Loc: Austin, Tx
Life-Threatening Matthew About to Start Unleashing on Hispaniola
Wed Sep 28 2016 11:49 AM
12:30 AM EDT 03 October 2016 Update
Haiti is one of poorest countries in the entire Western Hemisphere. Eighty percent of residents live in poverty, and it is one of the most densely populated and least developed countries. (Source: CNN)
Most of Haiti is mountainous, and extreme deforestation has eroded much of the earth there, with little, if anything, to hold it in place to prevent mudslides and flash flooding. Since becoming a hurricane, Matthew has had an unusually tight, arguably symbiotic connection to a large and powerful convective complex now located to his east (formerly east-southeast). This thunderstorm complex is producing rain rates that are off the hook, and is ever so slowly rotating around Matthew's center ... sort of a tanker of an outer band for lack of a better description ... and is about to begin affecting the island of Hispaniola, home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with unforgiving torrential rain.
Whether or not the core of Matthew makes a direct hit on Hispaniola, and it likely will come very close if not doing so, the risk of catastrophic flooding and mudslides is going up exponentially tonight. Those in this path need to be paying especially close attention not only to the center of Matthew's circulation, but his entirety, especially including this peripherally connected massive thunderstorm complex, and rushing life-saving precautions to completion on that island now.
2 PM EDT 02 October 2016 Update
Hurricane Matthew has restrengthened to 145MPH winds as it moves northwest, warnings are up for Jamaica, Haiti, Eastern Cuba. Watches up for Dominican Republic and the southeastern Bahamas. There is still a very high amount of uncertainty even int he shorter range with Matthew, therefore Florida and the Southeast should continue to monitor the storm.
5 AM EDT 02 October 2016 Update
Matthew continues to be an incredibly powerful hurricane defying odds and challenging forecasters, but it is not magic. Some of the factors influencing the hurricane's phenomenal intensification and maintenance were advertised well in advance. However, models mostly failed to adequately work with these clues, and have been further challenged by an unusually large number of transient variables. One of those possibly not being talked about enough is Invest 98L . See the INVEST 98L LOUNGE for details.
Explanations and excuses aside, the time for those in Matthew's Cone of Uncertainty to take decisive precautions to protect life and property is at hand. This very resilient hurricane maintains its major status, and if anything, may also actually be growing larger. There is an ever increasing threat of catastrophic storm surge along low lying areas, in addition to tornado-like winds inside his core ... and what may become one of Matthew's most tragic of all impacts, inland flooding and mudslides.
The government of Cuba has issued a Hurricane Warning for the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas.
A Hurricane Warning has been issued for the north coast of Haiti from Le Mole St. Nicholas eastward to the border with the Dominican Republic.
The government of the Bahamas has issued a Hurricane Watch for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, and Long Cay.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS NOW IN EFFECT
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jamaica, Haiti, Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Cuban province of Camaguey, Southeastern Bahamas including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins; Crooked Island, and Long Cay; Turks and Caicos Islands
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Dominican Republic from Barahona westward to the border with Haiti
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata westward to the border with Haiti
5 PM EDT 01 October 2016 Update
Hurricane Warning issued for Jamaica and Haiti, Hurricane Watch Issued for Cuba.
Forecast track shifts a bit east, with high uncertainty in the longer range, chance for direct import on Florida is greatly reduced, but not eliminated. Bahamas likely will be dealing with the system after Cuba/Haiti, and Mid Atlantic to Northeast still needs to monitor it. Florida just needs to be on alert for any changes.
12 AM EDT 01 October 2016 Update
Now that Matthew has become a Cat 5, here are more incredible stats this tropical cyclone has achieved (credits to Philip Klotzbach)
Matthew has intensified by 80 mph over past 24-hr - only 2 Atlantic TCs on record had stronger 24-hr intensification rates (Wilma & Felix)
Matthew is the lowest latitude category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic on record at 13.3°N
Matthew ends a 3314 day drought since the last Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic (Felix-2007)
Matthew became the 31st Atlantic basin Category 5 hurricane on record
11 PM EDT 30 September 2016 Update
Matthew becomes the first Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic since Felix in 2007.
7:45 PM EDT 30 September 2016 Update
Matthew is now a Category 4 hurricane with 150mph maximum sustained winds.
Hurricane watches are up for Jamaica, which is the forecast path for Matthew. Those in Jamaica should prepare now for a major hurricane landfall from the south.
Beyond Jamaica, eastern Cuba and the Bahamas will be dealing with Matthew as well. If it directly impacts the US is still unknown due to a complex pattern setting up, but as it stands right now, odds favor it staying east of Florida. It will be close enough for very rough surf along the coast regardless. Florida or the southeast US *cannot* be rules out, so its important to maintain a close eye on the system through the week. It may stall out over the Bahamas or slow down quite a bit, which would increase the uncertainty.
7:30 AM EDT 30 September 2016 Update
Matthew gives the appearance of a rapidly strengthening hurricane this morning, Cat 2 at the 5AM advisory, possibly stronger now. It has moved just south of west overnight and seems to be continuing on that track for the moment.
For those in Jamaica, extreme western Haiti, and Eastern Cuba it would be prudent to prepare for a major hurricane. Watches/Warnings are not up yet, but likely will be soon.
Those in the Bahamas and Florida should keep a close watch. Models currently keep Matthew east of the state, but it still is within the margin of ensemble error.
10:00 PM EDT 29 September 2016 Update
Matthew continues intensifying ahead of schedule, and may be now tracking a little more noticeably just south of due west (as forecast). It has been clear throughout the afternoon that the cyclone is in the process of building an inner core, and it would not be surprising to see an eye develop soon.
The most recent recon pass has found the minimum pressure down to 985mb, with a recently deployed dropsonde encountering winds of 106 knots (122 MPH) at the 925mb level - roughly 2000 ft (image below). In addition to producing dangerously strong winds, Buoy 42059 located north of the center just received wave heights of up to 30 ft.
Matthew is a large, powerful and dangerous hurricane. All interests along its path should heed official guidance, and make plans well in advance, if possible.
2PM EDT 29 September 2016 Update
Recon has found lower pressure and stronger winds bringing Matthew officially to hurricane status. It's facing some shear so in the short term it is unlikely to strengthen much, but in the next day or two conditions may improve enough for it to reach major hurricane status.
Tropical Storm Watches are effect for Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba which may be close enough to Matthew to feel some effects from it, although the storm is forecast to stay north of those islands.
Tropical Storm Matthew
Recon flying the large and strong tropical wave located just east of the Lesser Antilles this morning found a messy, but closed surface circulation and winds to 60 MPH - and so Invest 97L has gone directly to being named, Matthew, the 13th named tropical cyclone of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
This storm is going to be landlocked in the central to eastern Caribbean and then largely forecast to turn to the north rather sharply by later in the week, and could become a significant hurricane in a few days. Interests in the central to eastern Caribbean may want to begin taking seriously all official watches and warnings for their areas.
As of 11AM AST Sep 28, A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the French Islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. The government of Barbados has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Barbados, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands. The government of St. Lucia has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for St. Lucia. It does not appear immediately likely that hurricane conditions will occur over these islands, but it is somewhat possible. Matthew is a strong and strengthening tropical cyclone.
More speculation on Matthew can be found in the Matthew Lounge.
Caribbean Radar Mosaic Recording.