East Coast Keeps Watchful Eye On Hurricane Matthew
Hurricane Matthew began its march toward the north out of the Caribbean Sea on Monday and is currently sliding just to the east of the island nation of Jamaica and headed for a landfall in extreme western Haiti within the next few hours.
Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center in their 4 AM advisory have estimated the top wind speed of Matthew to be 145 mph. This makes Matthew a very dangerous Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson intensity scale.
There has been a dangerous shift in the projected path of the storm three days out. The forecast track puts the system through the Bahamas on Wednesday and Thursday and then very close to Florida coastline by Friday morning. Speculation now is that center of storm will brush very close to Cape Canaveral during the day on Friday but as of now the storm is expected to stay off shore but that is not a certainty.
If there is good news in regards to Matthew it's this. The dangerous hurricane force winds extend outward from the center of circulation by only 40 miles and hour. That makes the most dangerous part of the storm rather small. Tropical storm force winds extend outward from the center almost 200 miles. .
Tropical forecast models are in agreement that Matthew will continue on a northward movement for the next day or so and then slowly begin a turn to the northwest through the Bahamas. This motion will bring the storm near the Florida coast. At about that time the system is expected to make a turn toward the northeast and run parallel to the Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina coastlines.