While Hurricane Joaquin slammed into the Bahamas on Thursday, forecasts looked as if the storm will eventually head directly up the East Coast toward New York.
At 11 a.m. on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center predicted that Joaquin would be off the coast of New Jersey and New York by 8 a.m. on Tuesday. By then the winds are projected to drop from 125 mph now down to 65 mph, making it a tropical storm.
By 5 p.m. on Thursday, the NHC had updated its forecast to show a storm steering off the East Coast, but still making its way up toward New England.
Marshall Shepherd, director of the atmospheric-sciences program at the University of Georgia, told Business Insider that his concern for Joaquin was not so much the storm itself and whether it would make landfall in the US, but what it would do to the rain that is already hitting the Northeast.
“If and when it makes landfall in the US, it will be a different storm,” he said. “The Bahamas are experiencing the hurricane at its strongest. But it might be just as treacherous because of all the rain.”