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Florida State at Wake Forest: Hurricane, weather watch

Perhaps not the All Canes Conference some expected, this Saturday's slate of ACC games could indeed be impacted by the approach of Hurricane Joaquin.

The most recent update from the National Hurricane Center has Joaquin as a very powerful Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of 125 mph.

Many weather geeks such as myself are in full-on model-watch mode. There seems to be a recent shift in the forecast track away from land, but it is noted that confidence in a forecast track for this particular storm is low.

The NHC currently projects Joaquin to grow to a 140 mph Category 4 hurricane in the next 24 hours or so, which would make it one of the more powerful North Atlantic hurricanes in recent years.

Impacts on FSU @ WF - 3:30pm Saturday

It appears that Joaquin will stay away from the Oscars and the southeast Saturday, remaining well off-shore. However, if evacuations are ordered for areas inland of the North Carolina Outer Banks, there could be a civil emergency situation that could possibly cause many ACC teams playing in NC to postpone games. Many here might remember that FSU v. Miami in 2004 was postponed due to the threat of the approaching Hurricane Frances.

And though the hurricane is forecasted to stay offshore all Saturday, weather impacts will remain significant.

Why? Because of an active weather pattern already in place over the eastern U.S.


That big pin-wheelie thing is already drenching the eastern seaboard with rain. Add in the tropical moisture from an approaching major hurricane, and you're looking at a major flooding event.

Parts of the Carolinas may exceed 13" of rain over the next 3 days, with Winston-Salem receiving 5 to 7 inches of rain. As forecast, flooding rains seem unlikely to postpone FSU's game at Wake Forest at 3:30pm.

Game conditions

I think Wake is an awful football team with below-average talent...oh, the weather.

Here's a 4pm Saturday forecast from a medium-range weather model (NAM). I've highlighted in white the area around Winston Salem.

18z translates to 4pm EDT, or about 30 minutes after kickoff. And this particular model shows extremely heavy rain at this time.

By 7pm, the rain continues, though not as heavy.

So it looks like an absolute waterlogged game. But I don't anticipate a postponement.

**UPDATE 10/1 3:17pm**