- MATTHEW RAPIDLY STRENGTHENS TO A POWERFUL CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE
- HURRICANE WATCH ISSUED FOR JAMAICA
Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum
sustained winds have increased to near 140 mph (220 km/h) with higher gusts. Matthew is a CATEGORY FOUR 4 hurricane on the Saffir- Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some additional strengthening is possible tonight, and some fluctuations in intensity are possible Saturday and Sunday. Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Sunday. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles. The latest minimum central pressure based on data from the NOAA aircraft is 949 mb (28.03 inches).The government of Jamaica has issued a Hurricane Watch for Jamaica. A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the southwestern coast of Haiti from the southern border with the Dominican Republic to Port-Au-Prince. SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT: A Hurricane Watch is in effect for... * Jamaica A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for... * Colombia/Venezuela border to Riohacha A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for... * Haiti from the southern border with the Dominican Republic to Port-Au-Prince A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case in the next 12 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.Interests elsewhere along the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia and elsewhere in Hispaniola should monitor the progress of Matthew. Interests in eastern Cuba should also monitor the progress of Matthew.