Cat 5 JOAQUIN accelerating to sea

Hurricane JOAQUÍN, accelerating north east from the Bahamas has just reached category five. Winds are now gusting at a terrifying 160 knots. Centred 570 miles south west of Bermuda and headed north west at 12 knots, this storm will have no impact on the eastern seaboard but may pass close to the west of Bermuda. This cyclone is at peak strength with a hurricane severity index rating of 28 out of a possible 50 points (15 size/13 intensity).

By Tuesday, JOAQUIN will be transitioning to a larger extratropical storm as it passes well to the southeast of Nova Scotia. A large swell is causing beach erosion and minor coastal flooding on the eastern seaboard and that is likely to continue through Monday with heavy rain and major flooding occurred over the Carolinas and to the north along the Atlantic coast but it could have been much, much worse. Aside from a possible impact on Bermuda, this will only bother fish and sailors.

750 miles east of JOAQUIN, disturbance forty-nine is drifting slowly to the east-nor'east. The disturbance has become less organised over the past 24 hours and only has a slim chance of development over the next 48 hours before conditions become too unfavourable and it disappears altogether, which it is expected to do in 2 to 3 days anyway.

Disturbance fifty is more or less mid-Atlantic now and moving west at 7 knots. The system is expected to move to the west-nor'west and pass northeast of the Caribbean on Wednesday or Thursday. Shortly after that, it should turn to the north and then northeast and out to sea. Upper-level winds are not very favourable for development. Frankly, if upper level shear keep JOAQUIN at bay, this disturbance has no chance. Happy smiling faces in the Gulf of Mexico. Weather watch Bermuda, otherwise stand easy.