Matthew has strengthened slightly since becoming a category 1 hurricane Thursday.
The storm is packing sustained winds of 80 mph, and is positioned about 125 milest north of Curacao.
It’s still moving to the west at 14 mph, and is expected to continue on this path for the next 24 hours before dipping slightly southwest.
By Saturday afternoon, we’re expecting Matthew to turn northwest, then north by Monday.
- Matthew upgraded to hurricane
- Storm packing winds up to 80 mph
As of 11 p.m., the government of Colombia has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the coast of Colombia from the Colombia Venezuela border to Riohacha.
A Tropical Storm Watch is also in effect for Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the north of center. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles from the north ofcenter.
Timing: Although Matthew continues at a pretty good pace, we will see the storm slow down a bit. If we see it turn northwest by Saturday night, looks like it’ll brush Jamaica sometime Monday morning, then up over western Cuba by Tuesday morning. Any impacts here in Florida won’t be felt until the middle of next week.
Confidence: Low confidence in its track beyond the weekend. Right now, a ridge of high pressure over Bermuda is holding firm, but there are indications it may wobble west. A developing trough in the south-central U.S. is expected to dig into the Gulf of Mexico. If we can keep the current atmospheric set up and turn Matthew northwest and north sooner, it’ll more than likely ride up along the ridge and slide right over the Bahamas.
If for some reason the ridge builds west and our trough either weakens or slides west, we could be watching Matthew take aim closer to Florida. Still several factors to determine, so the best course of action right now is to plan ahead. We’re still in the peak of hurricane season, so you should always have your hurricane action plan ready to go.