Hurricane Matthew returns to Category 4 strength

Thursday storm updates
Posted at 6:13 AM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-07 04:17:49-04

FRIDAY UPDATE -- Hurricane Matthew weakened to a Category 3 early Friday morning.  

Further updates will be posted here


11PM UPDATE - Matthew remains a dangerous storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and gusts of up to 160 mph in the eye. The eye of the storm continues to parallel the coast of Florida, but it could make landfall near Melbourne overnight Friday, before weakening to a category 3 hurricane. The storm is still taking a northwestward track at 13 mph as of the latest advisory and should be near Jacksonville by midday Friday.

10 PM UPDATE - Hurricane Matthew is about 70 mph east of West Palm Beach. Maximum sustained winds are now at 130 mph, still a category 4. Matthew is jogging northwestward at 13 mph. It appears that the system may be going through an eyewall replacement cycle and weakening a bit. However, hurricane force winds can still be expected for Palm Beach County northward, where warnings are in effect. Periodic showers and breezy conditions will continue for Southwest Florida.

5PM UPDATE -- Hurricane Matthew is about 25 miles south-southeast of Freeport Grand Bahama Island and about 100 miles east, southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Winds continue to stay around 140 mph with higher gusts, moving northwest near 14 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue tonight with a turn toward the north-northwest  early Friday. 

Hurricane - force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical - force - storm winds extend outward up to 185 miles. 

11AM UPDATE -- Hurricane Matthew's winds have increased to 140 mph, making it a Category 4 storm again, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Reports form an Air Force plane indicate that the maximum sustained winds are near 140 mph with higher gusts.  Some additional strengthening is possible, and Matthew should remain a Category 4 hurricane while it approaches the Florida coast.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles.


10AM UPDATE -- Matthew is intensifying near Nassau with the eastern eyewall grazing the city. The storm will continue moving NW toward Florida with arrival in Palm Beach/Martin/St. Lucie Co. by late Thursday night with a track right up I-95.

This track would put parts of the western eyewall over the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee. This means eastern Glades and northeastern Hendry Co. will see the strong winds, with sustained tropical storm force 40-50 mph with gusts getting close to hurricane force (70ish mph). This includes Clewiston, Buckhead Ridge, Moore Haven and Lakeport.

Farther west for La Belle and Palmdale gusts could approach 50 mph with sustained winds 30-40 mph range.

For Port Charlotte to Ft. Myers, Lehigh Acres and Immokalee winds will be sustaied 20-30 with gusts to near tropical storm force (40 mph).

For Englewood, Rotonda, Boca Grande, Pine Island, Cape Coral, Sanibel, Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Beach winds sustained 20-25 with gusts to 35.

For Naples, Marco Island, Everglades City and Port of the Islands, sustained 15-20 with occasional higher gusts to 25-30.

This begins later this afternoon through tonight diminishing from south to north through the morning hours Friday.

---Chief Meteorologist Derek Beasley


5AM UPDATE -- The National Hurricane Center's 5 AM advisory shows Hurricane Matthew strengthening, now up to 125mph winds as it tracks through the Bahamas toward Florida.

There are no major changes in the track, and the storm is still expected to come uncomfortably close to the east coast of our state by Thursday night into Friday morning.

The Tropical Storm Warning continues for Glades, Hendry, and inland Collier counties with Tropical Storm force winds expected. It is important to note that any westward deviations from the official track could put Glades and Hendry counties at risk for Hurricane force winds.

A Tropical Storm Watch is still in effect for Charlotte, Lee, and coastal Collier counties.

Our weather conditions will begin to deteriorate by this afternoon with increasing clouds and wind speeds. The strongest winds are expected Thursday night into Friday morning as Matthew slides up the east coast.