Joaquin, unfortunately, is the real thing. NHC:
1. Preparations to protect life and property within the warning areas in the Bahamas should be rushed to completion. 2. A significant adjustment to the forecast has been made this afternoon, and this shows an increased threat to the mid-Atlantic states and the Carolinas. However, confidence in the details of the forecast after 72 hours remains low, since we have one normally excellent model that keeps Joaquin far away from the United States east coast. The range of possible outcomes is still large, and includes the possibility of a major hurricane landfall in the Carolinas. 3. Every effort is being made to provide the forecast models with as much data as possible. The NOAA G-IV jet has begun a series of missions in the storm environment, and the National Weather Service is launching extra balloon soundings. 4. Because landfall, if it occurs, is still more than three days away, it is too early to talk about specific wind, rain, or surge impacts from Joaquin in the United States. Even if Joaquin stays well out to sea, strong onshore winds will create minor to moderate coastal flooding along the coasts of the mid-Atlantic and northeastern states through the weekend. 5. A hurricane watch for a portion of the U.S. coast could be required as early as Thursday evening. 6. Many areas of the eastern U.S. are currently experiencing heavy rains and gusty winds associated with a frontal system. This inclement weather is expected to continue over the next few days, which could complicate preparations for Joaquin should it head toward the coast, and greatly exacerbate the impacts from the hurricane. Heavy rains are likely to continue over these areas even if the center of Joaquin stays out to sea.