Hurricane forecasters admit to a lot of uncertainty in forecast

The National Hurricane Center has shifted the projected path of Hurricane Joaquin, which if it holds, could put a major hurricane moving along North Carolina’s Outer Banks by Sunday.

Such a path would bring high winds and heavy rainfall to the Havelock area. However, forecasters with the National Hurricane Center admit to a lot of uncertainty with the long-range forecast.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Joaquin was moving southwesterly toward the Bahamas with 85 mph winds. However, the storm is expected to make a turn to the north. When and where that turn takes place is expected to have a big impact on the effects the storm may bring to the area.

Still, according to the hurricane center’s forecast as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, “The range of possible outcomes is still large and includes the possibility of a major hurricane landfall in the Carolinas.”

However, other forecast models keep the storm out to sea and away from the North Carolina coast. Even if that forecast holds true, the area could see rain and coastal flooding, according to the hurricane center.

Havelock has already recorded nine straight days of rain, with totals ranging from about 4 to 8 inches, according to the National Weather Service in Newport. More rain is predicted for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, possibly as much as 4 to 6 inches, as another system moves up from the Gulf of Mexico. A flood watch has been issued until 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Joaquin could bring even more rain depending on its exact path.