Friday, September 30, 2016

Stronger Matthew Ready to Turn?

Hurricane Matthew has now increased to a Cat. 4 Hurricane and may soon become a Cat. 5 over the southern Caribbean Sea just north of the coast of Columbia.  It was not forecasted to become this strong so we need to be careful in reading any future forecasts without checking past reality.    As I have done all my 45 years on TV, I use the NHC centerline track feature to see which way the forecasters are shifting the threat.  Since my former station doesn’t use the centerline track, you can follow how NHC uses it by going to their website and clicking on the inter-active feature.   Since last night, they has twice shifted that centerline farther to the west indicating increasing threats to Jamaica & Cuba.   Matthew’s forward speed has slowly to less than 10 mph indicating that the well-advertised turn to the north is about to happen.  IF it doesn’t and remains moving to the west overnight and during Saturday, that could mean NHC changing their error cone to include Miami.   I’ll be watching that centerline track forecast tonight as a continuing westward shift means South Florida may come under higher risk for tropical impacts.  AT THIS TIME, there is NOTHING that would allow Matthew to enter the Gulf.  All signs still point to a track east of Florida.    We now have a well-defined storm and computer models do very good with the stronger storms.  However, major, large hurricanes often move due to mass & momentum and are difficult to change paths without some large scale feature that changes their course.  We have such a feature currently over the east coast with an upper low bringing us a northwest flow at most levels.  Another trough will follow  for next week so we should stay protected from Matthew.  Enjoy our cooler and drier weekend.

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