Hurricane Matthew strengthening as it approaches Florida

NOAA IR Satellite Image Hurricane Matthew

NOAA IR Satellite Image Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Mathew at 11am EDT 1500 UTC is once again gaining strength with max winds now at 120 knots (about 140 mph).  Environmental conditions appear favorable for additional intensification today while Matthew approaches the east coast of Florida.

Currently hurricane force winds extend outward abut 30-50 NM to the west and 40-50N to the east. Damaging 50 knot (58mph) winds extend outward 70 NM except only 40 NM to the southwest. Tropical storm force (gale) winds extend outward 70-100 NM west and 130-140 NM east.

NHC Track Forecast for Hurricane Matthew

NHC Track Forecast for Hurricane Matthew

After 24 hours, land interaction is likely to cause some weakening, and later in the period increasing shear should cause a more rapid decrease in winds. Matthew is moving toward the northwest or 325 degrees at 10 kt. A turn towards the north-northwest and later northeast is still anticipated.

Matthew is likely to produce devastating impacts from storm surge, extreme winds, and heavy rains in the northwestern Bahamas today, and along extensive portions of the east coast of Florida tonight. By tonight max winds are forecast to be about 125 knts (145mph).

NHC Risk for damaging 50 knot (58mph) or higher wind speeds

NHC Risk for damaging 50 knot (58mph) or higher wind speeds

When a hurricane is forecast to take a track roughly parallel to a coastline, as Matthew is forecast to do from Florida through South Carolina, it becomes very difficult to specify impacts at any one location. Only a small deviation of the track to the left of the NHC forecast could bring the core of a major hurricane onshore within the hurricane warning area in Florida and Georgia. Modest deviations to the right could keep much of the hurricane-force winds offshore.

About Fred Pickhardt

Fred Pickhardt, Marine Meteorologist I am a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade. I have extensive experience in marine weather analysis, marine weather forecasting, optimum ship routing, vessel performance evaluations and forensic marine weather event reconstructions. I founded Ocean Weather Services and as Owner and Chief Consultant currently provide optimum ship routing services and forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
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