The latest “most likely” track from the National Weather Service has Hurricane Joaquin veering towards the east, which makes Northern Virginia less likely to take a direct hit from the now-Category 4 storm.
However, the National Hurricane Center and the NWS both say the Mid-Atlantic may still see effects from the storm.
“The details of how significantly the storm will impact us will become clearer as the week progresses,” says the NWS Washington-Baltimore. “Sunday into Monday is the most likely time. Be aware that flooding from heavy rain, damaging winds, and tidal flooding will be possible Sunday into Monday.”
But first…Friday and Saturday.
Regardless of where Joaquin makes landfall, the forecast is, forecasters are calling for heavy rains Friday and Saturday. Three to five inches of rain may fall here through Saturday morning — while up 10 inches is predicted for Central Virginia.
“We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “I hope Hurricane Joaquin turns and goes out into the ocean. That is what I am hoping for, but we have to prepare for the worst.”
McAullife, who issued a state of emergency for the commonwealth, warned citizens and governments to be aware that it is two systems weather forecasters are talking about.
“The first is going to occur,” he said. “The second we are monitoring.”
But if both system hit Virginia, McAuliffe said damage could be widespread. When asked if people could expect power outages, the governor said “if these two systems come together, it could be weeks. There are going to be major power outages with trees coming down. Flooding is going to affect every river in Virginia.”
Meanwhile, the governor said he has called up 700 National Guard troops, mainly t protect coastal Navy stations and NASA’s Wallops Island facility.
A flash flood watch is in effect for Reston and all of Northern Virginia on Friday and Saturday.
Fairfax County’s Emergency Information Office has these tips for staying safe and preparing for the storms.
Graphic: Updated Hurricane Joaquin forecast/Credit: NWS