Columbus (WCMH) – Hurricane Matthew has been slightly downgraded as of the 5pm update this evening, but continues to be a very powerful and dangerous hurricane.
Hurricane Matthew has weakened a bit as it interacted with Haiti and Cuba this evening. This storm is still a strong Cat 4 Hurricane with winds currently at 140mph, with higher wind gusts.
Notes on Matthew:
- Hurricane force winds (74+mph) extended 45 miles out from the center of the storm
- Tropical storm forced winds (39+ mph) extend 175 miles from the center of the storm
- The central pressure is at 949mb (28.03 in mg)
- Some fluctuations of intensity are expected the next few days
- It should get a bit stronger as it moves away from land tomorrow
- The forecast keeps it as a Cat 4 storm through the Bahamas
Here is the complete 5 day forecast track from the National Hurricane Center:
This track has been shifted to the west a bit from earlier as there is a ridge over the Atlantic, and this storm will ride around the western edge of this ridge.
This makes this storm especially dangerous for the Bahamas, Florida, and the East coast of the US. If the center of circulation, or the eye of this system stays over water, it will remain quite strong up the east coast.
If you look at the forecast track, that reflects the intense forecast.
Here is the forecast track through the northern Bahamas, and Florida:
Notice that Matthew will travel near Florida as a major hurricane the entire trip…. Winds of 115-135mph. Also, it is VERY IMPORTANT to note, this red line is the best track, but the cone shows where the storm could possibly go. It is possible the ridge to the east will nudge west some more and steer Matthew into Florida.
Rainfall totals will be impressive, and possibly quite dangerous:
Here is the thing too about this model… if this model continues to shift west like most have, this will bring the higher rainfall totals (18″ or more) into the Florida coast.
Up the coast, the storm gets weaker, but still very strong & wet:
This path will keep Matthew as a very strong Cat 2/3 storm up the Georgia, South Carolina coasts, while weakening to a still strong Cat 1/2 strength storm up the North Carolina/Virginia coasts, and them begins a turn to the east.
Just like I noted above with the Florida graphic, this storm can still take more of a track to the west. This would significantly weaken the winds over this same area, but would keep incredible rainfall totals possible.
As of right now, rainfall will continue to be a major issue up the east coast.
If you have any questions about Matthew, or any other weather, send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org