Satellite and radar imagery show that Matthew has continued to degrade and is now a Post Tropical Storm. Matthew’s center is now exposed to the wind shear that has begun affecting him with no deep convection near the center. Despite this, strong winds continue across Eastern North Carolina this morning with winds just southwest of the center still sustained at hurricane force.
A motion toward the east-northeast or east is expected for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will move farther offshore of the coast of the North Carolina Outer Banks today and tonight. Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles, mainly to the southwest of the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles. A sustained wind of 61 mph and a gust to 79 mph were recently measured by a National Ocean Service instrument at Duck, North Carolina. A wind gust to 90 mph (127 km/h) was measured at an elevated private weather station near Nags Head, North Carolina and a wind gust to 70 mph (113 km/h) has been observed at Dare County Airport near Manteo, North Carolina. . The estimated minimum central pressure is 984 mb (29.06 inches).
An air force reserve reconnaissance mission completed this morning continues to indicate hurricane force winds were occurring, but not over land.
Surface observations indicate that the cold front should overtake Matthew shortly and push Matthew east with no loop occurring towards Florida. Matthew should undergo his extra tropical transition when this occurs before he dissipates.
Watches and Warnings:
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for North of Surf City to Duck North Carolina including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Cape Fear to Duck North Carolina including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds
Flood Warnings and High Wind Advisories are in effect for most of North Carolina and Southeast Virginia.
As Matthew’s structure changes, the system’s strongest winds continue to shift to the west side of the circulation. The winds are expected to increase significantly over the coastal areas of eastern North Carolina during the next several hours, and during the next 6 to 12 hours there is the possibility of near-hurricane force winds over the North Carolina Outer Banks, as well as the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. There is also an increased threat of storm surge in these areas.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to continue over the warning area through early this afternoon, and then gradually diminish by this evening. Hurricane-force wind gusts should continue through this morning over the North Carolina Outer Banks.
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge, the tide, and large and destructive waves will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide Surf City to Duck, North Carolina, including portions of the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds could see surge tides of 3 to 5 ft
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. Large waves generated by Matthew will cause water rises to occur well in advance of and well away from the track of the center. There is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along the coast from Surf City to Duck, North Carolina, including portions of the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.
RAINFALL: Matthew is expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches across southeast Virginia and extreme eastern North Carolina through this morning. Storm total rainfall of 6 to 12 inches, with isolated amounts up to 20 inches, continues to result in life-threatening flooding and flash flooding across the region.
SURF: Swells generated by Matthew will continue to affect much of the southeastern and Mid-Atlantic coasts of the United States during the next couple of days. These swells will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.