America’s Cup venue to get tested by Hurricane Joaquin

Published on October 4th, 2015

The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 to November 30, which makes any sailing event scheduled along eastern US at risk of serious weather. Such as the America’s Cup when Bermuda is the host in 2017.

While the America’s Cup is scheduled early in the hurricane season, the program includes a month of competition. That’s a big window for disaster to crawl through.

The first test for the venue comes today as Hurricane Joaquin passes Bermuda. With the America’s Cup World Series scheduled in Bermuda on October 16-18, the storm will pass well before the event, but the debris on the race course may impact the high speed foiling boats.

Here is the alert issued by the National Weather Service at 1100 AST:

At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the center of eye of Hurricane Joaquin was located by an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft near latitude 31.0 North, longitude 66.8 West. Joaquin is now moving toward the north-northeast near 17 mph (28 km/h), and this general motion with a slight decrease in forward is expected to continue through Monday. On the forecast track, the center of Joaquin will pass just west of Bermuda this afternoon, and pass north of Bermuda tonight.

Recent data from the hurricane hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles
(335 km).

The minimum central pressure recently measured by the reconnaissance aircraft was 957 mb (28.26 inches).

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are first expected to reach Bermuda later this morning, with hurricane conditions expected by this afternoon.

STORM SURGE: A dangerous and life-threatening storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding in Bermuda. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

RAINFALL: Joaquin is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches across Bermuda through tonight.

SURF: Swells generated by Joaquin will continue to affect portions of the Bahamas during the next few days. Swells are affecting much of the southeastern and mid-Atlantic coasts of the United States and will spread northward along the east coast of the United States through Monday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Even though Joaquin is expected to pass well east of the coast of the United States, a prolonged period of elevated water levels and large waves will affect the mid-Atlantic region, causing significant beach and dune erosion with moderate coastal flooding likely. Please consult products from your local weather office.

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