Hurricane Matthew, a strong
Category 4 Category 3 Hurricane, is already in Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba, and may be touching down in the United States sometime later this week. Winds are reaching speeds of up to 140 MPH and as of Wednesday afternoon it was moving north at a speed of 8 MPH. It could hit the United States anywhere from Florida to Maine (source), or it could just drive up the coast and cause some rainfall.
Update–10/5/2016 4:15 PM: Experts expect Hurricane Matthew to regain its strength over the warm waters north of Cuba. See below for the most up-to-date forecasts.
Update–10/5/2016 9:20 AM: Right now experts expect the center of Hurricane Matthew to stay off the coast, but Atlantic Coast Florida residents and South Carolina residents should still expect Hurricane force winds on Thursday into Friday. See below for more details.
Hurricane-class winds extend up to 25 miles from the eye of the storm, so severe damage and wind can be expected if you’re anywhere near the hurricane.
We’ll be updating this post to give you the best information, updates, and details on Hurricane Matthew.
Hurricane Matthew Forecast
Hurricane Matthew is confirmed to hit the following countries (updated as of Tuesday 4:00 PM EST):
• Haiti (up to 40 inches of rain, expect high winds, flooded streets, and life-threatening surge)
• Jamaica (up 10 10 inches in eastern Jamaica)
• Cuba (up to 12 inches of rain, eastern Cuba will take the hardest hit)
• Turks and Caicos
Hurricane Matthew Forecast For USA
Update–10/5/2016 4:19 PM: As we mentioned above, it seems as though Hurricane Matthew was reduced to Category 3 from a Category 4 hurricane, although now the warmer waters north of Cuba have seemed to reintensify the storm, meaning that it could become a Category 4 again.
The exact path of the hurricane as it nears the United States unfortunately won’t become available until 18-24 hours before it hits, but there’s a serious possibility that it could cause some severe damage along the Atlantic coast of Florida. Already people have been asked to evacuate as early as Wednesday, and Fox News reports that traffic was bumper-to-bumper on the way out of Interstate 26 this morning. State officials in South Carolina also said that they’d reverse lanes on major evacuation routes in the hopes that they didn’t get a repeat of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, when Interstate 26 became a literal short-term parking lot.
- Southeast Florida: Thursday through early Friday
- Northeastern Florida/Georgia coast: Friday through early Saturday
- South Carolina: Saturday and Saturday night
President Obama had this to say about preparing for the storm:
“We anticipate that not only is there still a chance that the core of the storm strikes Florida and some of the states further north, but even if you don’t get the full force of the hurricane, we are still going to be seeing tropical force winds, the potential for a storm surge… Now is the time for you to prepare in the event that you have to evacuate,” Mr. Obama said. Even if residents are not ordered to leave, he said, “it still makes sense for you to figure out what kind of plan do you have, what kind of preparations and supplies do you have [source].”
The City of Charleston has been ordered to evacuate, starting with the outer areas at around 3 PM EST on Wednesday. The other areas of South Carolina would begin evacuating on Thursday morning. The important thing to remember is that if you don’t evacuate, you’re putting an emergency worker or National Guardsman’s life at risk.
Update–10/4/2016, 4:21 PM: As far as its effect on the United States, it’s still uncertain whether or not Hurricane Matthew will make landfall here in the US. Both Florida Governor Rick Scott and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory activated states of emergency on Monday because of the very real possibility that Hurricane Matthew could cause some serious destruction. On Tuesday, South Carolina also entered a state of emergency.
The most recent simulations have Hurricane Matthew moving north of Florida on Friday and then making landfall in the Carolinas sometime on Saturday. Again, these are not confirmed, just simulations. The bad news, though, is that things seem to be getting worse and not better.
Millions of people in North Carolina and South Carolina are preparing for a possible evacuation as early as Wednesday–mostly to give rescue workers and the National Guard time to prepare for the worst.
Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth said “Unfortunately, the models continue to show a westward trend,” Roth said early Tuesday. “That means the potential for a landfall or some impacts in the U.S. is increasing.”
Also worth noting:
While its potential impact on the U.S. remained unclear, NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins suggested that the storm’s path could be reminiscent of Hurricane Floyd in 1999 — which required the evacuation of 2.6 million people across five states. As of Tuesday morning, Karins expected the storm could be a “major hurricane” from Florida all the way to North Carolina, though he noted the projected impact might fluctuate. [source]
The following graph is an estimate of what could transpire, including times and wind speeds of Hurricane Matthew:
Hurricane Matthew Damage In Jamaica And Haiti
Hurricane Matthew is the first major hurricane we’ve seen during the season, and its already caused a lot of damage and destruction. Some are calling it one of the most dangerous in the past decade, partly because of the slow speed in which its moving, and partly because of how prone Haiti is to flooding.
Tragically, there have already been at least four deaths, two in Haiti, caused by the hurricane. The two deaths in Haiti were of fishermen who were trapped on the seas. Many streets in Haiti and it looks as if similar damage might happen in the Caribbean. It looks as though there’ll be at least 40 inches of rain and experts are saying that there could be 1 trillion gallons of water that will fall on Haiti alone.
The problem that has effected Haiti in the past is the lack of drainage when large quantities of water find their way inland, mostly because only 2% of the land still has trees. Standing water causes disease and illnesses pile up quickly, making this a potential humanitarian disaster.
Update–10/4/2016, 8:40 AM: Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti this morning at around 5:00 AM, just west of Les Cayes. Wind speeds reached up to 145 MPH.
Hurricane Matthew Closures + Delays
The following are a list of places in the United States that are closed or will be closed because of Hurricane Matthew
Everglades National Park: Closing at 5 PM on Tuesday
Miami Dolphins vs Tennessee Titans: Could be rescheduled
Georgia vs South Carolina Game: Could be rescheduled
Michigan vs Rutgers: Could be rescheduled
High School Football Games: Many games are being played earlier in the week, on Thursday
Hurricane Matthew Timeline
Below is a tracker for Hurricane Matthew, showing the path that its taken so far.