Joaquin has become a major hurricane (category 3) this evening with maximum sustained winds of 115mph. Still a lot of uncertainty regarding the track Joaquin will take and whether or not it will make landfall on the east coast. Earlier runs of the GFS and other American models wanted to bring Joaquin in around the North Carolina/Virginia on Sunday as it wraps around a cutoff low moving through the southeastern US. The ECMWF wants to keep Joaquin offshore though and historically is a reliable model. That has led to a lot of uncertainty regarding whether Joaquin will hit the US and where/when if it does. The 00Z GFS just came out and it is now taking Joaquin much farther north before it curves back on shore (pictured above 111 hours out). That’s a deviation from the earlier run that brought it on shore near Virginia. There’s no reason to guess much tonight because I think tomorrow’s runs will tighten up the spread. I am rooting for a Virginia/Carolina earlier landfall because it is the only way I’ll be able to pull off chasing this one, but that’s looking more unlikely with the 00Z GFS. My mom flies in from Oregon Tuesday and I really don’t want to skip more than two days work because I’m really busy, so unless I can get a late Sunday or early Monday landfall I’m screwed. I started looking at making the trip this afternoon and I’d really prefer to drive rather than fly for a number of reasons, problem is that’s a solid 20 hour drive and I want to be back by Tuesday night. Gonna be tough for me to pull off if the GFS is right in trending Joaquin farther north. We’ll see. I’ll take a look tomorrow and make the call. If I’m going I’ll pack up tomorrow night and probably start the drive Friday night.