Tropical storm Matthew continues moving west this afternoon… become better defined and organized in the eastern Caribbean… with maximum sustained winds holding steady around 60 mph. A wind gust to 54 mph was recently recorded in Martinique.
The center of the storm is 65 miles west of St. Lucia… and around 480 miles east/northeast of Curacao. The storm has slightly slowed down… but still moving steadily westward around 18 mph.
Matthew is expected to continue on a west track for the next couple of days with a slower forward motion. It will continue pulling away from the Windward Islands this evening… and move over the eastern and central Caribbean Sea late this week.
Strengthening is expected over the next couple of days as the storm moves over very warm water and low wind shear aloft… and Matthew could become a hurricane by Friday. In addition… the storm could reach category 2 status this weekend into Monday as Matthew starts moving northwest in the general direction of Jamaica and Cuba.
Here is the latest visible imagery of Matthew……