Thursday, October 6, 2016

Matthew Is a Beast

KAMX (Miami) radar loop from 1328–1644 UTC October 6
It has been 4000 days since a category 3 or higher hurricane has made landfall in the United States, but that could change tonight or tomorrow, as Hurricane Matthew tracks of the Florida-Atlantic coast.  Technically, landfall requires the center of the storm to move across the coast and it is possible that the center of Matthew will remain offshore.  My read of the latest model guidance suggests, however, that landfall is more likely than not to happen.  Regardless of whether or not Matthew makes an official landfall, this is an extremely dangerous storm.  As noted by the National Hurricane Center this morning, "Matthew is likely to produce devastating impacts from storm surge, extreme winds, and heavy rains in the central and northwestern Bahamas today and along portions of the east coast of Florida tonight."  More info below.

Source: National Hurricane Center
The last official update from the National Hurricane Center was issued at 11 AM EDT (9 AM MDT) and reported that Matthew is a category 4 storm with sustain winds near 140 mph with higher gusts.  The radar loop above suggests Matthew likely remains category 4 with an extremely tight and well-developed eyewall.  Official forecasts note that some additional strengthening is possible, but the storm is expected to remain at category 4 as it approaches the Florida coast.  The central pressure is 940 mb.

There are better people than me to follow concerning tropical cyclones.  Keep an eye on Jeff Master's Wunderblog, for example.

Here are a few links from our MesoWest team to monitor surface observations from the storm.

Current observations:

Stations reporting tropical storm force sustained winds or gusts:,GG39

Stations reporting hurricane force winds or gusts:,GG74

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