What Could Happen Even If Joaquin Doesn't Hit
Storm staying out at sea so far, but it will probably still rain hard on land
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2015 6:54 AM CDT
This NOAA satellite image taken Friday at 12:45am EDT shows powerful Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin crawling through the Bahamas.   (Weather Underground via AP)

(Newser) – Hurricane Joaquin remains a Category 4 storm that's currently battering the Bahamas, but the East Coast may dodge one bullet this weekend if the storm keeps to its offshore path, Weather.com and CNN report. Tracking maps show Joaquin solidly out in the Atlantic and set to keep veering away from the coastline. Still, coastal states may not escape serious weather—though not entirely due to Joaquin. The Washington Post explains a "a predecessor surge of moisture [is] streaming up the eastern seaboard" right now; CNN reports Joaquin is funneling moisture into that weather system. The result: rain and flooding. The Post frames the latter as a "major concern," and CNN meteorologist Rachel Aissen predicts the flooding in South Carolina could be "historic."

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has declared a state of emergency, as have the governors of North Carolina, Virginia, and New Jersey. Aissen notes that while the storm could still shift back to shore, chances are if it keeps out to sea into Friday evening, it will stay there. (Don't be a "social media-rologist" and makes these five weather-prediction mistakes mentioned by Forbes.)