Matthew is maintaining Category 4 strength with winds of 150 mph as of Sunday morning. After being stationary for most of Saturday afternoon, the storm is now moving erratically but will begin moving more northwest to north by Monday. Some fluctuations in intensity can be expected through Sunday maintaining its status as a major hurricane as it approaches Jamaican Channel between Haiti and Jamaica.
WHERE IS IT GOING?:
Matthew will continue to move northwest then north through Monday. It is then that will likely directly affect Jamaica and Haiti as a Cat 3 hurricane. It will then pass near eastern Cuba before heading to the Bahamas on Tuesday and the hurricane is expected to slowly move through the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, still as a major hurricane barring any weakening due to interaction with Haiti or Cuba.
The official NHC forecast has been shifted east with most of South Florida now OUT of the cone of uncertainty. This track shift toward the east is as a result of the forecast models converging on a track solution through the aforementioned areas. Confidence is higher that this scenario will occur. The storm will then turn back toward the US coast and parallel the Florida coast as it moves toward the Carolinas. Both the GFS and the Euro now agree that a closer approach to the Carolinas is becoming more likely by next weekend.
There is still some uncertainty after mid-week as to how close the storm could get to parts of the East Coast, in particular the Carolinas. It is still too early to sound the all clear for Florida and Matthew will still need to be watched for potential impacts to the Florida East Coast, but at this time NO impacts are expected in Southwest Florida. If there are any positives out of this, we will get our first taste of lower humidity and comfortable air by next weekend if everything goes as planned.
We'll keep you updated!
Chief Meteorologist Derek Beasley