Tuesday AM Hurricane Matthew Update

Hurricane Matthew is gaining strength on its way to a devastating landfall in Haiti and then Eastern Cuba.  The Hurricane will expand its wind field in the Bahama's and it will deliver a strong blow in the SW Atlantic archipelago.  How close the storm bends towards Florida remains to be seen.  From there it sure seems like the storm will be close to the GA/SC coast before making landfall around Wilmington, NC.  Impacts for the northeast are not known at this time but wind and rain on Sunday are looking more and more likely.

General Overview
As of 5 AM here is the satellite image of the storm.
NOAA GOES_EAST infrared satellite Tuesday AM
The storm is so powerful that the eye is a "pinhole".  As of 5 AM the winds are at 145 MPH and pressure is down to 934 mb.  This is a lower pressure then when Matthew was a category 5 on Friday.
NHC Atlantic 5 AM Track, Warnings
  The official track takes the storm very close to the central Florida coast and then near Hilton Head, SC and close to Cape Fear, NC.  Here is the track from all the overnight computer model runs.
06z Tropical Cyclone Tracks (image Weatherbell)
Most guidance has locked onto a close track to the SE US, including the great EURO.  The EURO is further west when compared to yesterday but it remains one of the further east tracks for Southern New England.  These tracks would bring heavy rain to Central and Western SNE with high winds and some coastal flooding in Eastern SNE.  At the upper levels here is the feature to watch.  This map is for Friday at 2 AM.
06z GFS 500 mb heights, vort Friday 2 AM (image NOAA/NCEP/NWS)
At the surface that feature will be a strong cold front.  Here is Friday 8 AM
WPC Surface Forecast Friday 8 AM
The high pressure centered over New England will slide east into the Atlantic allowing Matthew to come north.  Matthew will link up with this front and become more of a nor'easter (but a very powerful one at that thanks to its tropical origins)..  Here is Saturday 8 AM at the upper levels.
06z GFS 500 mb heights, vort Saturday 8 AM (image NOAA/NCEP/NWS)
Here is the surface forecast at the same time.
WPC Surface Forecast Saturday 8 AM
It's possible that as this cold front approaches its interaction with Matthew will cause rain Saturday night well before the storm is close to New England.

The Bottom Line
Here is what we know

  1. Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahama's will see a Category 4 Hurricane today and tomorrow
  2. The SE US will likely go under Hurricane Watch/Warnings today as Matthew will come very close Thursday PM-Saturday AM from Florida to the Carolina's
  3. A cold front will bring some rain on Saturday PM/Sunday AM to New England
    1. a. How much additional rain/wind will depend on Matthew's track
    2. b. Looking like a closer pass so coastal flooding and wind damage are on the table
It looks like a fairly quiet weather week here in New England so meteorologists will spend a lot of time tracking this storm.  I'll post another update Wednesday AM.

-Zack Green


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