By Jim Williams Oct 1st,2016
Hurricane Matthew exceeded forecast expectations and became a category 5 hurricane last night in the eastern Caribbean despite some wind shear of 20 to 25 kts from the southwest.
This morning the wind shear continues and Matthew may be weakening slightly as a result.
and here is Matthew 7 hrs later with no visible eye. .
Matthew has already caused some damage in the Windward Islands when it became a tropical storm on the 28th. Inside the yellow circle would indicate tropical storm conditions as a hit in the hurricanecity database.
So now who is next in line to feel the wrath of Hurricane Matthew? It’s been four years since hurricane Sandy hit Kingston Jamaica damaging thousands of homes & causing 100 million (USD) damage , killing one. The models pretty much nailed the track to Jamaica when Sandy was as far south as Matthew as seen here. As of this morning most models show either a hit on east Jamaica or passing just east of the island. The ECMWF model or as I like to call it the “European crystal ball medium range forecast” has this close if not over the Haitian peninsula before heading into the Bahamas.Of course this track changes from run to run as do the other models but we look for trends. Once these systems become major they carry a lot of energy as we have seen in the past with Sandy and Ike bringing huge surges on landfall’s long after being major. The land masses out in front of Matthew regardless of intensity should experience high storm surge and winds for south shores of Jamaica, east Cuba and Haiti on Monday /Tuesday. After that the Bahama islands some of which were hit by Hurricane Joaquin as a cat 3 last year may see a repeat or maybe the N.W Bahamas as the GFS model is showing. Finally the U.S impacts are not yet clear but Matthew could come very close to Florida the S.E and possibly mid Atlantic states but the EURO keeps it further away subject to change. Right now my focus is on the Greater Antilles and Bahamas facing a major threat with millions in harms way.