Hurricane Matthew NOAA 8 PM updates

The eye of extremely dangerous Hurricane Matthew is over the the western end of Grand Bahama Island as of 8 pm EDT, or about 75 miles east of W. Palm Beach, Florida. Reports from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are now near 130 mph (210 km/h) with higher gusts – Matthew is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely while the hurricane moves toward the coast of Florida. On the forecast track, the eye of Matthew should move away from Grand Bahama Island during the next few hours, and move close to or over the east coast of the Florida peninsula through Friday night.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Northwest Bahamas, and along the U.S. east coast from Boca Raton, Florida, including Lake Okeeschobee, northward to the South Santee River, South Carolina. AA Tropical Storm Warning along the southeast coast of Florida from Ocean Reef to south of Boca Raton, the Florida Keys from the Seven Mile Bridge eastward including Florida Bay, and, on Florida’s west coast, from the Anclote River to Suwannee River. Also from north of the South Santee River, S. Carolina to Surf City, North Carolina. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect on the west coast of Florida from Englewood to Anclote River. Interests elsewhere in the Florida Peninsula, the Florida Keys, and in the Carolinas should monitor the progress of Matthew.

Key Messages:
1. Matthew is likely to produce devastating impacts from storm
surge, extreme winds, and heavy rains in the northwestern Bahamas today, and along extensive portions of the east coast of Florida tonight.
2. Evacuations are not just a coastal event. Strong winds will
occur well inland from the coast, and residents of mobile
homes under evacuation orders are urged to heed those orders.
3. Hurricane winds increase very rapidly with height, and residents
of high-rise buildings are at particular risk of strong winds. Winds
at the top of a 30-story building will average one Saffir-Simpson
category higher than the winds near the surface.
4. When a hurricane is forecast to take a track roughly parallel
to a coastline, as Matthew is forecast to do from Florida through
South Carolina, it becomes very difficult to specify impacts at
any one location. Only a small deviation of the track
to the left of the NHC forecast could bring the core of a major
hurricane onshore within the hurricane warning area in Florida and
Georgia. Modest deviations to the right could keep much of the
hurricane-force winds offshore. Similarly large variations in
impacts are possible in the hurricane watch and warning areas in
northeast Georgia and South Carolina.
5. The National Hurricane Center is issuing Potential Storm Surge
Flooding Maps, and Prototype Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphics for Matthew. It is important to remember that the Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map does not represent a forecast of expected inundation, but rather depicts a reasonable worst-case scenario – the amount of inundation that has a 10 percent chance of being exceeded. In addition, because the Flooding Map is based on inputs that extend out only to about 72 hours, it best represents the flooding potential in those locations within the watch and warning areas in Florida and Georgia.

For the very latest, go directly to the NHC website at

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