Hurricane Matthew makes landfall in Haiti; Advisories likely to be issued for South Florida later

*Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the upper to middle Florida Keys from Key Largo to Marathon until further notice. Winds possible from 39 to 73 mph.

Extremely dangerous Hurricane Matthew made landfall near Les Anglais in western Haiti at 7 am this morning. It is currently battering the area and there have been unconfirmed reports of landslides in Haiti and flooding on the eastern side of Jamaica. The official forecast track of Matthew calls for it cross eastern Cuba tonight and move over the southeastern and central Bahamas into Wednesday. It will approach the northwestern Bahamas by Wednesday night. It’s closet approach to South Florida will be on Thursday. However, any job to the west and our impacts will be greater.

Right now, we are looking at a possible major hurricane near South Florida. Although the probability for tropical storm force winds is increasing, Matthew can be even closer and hurricane conditions may be possible. Main impacts will be for winds over 39 mph and up possibly over 100 mph, on and off rain bands, rough seas, beach erosion and coastal flooding. These impacts once again can be greater, depending how close Matthew nears or moves over South Florida. We are talking about a large and powerful system about the size of the state of Florida, so we need to stay on high alert and make sure we have supplies just in case.

The northwestern Bahamas are now under a hurricane warning and more advisories will be issued later today. In fact, The National Weather Service of Miami is suggesting that hurricane and tropical storm watches will likely to be required for portions of South Florida in the next complete advisory by The National Hurricane Center at 11 am.

Keep it tuned to your Storm Station 7 News!

Vivian Gonzalez
Meteorologist, AMS Certified
WSVN Channel 7