Friday, September 24, 2010

"A low confidence forecast"

That is the sentiment coming from the National Hurricane Center on Friday morning regarding "Matthew". It appears the system has many factors influencing its future path, and to be quiet honest, the models don't have a good handle on them.

Let's focus on what we know: There is some light shear impacting Matthew and this should keep it in check for another 48 hours. High pressure to the north will push Matthew towards Central America until Sunday, after that, all bets are off.

The UKMET model pushes 'Matthew" into the Western Gulf of Mexico in about 5 days. If this happens, Matthew has to travel over allot of terrain that could significantly weaken it or dissipate it all together. Meanwhile the GFDL, HWRF, and GFS ensemble models turn it to the Eastern Gulf. In this scenario it will have a chance to grow stronger.

Why the discrepancies? Believe it or not, a Monsoon Low is developing over Central America that may drag Matthew into the Western Gulf. There is a front pushing out of Texas as well over the next few days that may shove Matthew to the Eastern Gulf. This is why the cone of uncertainty is so wide by the 5th day. It tries to compromise the wide array of tracks into one.

Worst case scenario for us would be a turn into the Eastern Gulf of Mexico which could potentially spell an impact for Florida by the end of next week.

In the words of the National Hurricane Center: "Significant changes (to the forecast cone) may be required later today" I'll keep you posted.

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