Saturday 5PM Update: From the NHC: AT 4 PM CDT...2100Z...A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM THE
ALABAMA-FLORIDA BORDER WESTWARD TO INTRACOASTAL CITY LOUISIANA. A
TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
I sense a little gamesmanship at NHC (differing opinions) but at any rate, Matthew is a minimal Tropical Storm again with sustained winds of 35 knots. Matthew still moving just east of north toward the central Louisiana coast. The center is once again exposed and the weather remains to the east of the center.
Saturday 11AM Update: Matthew is now a Tropical Depression moving to the NNE at 10mph - caught up in the low-level southerly flow ahead of a strong front - so much for the earlier analysis (see below). He is heading for the central Louisiana coast within 24 hours with most of the rain expected to the east of the landfall area. One for the global models - they nailed this one.
Original Post: Matthew is barely surviving this morning and the TS rating is certainly generous. The cyclone is currently under about 30 knots of west to southwest wind shear and the convection is to the northeast of the center. The shear is expected to decrease to about 20 knots on Monday, however I doubt that Matthew can regain tropical storm strength again. The official forecast moves the storm to the northeast and north northeast around a cutoff upper level low - but the low is forecast to develop over southeast Colorado and the Texas panhandle - and that is a long way from the storm. Upper level winds along the northern Gulf coast are still expected to remain southwesterly - even westerly - so I'm still having my doubts about the anticipated eventual turn to the north. Matthew will likely remain a TD for the remainder of its existence and move northeast toward the north Florida coast.
Invest 96L south of Bermuda is also encountering strong southerly shear with convection removed well to the north of the well defined low level circulation center - looking very subtropical at the moment. Still some chance for additional development when the shear weakens in about two days.
The remainder of the basin remains quiet with nothing on the immediate horizon.
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