Thursday, September 29, 2016

Matthew: Big Caribbean Worry

UPDATE: As of 2pm, "Matthew" has been upgraded to a Hurricane.

"Matthew" is making its way along the Eastern Caribbean Sea aiming for more land masses down the road. Satellite imagery shows heavy rain bands on the North and Eastern sectors, still impacting parts of the Lesser Antilles.

This should start tapering off by mid afternoon, but picking up by Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic later today.

Strong surf will continue to impact Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Venezuela, and Colombia, through tonight.

Earlier recon found clear skies on the SW sector of the storm, due to shear or strong upper winds. This typically keeps systems in check but in "Matthew's" case, it had little impact.

The shear will not allow much growth over the next 24 hours, but it will eventually weaken letting the  hurricane grow stronger.

Where is it headed?:
"Matthew" will continue to move west due to high pressure over the Atlantic. In 48 hours, it will reach the edge of the high and slow down.

The forecast cone suggests that "Matthew" will be anywhere between Eastern Cuba, Jamaica, or Haiti by the start of next week.

With the expected weaker shear, it may be a category 2 system by then.

This could mean heavy rain, strong gusty winds, flooding, storm surge, land and mudslides.

So why the big turn North?

Eventually a big area of low pressure will move down from the Southeast acting as a wall blocking "Matthew" and deflecting it north.

Just how fast or slow this low drops, will eventually determine where "Matthew" ends up.

The graphic shows the big dip south over the Southeast, pushing the system towards the Bahamas.

In the long run they may have to pay very close attention to "Matthew".

What are the models suggesting?:
Most models are keeping the system over Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas, but NHC is warning that its still too early to accurately determine where it will end up. They ask everyone monitor the storm and prepare just in case.

They add, there is still a big difference between the many runs of the ECMWF model, a very reliable forecast tool. The overall confidence of the long range forecast is low which means they are unsure. All we can do is monitor.

More as we get it.

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