Powerful Hurricane Matthew (Strong Category 4) is hammering Haiti, Jamaica and the Eastern tip of Cuba at this hour with tremendous rain wind and storm surge. The storm will may loose a bit of power in the next 12 hours as it slams into the mtns of Haiti and Cuba but should stay a Category Three storm overnight into Tuesday. Prayers out to the people of Haiti esp. on the western part of the island. Close to 40" of rain could fall in spots or about the same as all the rain and snow we get in one year over a two day period. Landfall on the extreme western tip of Haiti looks to be about 8am this morning.
THE STORM ITSELF
The toughest period for Haiti, Cuba and to a degree Jamaica is the next 12-24 hours as the storm passes between the islands. This is a good thing as the core of those 145mph winds only extends out about 20 miles so massive flooding is the bigger problem due to the slow movement of the storm. Haiti will have the highest impact of mudslides, damage and flooding.
IMPACT ON FLORIDA...
Florida now has to be on guard due to the now closer track to the coast and yes the reliable BAM model suite of model guidance. They are good models to watch deep in the tropics and can often out forecast the GFS and European esp deep in the tropics.
GFS MODEL TONIGHT 0z/8pm Updated
The GFS just in has the track of the deep tropical model suite of the BAM models and the trend is to take it to the Central Florida coast near Cocoa Beach early Friday morning about daybreak at this point. Remember this is just one model off one model run so it may change. More importantly is the trending to the east coast of Florida from West Palm to Jacksonville for a landfall.
This GFS track shows it hug the Southeast Coast and over Eastern NC by Saturday night. Rain would start Saturday afternoon in places and wind and rain work up the coast. How close the storm stays to the coast decides if this is a Category 1 or 2 north of VA/NC.
Sunday morning is the period to watch on the GFS model for flooding rains gusty winds and yeah maybe a repeat of Floyd 1999 or Irene for some. If the cold front latches on in blue it becomes a track for major flooding from DE to CT at this period.
Like the Mid Atlantic region Saturday night that repeated track of the rain storms or training heads into New England with very heavy flooding rain and wind. This could be a pretty serious situation on the GFS model
THE EUROPEAN MODEL RUN....
The European model nugged Matthew closer to the coast like the GFS in earlier and now shows a possible landfall or very close to landfall from West Palm Beach to Cocoa Beach FL on Thursday night into Friday morning. This could be a Category 3 or 4 near landfall and that could be big problems for Florida. Trending is to Florida a bounce to NC near Wilmington NC and out sea after that. The European model sticks with the no impact north of Virginia Beach like the last run.
MY FORECAST RIGHT NOW
Like when you follow the Nor'easters the hurricane models are all about trending and how a pattern plays off a track of a storm. The Fall season HIGH pressure up north looks a little slower to move out along with it diving in a NE to SW push so the hurricane may get pulled into the FLA coast after that... a ride up the southeast coast. By Saturday it gets a bit sticky with the cold front as the big push or it rides the back side of the hurricane as Matthew takes over the pattern along the east coast and slams the brakes on the cold front.
A lot will depend how big the circulation of Hurricane Matthew becomes into the Bahamas and Florida. The storm is slow moving now so yes it is gathering tremendous moisture deep in the tropics and that can spell big problems along the East coast from Florida to Maine. We will follow this and upgrade some of the status below.
HAITI, JAMAICA, THE BAHAMAS
TRENDING TO A POSSIBLE HIT
FLORIDA EAST COAST, CENTRAL FLORIDA
NC COAST FROM WILMINGTON TO HATTERAS
BIG FLOODING TREND...MAYBE
PA NJ DE NY CT MA MD DC VA
RAINFALL COULD BE 5" to 10"
MODELS ARE HINTING NOW AT THAT
11am to Noon Tuesday
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