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Joaquin to Target Europe Starting This Weekend

Joaquin remains on track to make Europe its final destination with a part of the British Isles and western Europe first facing potential impacts this weekend.

Joaquin will no longer be a hurricane when it reaches Europe this weekend. The cool waters of the northern Atlantic will cause Joaquin to transition to a non-tropical system at midweek. Joaquin will then resemble a more typical storm system that moves into Europe from the Atlantic this time of year.

It is not uncommon for a non-tropical, former hurricane to impact Europe. As was experienced during once-Hurricane Gonzalo, these systems can remain very potent with damaging winds and flooding rainfall despite no longer having tropical characteristics.

Joaquin, however, is not expected to be a repeat of Gonzalo or any of the most potent former hurricanes to reach Europe.

"Joaquin is expected to be weakening [as it approaches Europe]," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys. "It will essentially encounter a wall, which in this case will be an area of high pressure."

In fact, Roys pointed out "There will be a more potent storm in the Mediterranean this weekend." Heavy rain and localized flash flooding may become a concern in parts of Italy and the Balkan Peninsula.

That does not mean that a part of the British Isles or western Europe will escape any impacts from Joaquin this weekend.

The scenarios for Joaquin's final track into Europe range from the system tracking toward the British Isles or turning into Spain or Portugal. Brief periods of heavy rain, gusty winds and rough surf will accompany Joaquin along both tracks.

The winds should not lead to widespread damage in either scenario. However, Joaquin would be a bit stronger if the track toward the British Isles unfold. That could spell "Isolated wind damage at the coast of Ireland and the southwestern United Kingdom," said Roys.

Weather Overview for Europe

"Rough seas [in both scenarios] could lead to minor coastal flooding, especially at high tide," he added.

AccuWeather will continue to provide updates on the expected track of Joaquin into Europe and more details on its impacts, which may not end with the weekend.

There are indications that energy from another non-tropical system could combine with Joaquin, which may increase the potential for downpours and gusty winds across the Mediterranean and central Europe next week.