Major Hurricane Matthew remains a Category 4 storm. Matthew is moving toward the northwest near 5 mph and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the
north tonight. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will approach southwestern Haiti and Jamaica on Monday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 150 mph with higher gusts. Some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next couple of days, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Monday night.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205miles.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 947 millibars or 27.96 inches.
Major Hurricane Matthew
The overall organization of the hurricane has changed little overnight, with the small eye remaining distinct in infrared satellite pictures, though a dry slot has been noted between the eye wall and the outer bands in the South portion of the storm.
Matthew has been moving slowly west-northwestward during the past few hours. Matthew should move slowly northwestward today, and then turn northward tonight as a mid- to upper-level trough develops over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. This motion will take Matthew towards Jamaica, western Haiti, and eastern Cuba over the next couple of days. After that time, the global models bend Matthew back toward the north-northwest between the aforementioned trough and a developing ridge off the northeast United States coast.
The dynamical models are in good agreement on this scenario through 72 hours, with increasing spread thereafter. The GFS, ECMWF, and UKMET are along the western side of the guidance at days 4 and 5, while the HWRF is along the eastern side. The latest NHC track is close to the model consensus through day 3, but is west of the consensus at 96 and 120 h, to be closer to the typically better performing global models.
Matthew is likely to interact with the land masses of Jamaica, Cuba, and Hispaniola, leading to some weakening and disruption of the storm structure. After this time, The upper-level wind environment is expected to remain favorable over the Bahamas, and warm waters in that area should allow Matthew to maintain much of its intensity and strengthen while it moves over that area later in the forecast period.
Watches and Warnings
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jamaica, Haiti, and the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Cuban province of Camaguey, the Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, and Long Cay, and the Turks and Caicos Islands
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Barahona westward to the border with Haiti
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata westward to the border with Haiti
The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate Major Hurricane Matthew this morning, with the data found below. Although some weakening is predicted during the next couple of days, Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane when it approaches the islands of the Greater Antilles in a couple of days.