(WTNH) — Hurricane Matthew which has already claimed over 100 lives in the Caribbean is quickly regaining strength as it tracks towards the Florida coast. As of 11 AM Thursday morning Matthew has sustained winds of 140 MPH (CAT 4) with gusts that top 165 MPH at times. Moving over warm water and a relatively quiet atmosphere, Matthew will have no problem retaining its strength or even getting stronger over the next 24 hours before coming close to making landfall along eastern Florida. Flights are being cancelled and evacuations are becoming mandatory, as they should. If Matthew makes landfall as a major Hurricane (Cat 3 or higher) it would be the first in 4,000 days (Wilma in 2005). If you have friends or family that live within 10-15 miles of the eastern coast of Florida, make sure they evacuate! The Governor of Florida has issued a statement saying “This storm will kill you!” Matthew will not only bring strong winds to Florida, Georgia and South Carolina but heavy rain as well. Models are projected between 6-18+ inches of rain over the next couple of days. As Matthew rides up the east coast of Florida it will likely pack a punch with 145+ MPH winds and gusts to 165+ MPH. These winds are strong enough to turn any object (Shingles, siding of a house or even a branch) into a deadly projectile. Losing power is almost certain in the areas highlighted in red above.
Along with the dangerous winds and flooding rain comes a deadly storm surge. The biggest killer in hurricanes are typically storm surge. Models are projecting a storm surge of 5-10 FT along the FL, GA and SC coast. Please take evacuations seriously! Looking at the glass half full, the spread of the strongest winds don’t stretch too far for such a powerful storm. Hurricane force winds (74 MPH or higher) reach roughly 60 miles away from the eye and Tropical Storm force (39 MPH or higher) winds stretch 160 miles away. However, these winds will be felt along the coast and will certainly threaten the area.
Below is the current track of Hurricane Matthew as of 11 AM. Matthew is projected to ride along the coastline of Florida eventually hitting Georgia and South Carolina as well before coming back out to the Atlantic Ocean. I want to make it clear that Matthew will have NO IMPACT on the weather in Connecticut. We are looking at great weather the next couple of days with the only hiccup in the forecast being a couple showers on Saturday that have no relation to Matthew.
Updated by: Meteorologist Kevin Arnone