October 2, 2016
Hurricane Matthew Aims At Haiti
It's a long time since the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season started way back in January as Hurricane Alex headed for Greenland.
Today we bring you news of Hurricane Matthew, who swept through the Lesser Antilles into the Caribbean Sea as a mere tropical storm but has now turned north and strengthened into a major hurricane. Matthew briefly reached category 5 status yesterday with sustained wind speeds of 160 miles per hour, but those winds have dropped down to a mere 150 mph this morning. Like Alex, Matthew has several claims to fame, most notably as the southernmost category 5 hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, at 13.3° north. Here's the current forecast from the National Hurricane Center:
As you can see, there are hurricane warnings already in place for Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti. There is always some uncertainty over the forecast track of any hurricane. In this case that can be gauged by looking at the current NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory ensemble forecast for Matthew:
At the moment it seems highly likely that Matthew's eye will pass over western Haiti before passing close to or over Eastern Cuba and then heading in the general direction of the east coast of the United States. It's far too early to say with certainty whether Matthew will make landfall on the mainland of the United States of America, but here is the Global Forecast System's best guess for 138 hours from 6 AM this morning:
Here's how Matthew looked from the Suomi satellite yesterday afternoon:
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