Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin could shift east - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin could shift east

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The NHC's Joaquin track as of 11 p.m. on Thursday. The NHC's Joaquin track as of 11 p.m. on Thursday.

Despite Hurricane Joaquin strengthening into a category 4 storm, the outlook on Connecticut remains largely unknown.

Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest said the hurricane is "extremely dangerous" with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.

"Joaquin is battering the Bahamas with incredibly strong winds, rainfall up to 20”, and a storm surge that will raise water levels 5-10 feet above normal tide levels," DePrest said.

Here’s the latest from the National Hurricane Center.

Everyone along the East Coast are watching the storm closely and preparing.

"The models have been very erratic with the forecast track over the last few days," DePrest said.

The GFS, one of the most trusted models at Eyewitness News, is now forecasting a track well to the east of New England by early next week.

"That is quite a change in just a matter of 24 hours. The GFS is now more in line with the European Model, which has been predicting a track out to sea all along," DePrest said.

He added that the European Model did the best job tracking Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

"The official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center has also shifted the track to the east," DePrest said.

There is still a bit of discrepancy among the models, and the storm is still in the Bahamas, so New England cannot breathe easy just yet.

Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a statement on Thursday urging residents to make preparations just in case Joaquin arrives.

"Just as the state is monitoring and preparing, the public should do the same,” Malloy said.  “Weather models are predicting that Hurricane Joaquin may move onshore in the area of the northeast coast this weekend.  Although its potential impact on Connecticut is still developing as forecasts adjust, we need to be prepared because these types of storms can oftentimes be unpredictable.  We will continue to update residents, and in the meantime we urge folks to begin making preparations.”

Malloy and state emergency officials offered these suggestions for a basic emergency supply kit:

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Malloy also recommended identifying an out-of-town contact in case the resident town has been impacted by the storm. He also said to make sure everyone in the family knows that number.

To read DePrest's complete technical discussion, which includes the potential for a rainy weekend, click here.

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