The 5pm advisory has brought a couple of changes with it. One… the storm has finally started to make that northwest turn that has been expected. The other… the storm has strengthened some this afternoon.
Matthew is a very powerful hurricane with maximum sustained winds which have increased to 150 mph according to the NOAA hurricane hunters… a category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.
The storm is 385 miles southeast of Kingston in Jamaica… and now moving slowly northwest around 3 mph.
A slow northwestward motion is expected to continue tonight… with a turn to the north/northwest with an increase in forward motion Sunday. A turn to the north on Monday is expected. On this track… the center of Matthew will approach Jamaica and southwest Haiti Monday.
Some fluctuations in strength are likely… but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane for the next couple of days.
In addition to hurricane force winds.. Matthew is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 15 to 25 inches over southern Haiti… with possible isolated maximum amounts to 40 inches. Matthew is expected to produce 10 to 20 inches of rain over eastern Jamaica… the Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba… with possible maximum amounts to 25 inches. This rainfall will likely produce life threatening flash floods and mud slides.
After the storm move north of Cuba… the computer models begin to disagree with where the storm will move next. Some have the storm staying out to sea, while others have the path clipping portions of the southeastern Florida coast. However… the bulk of the reliable models have the storm remaining offshore the upper Georgia and lower South Carolina coast.
Each colored line is a weather computer model’s guess of where the storm will go. There is still a lot of uncertainty with Matthew’s future path/intensity.
For now the Coastal Empire and Low Country can expect these impacts along the coast late next week:
- Very Rough Surf
- Dangerous Rip Currents
- Time of Beach Erosion
- Possible Brisk / Windy Conditions (Especially along the Coast)
STORM TEAM 3 is on your side and will keep you up to date with the latest information.