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Matthew Rapidly Intensified Overnight

September 29, 2016
  • Now a Category 2 storm with winds up to 100 mph
  • Forecast to become a Major Hurricane by Saturday
  • Turns north this weekend, impacts to U.S. still uncertain


Update 6 am Friday:  Hurricane Matthew became better organized Thursday evening, then rapidly intensified overnight. The storm also began to turn slightly south of west, drifting closer to the northern coast of Colombia. The new forecast from the National Hurricane Center is for Matthew to reach Major Hurricane status by Saturday as it continues moving west across the central Caribbean.  Thereafter, a turn to the northwest is forecast by Sunday, when it could threaten Jamaica and eastern Cuba by Monday.


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Update 9 pm: NOAA G-IV aircraft have been sent to assist in data collection from the atmosphere in all four quadrants surrounding Hurricane Matthew, in hopes that the better data might yield more confidence in forecast modeling overnight.  Meteorologist Jeff Huffman recorded this more technical update earlier today...



Original Post Tuesday 2 pm: Hurricane hunters flew into the Matthew Thursday afternoon and found sustained winds up to 75 miles per hour, making Matthew the fourth hurricane of the 2016 season. As of 2 pm Thursday, Matthew was located 190 miles northeast of Curacao, and moving west at 17 mph.

After two days moving west over the warm waters of the Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew is expected to turn to the northwest Saturday, and head toward Jamaica Sunday. It could be on Cuba’s doorstep Monday as a Category 2 storm.  The system’s trajectory beyond this point still remains somewhat uncertain.  The current consensus among most reliable forecast models is for Matthew to track just east of Florida. However, all Floridians are encouraged to stay vigilant in their awareness and preparations.  The National Hurricane Center said it best:

“The average NHC track errors at days 4 and 5 are on the order of 180 and 240 miles, respectively.  It is too early to determine what, if any, impacts could occur on either the U.S. Gulf or Atlantic coasts.”

Any impacts from Hurricane Matthew to the United States or Florida would occur around the middle or end of next week.





Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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