Hurricane Joaquin increased in intensity to a category four hurricane on Thursday, as the hurricane wreaked havoc on the Bahamas.
The east coast of the United States is preparing for the hurricane which is said to be extremely dangerous.
A category four hurricane features wind speeds in the range of 131 to 155 miles per hour. It has the ability to cause catastrophic damage to property. The hurricane scale ranges from one to five.
Hurricane Joaquin has shown maximum sustained winds in the excess of 130 mph. The hurricane is expected to increase in strength over the next day.
The storm will continue move over the Bahamas into Thursday night, as the islands will experience heavy rain and destructive winds. Officials in the Bahamas say that they expect up to 15 inches of rain.
The Bahamas have closed their schools, and cancelled flights. Meanwhile, cruise ships headed for the area were diverted to alternative locations.
The latest bulletin from the National Hurricane Center said that the storm has developed into an extremely dangerous category four hurricane. The storm has the potential to cause flooding and life-threatening damage.
Officials as far north as New York are already making emergency preparations. President Barack Obama is keeping a close eye on the situation as it develops.
Weather experts are particularly concerned about the slow speed at which the storm is traveling. Its slow speed means that it has longer amounts of time to cause destruction as it crosses over land.
The storm is expected to continue a northwestern path that might eventually take it up the eastern coast of the United States. Heavy rainfall is already expected in the Carolinas and Virginia.
On Tuesday, Virginia was hit by flash flooding. The state, which has already declared a state of emergency, will have a difficult time preparing for Hurricane Joaquin. Virginia is forecasted to receive up to ten inches of rain.
The Norfolk Naval Station has been put on notice to be prepared for event of destructive winds. The station is the largest naval base in the country.
Joaquin is the third hurricane and the tenth named storm of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Any storm that reaches tropical storm status receives a name. The first named storm of the season always starts with the letter A, and the process continues down the alphabet.
Hurricane season starts in June and ends in November. Peak activity usually takes place in September.
Tropical Storm Erika has been the most destructive storm so far this season. The storm killed around 30 people on the small island of Dominica in the Caribbean.
Officials from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season would be less active than usual as a result of the El Nino phenomenon. Temperatures of the surface of the ocean have been cooler than usual, which usually prevents major storms from forming.