Matthew threatens the Caribbean islands; South FL needs to remain vigilant

Powerful Hurricane Matthew is moving northward over the central Caribbean Sea with winds up to 130 mph. The official forecast track from The National Hurricane Center calls for Matthew to approach Jamaica and southwestern Haiti tonight, and eastern Cuba on Tuesday. Since Matthew is such large and intense hurricane, there will be fluctuations in intensity during the next couple of days. By the end of the week, the center of Matthew will be located over the northwestern Bahamas.

Right now, computer models are showing that total rain accumulations of 15-25 inches will be possible across southern Haiti and the southwestern portion of the Dominican Republic, with isolated amounts of up to 40 inches. Across eastern Cuba and the southeastern Bahamas including the Turks and Caicos islands could see 8-12 inches with isolated amounts of up to 20 inches. Storm surge for the southern coast of Cuba and Haiti can range between 7-11 feet.

The long term period continues to remain highly uncertain and dependent upon the track, strength, and timing of Hurricane Matthew. Matthew has continued to move slower than forecast, which continues to delay any potential impacts, if any, to South Florida.

Scenario #1: Matthew tracks more west, South Florida will feel greater impacts along the coast.

Scenario #2: Matthew tracks more east, South Florida will feel less of an impact along the coast.

All we can do now is watch, wait and see what unfolds, but now is the time to do what you did not do at the beginning of the hurricane season, stock up with supplies. That way if anything changes, we will not be caught off guard.

South Florida remain vigilant and keep it tuned to your Storm Station 7 News!

Vivian Gonzalez
Meteorologist, AMS Certified
WSVN Channel 7