Yesterday morning Tropical Storm Matthew became Hurricane Matthew. This morning the system has strengthened to a Category 2 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale.  The maximum sustained winds are now estimated to be 100 mph. The forecast calls for Matthew to intensify further and become a major hurricane by early Saturday morning.

The official track forecast from the National Hurricane Center suggests Matthew will continue on a westward course for the next 24 hours or so. The system will then begin a curve to the north. Exactly where that curve occurs will determine if the island nations of Hispaniola or Jamaica will catch the brunt of the storm.

The reliable tracking models are in agreement in the motion of the storm over the next 24 to 48 hours. After that time frame the models diverge slightly. Some of the models bring the center of the system over eastern Cuba and into the Atlantic over the Bahamas.

Other models have the system moving further west and crossing Cuba in the middle of the island. Should this scenario occur the storm could brush the Florida peninsula and move up the East Coast of the United States.

The ensemble models seem to agree more with the official Hurricane Center track. Should that forecast hold true the only interaction with the U.S. Coast might be the Outer Banks of North Carolina.