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Hurricane Joaquin: Where it's headed

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Posted at 11:02 AM, Sep 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-02 14:14:36-04

Joaquin is the 10th named storm of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane season, and early Wednesday morning, it officially became a hurricane, the third of the season.

This storm has been a slow mover from the beginning. It's currently moving to the Southwest at a breakneck speed of six miles an hour.

The storm's not in any rush because it's currently in favorable conditions to continue growing. It has warm waters and relatively low wind shear.

That'll likely change by the end of the week.

While the storm is currently moving to the southwest, inching closer to the Bahamas, and prompting hurricane watches and warnings, a large front currently moving across the Southwest United States is expected to interfere with the storm beginning this weekend.

This front will likely cause the storm to take a hard right turn and begin moving to the north.

This is where the forecast gets a little tricky.

None of the models really agree on how the hurricane and the front, both large-scale weather events, will interact exactly.

The one thing we know for sure - the storm will decrease in intensity once it begins to move north into colder waters and higher wind shear.

But the one thing we can't agree on is where exactly the storm goes after it makes its hard right turn.

Some forecast models have the weakening hurricane headed for the Mid-Atlantic coast anywhere between North Carolina and New Jersey. That's a lot of coastline to cover.

A few models have the storm never making landfall in the United States, just brushing up against the coast instead.

Regardless of which of these scenarios comes true this weekend and early next week, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast need to brace for some heavy rain with some places expecting more than ten inches of rain over the course of the next week.

This weekend is the first weekend in October, and Joaquin is a good reminder hurricane season doesn't end for another two months.

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