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Hurricane Matthew & You

Powerful hurricane Matthew is moving north of Haiti this afternoon and is likely to do a number on the Bahamas during the next two days as it moves north, then northwest as a major hurricane (sustained wind of at least 110 mph). From there it is likely to move up along the coasts of Florida and the Carolinas. Those areas are likely to feel a significant impact from the storm. On the plus side, they will be on the western side of the storm, which is less ferocious than the eastern side, however problems with wind, heavy rain, and high seas are likely there.

My gut feeling at this point is that once the storm reaches Cape Hatteras (NC), it will probably be ushered out to sea (more or less) by an mid-level trough approaching from the west (see image above). This would spare our region from any direct impact, although moisture from the storm, riding northward along the trough could reach us resulting in rainfall here. If this scenario plays out the most likely time for the rainy period would be late Saturday/Saturday night or Sunday (based on today's timing).

Some of the hurricane models track this storm a lot further west than the GFS & European (ECMWF) models do (see image above). The hurricane models are supposed to do better with tropical systems and as a result, the official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center has the center of Matthew precariously close to our region by Sunday morning. I wouldn't be surprised to see that track get updated further out to sea at some point as the regular medium range models sometimes due surprisingly well with the track of tropical systems. So my gut feeling is that this storm will probably pass out far enough to our south as to spare us any type of direct hit, but like I said, it could still indirectly result in some rain here sometime over the weekend. Even if the storm were to track closer to us, we would be on the weaker, western side of it, and of course it will not be nearly as strong up at this latitude as it is now.

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