Matthew: Major Hurricane for SE; Little to No threat to NE

Updated: 0050z/19:50/7:50pm

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Eastern Florida, coastal Georgia, Coastal South Carolina, and PARTS of SE Coastal North Carolina will be impacted by the FIRST Major Hurricane to directly hit the US since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. This is a serious situation for these folks as Matthew will likely come within 20-40 miles, if not make landfall in SE Florida as a CAT3-4 Hurricane before riding the Coastline up and exiting just S of NC. See the National Hurricane Center’s latest cone map below:


And here is our updated map, very very similar:


THERE IS A CHANCE That Matthew makes Landfall in Florida, HOWEVER, the BIGGEST issue will be the winds, coastal flooding and waves. See the max wind gusts on today’s European 12z run:


What is most important however, is not that the winds are that of a major hurricane, but that they will be ENE winds, meaning coming right into the coastline. Combined with waves that could be 25’+ just offshore, this is a deadly combination for coastal inundation and storm surge. I would expect a storm surge of 7-10′ in some locations.


Matthew should make its away along the FL Coast as a CAT3-4 Hurricane starting LATE Thursday night after passing through the Bahamas, then decrease to a CAT2 by the time it gets to coastal Georgia. After that, the likely track is along the coast to just S of the NC/SC border, and just N of Myrtle Beach before making a turn to the East, ahead of the incoming trough.

Total rainfall should be in the realm of 5-10″ along the coast, decreasing dramatically as you get inland. Offshore, amounts of 10-20″+ will be likely.

For now, people in eastern Florida should be evacuating ESPECIALLY if on the coastline, and GA/SC should evacuate immediate coastal areas soon. If you have plans in this region in the next 4-5 days, I would cancel them. This will be a major event for many, and all we can do is prepare for the worst, hope for the best!

Enjoy the evening!

Forecaster: Remy M. 

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