Tropical Cyclone (14L) Matthew remains active…located about 255 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica
Hurricane 14L (Matthew) remains active in the central Caribbean …as an intense major category 4 hurricane (145 mph sustained winds)
Hurricane Matthew is the Caribbean’s first major hurricane since Sandy of 2012. Matthew strengthened to a very unusual category 5 late briefly Friday evening, becoming the first Category 5 Atlantic basin hurricane since Hurricane Felix in early September 2007.
Hurricane Matthew is poised to make a potential devastating landfall over Haiti, and poses a danger to eastern Cuba and Jamaica Monday night. Matthew will then drift slowly through the Bahamas for several days.
Here are likely arrival times:
- Jamaica: Monday/Monday night
- Haiti/Dominican Republic: Late Monday/Tuesday
- Eastern Cuba: Early Tuesday through Tuesday night
- Southeast & central Bahamas/Turks & Caicos: Tuesday into at least Wednesday night
Hurricane 14L is slowly moving towards the north at near 5 mph.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the eye of Matthew has become obscured on visible satellite images, which is often an indication of weakening. Microwave images showed a distinct dry slot over the southwestern and western portions of the circulation. Also there has been a persistent, but inexplicable, cluster of deep convection located a couple of degrees to the east of the hurricane, and the effect of this feature on Matthew’s intensity evolution is unknown.
An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigated the northeastern eyewall, the strongest part of the circulation, and found that the winds had decreased somewhat from earlier this morning. The intensity is set to 120 knots for this advisory. The wind shear is not forecast to become much stronger while Matthew is in the Caribbean, so the hurricane should remain near category 4 status for the next 36-48 hours.
Once Matthew moves into the Atlantic, some increase in wind shear, along with a decrease in oceanic heat content should result in a little weakening. However, there is significant uncertainty in the 3-5 day forecast intensities.
After a northwestward motion, the center has meandered westward over the past few hours. Matthew is expected to turn northward and move between a mid-level ridge to the east and a weak trough over the Gulf of Mexico for the next few days.
Later in the forecast period, the global models show a slight building of a ridge to the northeast of Matthew which would induce a turn toward the left in 3-5 days. The timing and magnitude of this turn is still uncertain however.
It is important to remind users that average NHC track forecast errors are around 175 miles at day 4 and 230 miles at day 5. Therefore, it is too soon to rule out possible hurricane impacts from Matthew in Florida.
Some models indicate the potential for Matthew to affect parts of the East Coast of the U.S. from Florida to Maine, later next week into the weekend. The majority of model solutions keep Matthew just offshore, although some bring Matthew onshore…possibly as a strong hurricane.
Even if Matthew stays sufficiently offshore from the East Coast, a threat of dangerous swells, coastal flooding, and beach erosion may occur along parts of the Eastern seaboard.
Here’s the NOAA Precipitation Outlook graphic for the United States today through the next 2-days
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas
* Southeastern Bahamas
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Cuban province of Camaguey
* Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, and Ragged Island
* Turks and Caicos Islands
* Southeastern Bahamas
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic from Barahona westward to the border with Haiti
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata westward to the border with Haiti
Interests elsewhere in Hispaniola and in the Bahamas should monitor the progress of Matthew.
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm- force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to reach Jamaica and Haiti on Monday, and eastern Cuba Monday night. Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach Jamaica and Haiti tonight, and eastern Cuba early Monday, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. Tropical storm conditions are expected along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic within the warning area by tonight.
Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch areas by late Tuesday with tropical storm conditions possible by early Tuesday. Tropical storm conditions are also possible in the tropical storm watch area in the Dominican Republic by late Monday.
RAINFALL: Matthew is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 15 to 25 inches of southern Haiti and the southwestern portion of the Dominican republic, with possible isolated amounts of 40 inches. Across eastern Cuba and western Haiti total rain accumulations of 8 to 12 inches are expected, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches. Across eastern Jamaica total rainfall of 5 to 10 inches is expected, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches possible. This rainfall will likely produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.
Matthew is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 8 to 12 inches over the southeastern Bahamas, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches. Matthew is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 5 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches over the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Lower amounts are expected across the northeastern section of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with amounts ranging from 1 to 3 inches with isolated amounts around 5 inches. Rain amounts of 1 to 2 inches are expected over western Jamaica. Additional rainfall of 1 to 2 inches is expected over northern Colombia through Sunday.
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large and destructive waves could raise water levels by as much as the following amounts above normal tide levels…
Southern Coast of Cuba east of Cabo Cruz…7 to 11 feet
South Coast of Haiti…7 to 10 feet
Northern Coast of Cuba east of Camaguey…4 to 6 feet
Jamaica…3 to 5 feet
Gulf of Gonave in Haiti…3 to 5 feet
Southern coast of the Dominican Republic…1 to 3 feet
Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. Large waves generated by Matthew will cause water rises to occur well in advance of and well away from the track of the center.
SURF: Swells generated by Matthew will continue to affect portions of the coasts of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Venezuela, Colombia, eastern Cuba, and the Caribbean coastline of Central America during the next few days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
>>> Meanwhile, there’s a tropical disturbance in the Atlantic, to the east-northeast of the Leeward Islands, which is expected to move northwest and then north…with Bermuda the only area of land in its general path
A broad low pressure system located about 600 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Islands continues to produce an area of showers and thunderstorms.
Any development of this system should be slow to occur due to strong upper-level winds.
This system is expected to move northwestward at 15 mph during the next few days.
A broad low pressure system located about 600 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Islands continues to produce an area of showers and thunderstorms. Any development of this system should be slow to occur due to strong upper-level winds. This system is expected to move northwestward at 15 mph during the next few days.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…20 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days…low…30 percent
Tropical Cyclone 14L (Matthew)