Hurricane Joaquin Leaving Bahamas, Where To Next?

Hurricane Joaquin is now moving northeastwards away from the Bahamas after 24 hours pounding the paradise islands. Sea-surface temperatures (°C) are the green lines

Hurricane Joaquin’s stay in the Bahamas has finally come to an end and the monster storm is now tracking northeastwards away from the paradise archipelago and its Bounty-ad beaches. There is still no word on the cargo ship El Faro or her crew of 33 who has been stranded in the thick of it, but let’s hope it’s just a case of broken communication equipment and nothing more serious. From a European and Irish point of view, what’s Joaquin got in store for us, if anything? What do the models say?

Yesterday I showed how the ECMWF model – the model that has been bang on the money with this storm and one which the American forecasters are preferring right now – was showing Joaquin’s remnants showing up off our southwest coast some time next Friday. Its latest run, however, has the depression further northwest and away from us, more likely to affect Iceland next weekend.

The American GFS model is now saying a similar thing, with the depression spinning left of its track as it approaches us next Friday. This would bring stiff southerly winds and maybe a band of rain on Saturday, but nothing of note.

12GMT Friday
00GMT Saturday
12GMT Saturday
00GMT Sunday. Image from

The Japanese and NAVGEM models are in good agreement with the GFS and ECMWF. The normally-reliable Canadian model, the GEM, is more of an outlier and has the 985 hPa centre of the depression making it closer to us, bringing a period of strong winds and associated rain bands.

Canadian GEM forecast for 00GMT Saturday. Image from

The models will chop and change as more data come in and it becomes clearer how the storm will interact with the westerly jet stream, so expect more toing and froing, and of course the usual tabloid headlines of impending doom, over the next few days.

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