Hurricane Matthew expected to reach Haiti, Jamaica on Monday

UPDATE, 11 p.m.: Hurricane Matthew continued to move slowly northward toward Caribbean islands on Sunday night, according to the National Hurricane Center. matthew11pm

Check The Palm Beach Post’s storm tracking map.

The Category 4 storm sustained wind speeds of 145 mph and is moving north at 5 mph. Forecasters expect hurricane conditions to reach Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba on Monday night.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for swaths of the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Haiti, Cuban provinces and parts of the Bahamas.

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UPDATE, 8 p.m.: Hurricane Matthew is still a monster. Information from the National Hurricane Center in Miami indicates the Category 4 storm has maintained its maximum sustained winds of 145 MPH while creeping northwest at 5 miles per hour.

8matthewSouth Florida is now just west of the storm’s cone of uncertainty. Haiti and the western edge of Cuba are in the storm’s projected path. Hurricane warnings are now up for Jamaica, Haiti and the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holquin, Granma and Las Tunas.

 

UPDATE, 5 p.m.: hurricanematthew5pmHurricane Matthew, fierce and formidable, maintained its Category 4 intensity late Sunday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The storm continued its northwestward path at 5 MPH, packing maximum sustained winds of 145 MPH.

 

Coastal Florida now just barely grazes the western edge of the storm’s cone of uncertainty, according to an NHC forecast model. Still, forecasters cautioned residents to remain vigilant as the storm passes the Greater Antilles and heads toward the Bahamas.

UPDATE, 2 p.m.: Hurricane Matthew strengthened a bit in the last few hours as it continued to move slowly on a northwestward path.

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Palm Beach County and coastal Florida remained on the western fringe of the storm’s cone of uncertainty. The Category 4 hurricane’s maximum sustained winds were clocked at 145 mph as it moved at a 5 mph pace.

The next hurricane update is expected at 5 p.m.

UPDATE, 11 a.m.: As Hurricane Matthew was expected to shift northwestward to northward, southern Haiti braced for Category 4 winds and heavy rains and the region at large mobilized in advance of the storm.

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South Florida remains just barely in the storm path’s cone of uncertainty, and the National Hurricane Center cautioned residents to stay alert for the “next couple days.”

As the storm moved at 3 mph with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, a hurricane warning was in effect for Jamaica, Haiti and five provinces in eastern Cuba. Matthew diminished slightly from the 8 a.m. advisory, which had it at 5 mph, with winds of 150 mph.

An update on the storm’s path will come at 2 p.m.

Hurricane Matthew 8 a.m. updateUPDATE 8 a.m.: A small portion of South Florida remains in the cone of uncertainty as Hurricane Matthew moves northwestward at 5 mph.

A hurricane warning is still in effect for Jamaica, Haiti and eastern Cuba as Matthew remains a strong category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The chance of Matthew strengthening in the next 48 hours is 20 percent, and the system is expected to move west-northwestward at 15 mph during the next several days.

UPDATE 5 a.m.: Hurricane Matthew continues to move slowly northwestward and is still a strong Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph.

The latest shift in the forecast brings part of Florida back inside the cone of uncertainty.

The hurricane is expected to turn to the north later tonight and is on a path that should take it near Jamaica and Haiti on Monday and eastern Cuba on Monday night. Hurricane warnings remain in effect for Jamaica and Haiti — and now include parts of eastern Cuba. Hurricane watches have been extended to the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

What the storm means for Florida is still uncertain looking ahead into the week, according the Hurricane Center, but deteriorating conditions are expected to begin Tuesday.

The National Hurricane Center, state officials and forecasters caution Floridians to remain vigilant.

“It’s a very dangerous storm and life-threatening. We haven’t seen a storm of this magnitude approach our state in a very long time,” Gov. Scott said in a statement Saturday.

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UPDATE 11 p.m., Saturday: Hurricane Matthew is gradually moving away from the coast of Colombia and is on path that should take near Jamaica and Haiti on Monday.

Matthew is still a strong Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph. The storm began to make a north-northwest turn late Saturday. It is forecast to continue moving in that direction Sunday, followed by a turn to the north on Monday.

A shift to the east in the forecast moves South Florida just outside of the cone of uncertainty. However, state officials and forecasters caution Floridians to remain vigilant.

“It’s a very dangerous storm and life-threatening. We haven’t seen a storm of this magnitude approach our state in a very long time,” Gov. Scott said in a statement earlier Saturday.

Matthew is expected to remain a strong hurricane through Monday, although some fluctuations in intensity are possible, the National Hurricane Center.

The center of Matthew is forecast to approach Jamaica and southwestern Haiti by Monday. The 5-day forecast shows the storm moving across Cuba and into the Bahamas by the middle of next week.

 

UPDATE 8 P.M., Saturday: Hurricane Matthew has barely moved during the past few hours, but is expected to begin a slow northwestward motion tonight.

Hurricane warnings remain in effect for Jamaica and Haiti, with hurricane watches extended to Cuba. After intensifying earlier in the day, Matthew remained a strong Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph.  The center of Matthew will approach Jamaica and southwestern Haiti on Monday.

The forecast track would carry it across Cuba and into the Bahamas, with an outside chance of a brush with Florida, though that would be several days away. Matthew is expected produce total rainfall accumulations of 15 to 25 inches over southern Haiti, and 10 to 20 inches over eastern Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba, the National Hurricane Center said.

As Hurricane Matthew, packing 150-mph winds, meandered south of Jamaica on Saturday, Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians to remain vigilant.

“It’s a very dangerous storm and life-threatening. We haven’t seen a storm of this magnitude approach our state in a very long time,” Scott said in a statement.

UPDATE 5 P.M., Saturday: The National Hurricane Center and Jamaican government have issued hurricane warnings in Jamaica and Haiti as they anticipate the storm’s landfall in the coming days.

As Hurricane Matthew makes its slow turn to the northwest, the maximum sustained winds have strengthened back up to 150 mph, and it remains a strong Category 4 storm. Forecasters now anticipate rainfall totals to be anywhere from 15 to 25 inches with isolated areas as high as 40 inches. Though the hurricane is expected to lose some strength when it hits the island nations, “conditions appear conducive for restrengthening once Matthew moves into the Bahamas.”

What the storm means for Florida is still uncertain looking ahead into the week, according the Hurricane Center.

UPDATE 3:30 P.M.: Meteorologist Brian Edwards said the small shifts in direction for Hurricane Matthew are nothing to worry about at the moment, but if the direction moves drastically west, that’s when there should be concern.

Edwards, who works for accuweather.com, said the Category 4 storm was expected to slow down today and that’s why it’s “meandering” south of the Caribbean, slightly changing directions.

As of now, he said the storm is expected to head northwest through Sunday, then as it reaches Cuba on Monday, it will head north to the Bahamas.

“But if it moves at a higher clip moving west, then that would be highly concerning.”

If Matthew remains on track and hits the Bahamas at Category 2 strength, Edwards said Florida’s east coast will feel some of the storm because of its size. He said the stronger bands will be on the east side of the storm, so he doesn’t expect a ton of wind and rain to hit Florida. But, he says the waters will be dangerous.

UPDATE 2 p.m., Saturday: Hurricane Matthew continues its path to a Caribbean landfall in the coming days as it remains a Category 4 storm.

As the winds have dropped to about 140 mph, the direction of the storm has altered slightly as well.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm “has been moving erratically for the past couple of hours,” ranging from a westward direction to now drifting south. Forecasters expect a “faster motion toward the west should resume” by the evening.

Sunday is when Matthew is expected to turn north northwest and head to the Bahamas. It’s still unclear what the impact of the storm could have for South Florida in the coming days.

UPDATE 11 a.m., Saturday: A hurricane watch has been put into effect for Haiti and Jamaica as Matthew remains a Category 4 storm Saturday morning.

Sustained winds have slowed a bit to 145 mph, but the National Hurricane Center says the storm has higher gusts. Forecasters have warned about possible flash floods and mud slides in Jamaica and Haiti as rainfall totals could reach between 10 and 15 inches

The storm is expected to turn west-northwest later today, then turn north-northwest Sunday.

As for the storm’s impact on South Florida, the National Weather Service said “there remains significant uncertainty in where and how fast Matthew will move beyond the weekend.”

Based on current forecasts, some storm conditions may be felt in South Florida by late Tuesday. Matthew is expected to remain a hurricane when it hits the Bahamas around Wednesday.

Forecasters say boaters and those out in the Atlantic waters can expect hazardous conditions starting Tuesday and continuing though the rest of the week.

Starting Wednesday, the odds of tropical storm conditions effecting South Florida are 1 in 5.

UPDATE 8 a.m.: Hurricane Matthew remains a Category 4 with maximum sustained winds around 155 mph Saturday morning. While the storm was downgraded from a Category 5 storm overnight, the National Hurricane Center said it is still a very powerful storm and will remain so through at least Monday.

Though most projections have the storm staying east of Florida’s coast, the hurricane is moving slightly west at about 7 mph. Matthew is expected to continue heading northwest through Sunday, according to forecast projections.

The National Hurricane Center said it is still too soon to rule out hurricane impacts on Florida because there “remains considerate uncertainty in the models beyond day 3” when the storm is expected to hit Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti.

UPDATE 5 a.m., Saturday: Hurricane Matthew has weakened slightly and has been downgraded to a Category 4 after reaching Category 5 status Friday night.

Matthew has 155 mph sustained winds. It reached 160 mph winds late Friday, making it the strongest to form in the Atlantic since Hurricane Felix in 2007, according to the National Hurricane Center.

South Florida is in the cone of uncertainty but it’s still too soon to know how or when Matthew will affect us. It’s moving west about 7 mph and the center is about 365 miles from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and 420 miles from Kingston, Jamaica.

It is expected to turn toward the west-northwest later Saturday, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest Sunday. The center will move away from the Guajira Peninsula on Saturday morning, move across the central Caribbean Sea during the day and will approach Jamaica late Sunday, according to the NHC.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Jamaica; a Tropical Storm warning is in effect for Colombia/Venezuela border and a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Haiti, from the southern border with the Dominican Republic to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

LATE FRIDAY REPORT: Hurricane Matthew strengthened into the Atlantic’s strongest hurricane in nearly a decade Friday night, becoming a Category 5 storm.

Matthew had 160 mph sustained winds, making it the strongest to form in the Atlantic since Hurricane Felix in 2007, according to the National Hurricane Center.  A shift in the forecast track also puts South Florida in the cone of uncertainty. Matthew is forecast to begin moving toward Jamaica late Sunday and into Monday before passing over Cuba and approaching the Bahamas by Tuesday.

The center of Matthew will move north of the Guajira Peninsula tonight, move across the central Caribbean Saturday and approach Jamaica by late Sunday.

On Friday, National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb urged Floridians not to “tune out” over the weekend, noting that a little wobble in the path could put South Florida deeper in the cone of concern.

“We cannot rule out a direct hurricane impact in Florida next week,” Knabb told  The Palm Beach Post. “Come Monday, we may have a very different forecast than what you see here.”

As of the hurricane center’s 11 p.m. advisory, Matthew was about 44o miles to the southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. Some fluctuations in intensity are possible this weekend, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Sunday, the hurricane center said.

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