Tropical Cyclone (14L) Matthew remains active…located about 115 miles south-southwest of Charleston, South Carolina
Tropical Cyclone (15L) Nicole remains active…located about 415 miles south of Bermuda
Hurricane 14L (Matthew) is a category 2 hurricane (110 mph sustained winds)…brushing the Georgia coast
Matthew will track very close to the coast of Florida and Georgia today and early Saturday morning, then potentially make landfall on the coast of South Carolina Saturday morning. The combination of cooler ocean temperatures, stronger wind shear, and dry air should act to weaken Matthew to a category 1 hurricane by Saturday night…when it would make its closest approach to North Carolina.
Hurricane models, including the GFS and European, continue to show high pressure building in to the north of Matthew this weekend, blocking the hurricane’s forward path. Matthew is expected to loop back towards the south and southwest, potentially reaching The Bahamas by Tuesday.
NWS Looping radar from Jacksonville, Florida
Looping radar image, showing hurricane Matthew moving through the Bahamas towards Florida and Georgia
The Windytv wind profile of hurricane Matthew…offshore from Georgia
The current wind speed and directions for area around Hurricane Matthew
The current wind speed and directions for area around Hurricane Matthew
Sea Water Temperature map for the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico
How strong Matthew is when it affects Georgia and South Carolina is difficult to predict, as it depends on how much time the hurricane spends over land in Florida.
Hurricane Matthew is moving towards the north at near 12 mph.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the satellite presentation has degraded during the past several hours, and the eye is not very distinct. However, the SFMR and flight-level wind data from an Air Force reconnaissance plane indicate that the initial intensity is still 105 kt.
Matthew is expected to change little in intensity during the next 6 to 12 hours, but it should begin to weaken at a faster pace in 24 hours while the wind shear increases, and by the end of the forecast period, Matthew is expected to become a tropical depression.
Fixes from a reconnaissance plane indicate that Matthew is moving toward the north-northwest or 345 degrees at 10 knots. Matthew is reaching the northwestern edge of the subtropical ridge and encounter the mid-latitude westerlies. This flow pattern should steer the hurricane northward and then northeastward during the next 36 hours.
After that time, the flow pattern is forecast to change again and a weakening Matthew should then turn southward and southwestward.
1. We have been very fortunate that Matthew’s category 3 winds have remained a short distance offshore of the Florida Coast thus far, but this should not be a reason to let down our guard. Only a small deviation to the left of the forecast track could bring these winds onshore. The western eyewall of Matthew, which contains hurricane-force winds, is expected to move over or very near the coast of northeastern Florida and Georgia today.
2. Hurricane winds increase very rapidly with height, and occupants of high-rise buildings in the Jacksonville area are at particular risk of strong winds. Winds at the top of a 30-story building will average one Saffir-Simpson category higher than the winds near the surface.
3. The water hazards remain, even if the core of Matthew remains offshore. These include the danger of life-threatening inundation from storm surge, as well as inland flooding from heavy rains from Florida to North Carolina.
Here’s the NOAA Precipitation Outlook graphic for the United States today through the next 2-days
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT
Graphic map showing the alerts below
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Cocoa Beach to Surf City
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* North of Surf City to Cape Lookout
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Sebastian Inlet to Cocoa Beach
* North of Surf City to Duck
* Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND: Hurricane and tropical storm conditions are expected to continue over the warning area in Florida today, and spread northward within the warning area through Saturday.
Residents in high-rise buildings should be aware that the winds at the top of a 30-story building will be, on average, about one Saffir-Simpson category higher than the winds near the surface.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the tropical storm warning area in North Carolina on Saturday morning.
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge, the tide, and large and destructive waves will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…
Flagler Beach, Florida, to Edisto Beach, South Carolina, including portions of the St. Johns River…6 to 9 ft
Cocoa Beach to Flagler Beach, Florida…4 to 6 ft
Edisto Beach, South Carolina to Cape Fear, North Carolina… 4 to 6 ft
Sebastian Inlet to Cocoa Beach, Florida…2 to 4 ft
Cape Fear to Salvo, North Carolina, including portions of the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds…2 to 4 ft
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds. 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.
There is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along the Florida northeast coast, the Georgia coast, the South Carolina coast, and the North Carolina coast from Sebastian Inlet, Florida, to Cape Fear, North Carolina. There is the possibility of life-threatening inundation during the next 48 hours from north of Cape Fear to Salvo, North Carolina.
There is the possibility of life-threatening inundation during the next 48 hours from north of Cape Fear to Salvo, North Carolina.
RAINFALL: Matthew is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 8 to 12 inches over the Atlantic coast of the United States from central Florida to eastern North Carolina…with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches. This rainfall may result in flooding and flash flooding.
TORNADOES: An isolated tornado or two is possible along the South Carolina, Georgia, and northeast Florida coasts today.
SURF: Swells generated by Matthew will continue to affect portions of the Bahamas and the east coast of Florida during the next few days, and will spread northward along the southeast U.S. coast through the weekend. These swells will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
>>> Tropical Storm 15L (Nicole) remains active in the Atlantic Ocean…located 365 miles south of Bermuda
Tropical Storm 15L is currently moving southward at near 7 mph
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Strong wind shear has taken its toll on Nicole overnight. The cyclone’s cloud pattern has rapidly deteriorated, with the low-level center now exposed to the northwest of a greatly reduced area of deep convection.
Since the cloud pattern has degraded even further, the advisory intensity is lowered to 65 mph, which could prove to be generous. Nicole has barely been moving, and the initial motion estimate is nearly stationary.
Although Nicole remains in a region of weak steering at the moment, a blocking mid-level high should build north of the cyclone soon, and impart a slow motion generally toward the south for the next couple of days. Around 48 hours there should be a gradual turn northward, with some increase in forward speed through the remainder of the forecast period.
The storm will move into a hostile environment, which should cause weakening, perhaps even more than indicated in this forecast. Indications are that late in the forecast period the large- scale environment should become more conducive for Nicole to re-intensify, but to what extent is in doubt.
Tropical Cyclone 14L (Matthew)
Tropical Cyclone 15L (Nicole)