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT...WSW OR 240 DEGREES AT 5 MPH...7 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...948 MB...27.99 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

--------------------

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...

* Central Bahamas

* Northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Berry Islands,

Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...

* Bimini

* Andros Island

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...

* Southeastern Bahamas excluding the Turks and Caicos Islands

* Andros Island

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be complete in the central Bahamas.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

------------------------------

At 500 AM EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Joaquin was located near latitude 23.4 North, longitude 73.7 West. Joaquin is moving toward the west-southwest near 5 mph (7 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue today. A turn toward the west- northwest is forecast tonight, followed by a turn toward the north and an increase in forward speed on Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Joaquin will move near or over portions of the central Bahamas today and tonight and pass near or over portions of the northwestern Bahamas on Friday.

 

Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts. Joaquin is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some strengthening is forecast in the next day or so, with some fluctuations in intensity possible on Friday.

 

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km).

 

The estimated minimum central pressure is 948 mb (27.99 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

----------------------

WIND:  Hurricane conditions are expected to continue in portions of the central Bahamas through Friday. Hurricane conditions are expected over portions of the northwestern Bahamas on Friday. Tropical storm conditions will affect portions of the southeastern Bahamas through tonight.

 

STORM SURGE:  A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 5 to 8 feet above normal tide levels in the central Bahamas in areas of onshore flow. A storm surge of 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels is expected in the northwest Bahamas within the hurricane warning area, and 1 to 2 feet is expected in the southeast Bahamas. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.

 

RAINFALL:  Joaquin is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches over the central Bahamas with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches are possible. Rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches are expected over the southeastern Bahamas with 2 to 4 inches over the northwestern Bahamas. This rainfall could result in life-threatening flash floods.

 

SURF:  Swells generated by Joaquin will affect portions of the Bahamas during the next few days, and will begin to affect portions of the southeastern coast of the United States today and spread northward through the weekend. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.

And here's a look at the possible paths for US landfall...


Of course you can take that with a grain of salt because after all, weathermen are surpassed in their abject inability to make accurate forecasts only by economists.

In any event, for those looking to trade around Joaquin, consider the following...

Home Supply

, Generators , Water Treatment , Roofing Material stocks up today. pic.twitter.com/qM06dP688r

— Bryan Wood (@bryanwx)

With a hurricane closing in on the East Coast, shares of home supply companies have rallied http://t.co/BBd9Dheonj pic.twitter.com/NQl1GQjsMV

— Bloomberg Markets (@markets)