Mass Mandatory evacuations are now underway for South Carolina and Florida as the situation worsens by the minute. Hurricane Matthew could bring catastrophic destruction to the South East coast of the USA.
This is a very serious situation. Please take it seriously.
Hurricane Matthew May Be Rare Major Hurricane Strike to Florida East Coast; Conditions Deteriorating in Bahamas
Category 3 Matthew is now bearing down on the Bahamas.
Hurricane watches and warnings are posted for a swath of eastern Florida.
Matthew will likely be the first hurricane strike in South Florida since Wilma.
Matthew will then flirt with the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas this weekend.
However, the threat to the Northeast has been reduced.
Hurricane Matthew is now forecast to strengthen again over warm water north of Cuba, with the Bahamas and parts of Florida’s Atlantic coast, the Georgia coast, and coastal Carolinas potentially in line for a strong hurricane strike.
A hurricane warning has been expanded north along the east coast of Florida from Golden Beach, Florida, to the Flagler/Volusia County line. Lake Okeechobee has also been placed into a hurricane warning.
A hurricane watch remains in effect north the warning to Fernandina Beach, Florida. This includes Orlando, Florida.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect from Chokoloskee to Golden Beach in Florida, for the Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge eastward, and for Florida Bay.
All interests near Florida’s East Coast should rush necessary preparations to completion today.
Hurricane warnings continue for the entire Bahamas chain as well as eastern Cuba.
Hurricane Matthew is now north of eastern Cuba, as a reintensifying Category 3 hurricane. Satellite imagery shows convection re-wrapping around the center, and there have been lightning strikes near the eyewall, indicating an intensification is taking place.
Matthew’s tropical storm-force wind field (at least 39 mph sustained winds) extends up to 175 miles from the center, and hurricane-force winds extend up to 45 miles from the center.
Caribbean, Bahamas Impacts
Impacts are beginning to wane in Hispañola (including Haiti), but mudslides may continue for days thanks to rain-soaked ground.
Eastern Cuba conditions will slowly improve Wednesday, though some rainbands may trigger additional flash flooding.
Meanwhile, conditions will steadily worsen in the Bahamas.
Here is the approximate timing of the worst wind and surge impacts, coinciding with the nearest passage of the eyewall of Matthew in the Bahamas:
Over a foot of rainfall from Matthew will trigger life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Here are the latest storm-total rainfall amounts from the National Hurricane Center:
Southern Haiti, southwest Dominican Republic: 15 to 25 inches, locally up to 40 inches
Northwestern Haiti, eastern Cuba: 8 to 12 inches, locally up to 20 inches
The Bahamas: 8 to 12 inches, locally up to 15 inches
Turks and Caicos: 2 to 5 inches, locally up to 8 inches
Northeast Haiti, northern Dominican Republic: 1 to 3 inches, locally up to 5 inches
On the current forecast track, here are the latest storm surge forecasts from the NHC, above normal tide levels at high tide:
The Bahamas: 10 to 15 feet
North coast of Cuba east of Camaguey: 4 to 6 feet
It’s worth noting this forecast for the Bahamas is on the order of storm surge witnessed during Hurricane Joaquin almost exactly one year ago, only for, potentially, the entire chain, rather than just the central and southeast Bahamas.
Battering waves will ride atop the storm surge, and coastal flooding from large waves may begin well in advance and ahead of Matthew’s center.
This storm surge will also limit rainfall runoff in some places, aggravating flooding, especially in coastal locations where swollen rivers cannot drain.
Hurricane-force winds, with peak timing as outlined above, will lead to widespread structural damage, particularly to poorly-built structures, numerous downed trees and widespread power outages. Due to wet ground, trees will be even more susceptible to being toppled.
Matthew’s center will make a close-enough pass to a large swath of eastern Florida to bring hurricane-force conditions at least to the Atlantic coast. If the center moves close enough, at least the western eyewall could bring destructive winds to at least Category 3 intensity.
The reason for this is stronger high pressure aloft persisting over the western Atlantic and East Coast of the U.S., helping to trap Matthew close to the coast.
Hurricane Matthew, still a strong Category 3 storm, made a devastating march this week across the Caribbean, being blamed for at least 11 deaths in the storm’s destruction. After hitting the western tip of Haiti, Matthew makes its way across the corners of Cuba on Wednesday, heading towards the southern Bahamas with winds of 120 mph and heavy rain.
Forecasters predict Matthew will strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane by the time it makes its way towards Florida and the rest of the east coast sometime between Thursday evening and Saturday.
As far as timing for any potential impacts along the Southeast coast, here is a general overview. The NHC forecast calls for Matthew to be a strong hurricane during this timeframe.
Florida Peninsula (particularly east): Thursday-Friday, possibly lingering into early Saturday in northeast Florida.
Southeast Georgia: Friday-Saturday.
Eastern Carolinas: Later Friday-Saturday, possibly continuing into Sunday.
I am on the road so here is a look using the iPad and the iPhone at the latest on hurricane Matthew
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