SEVERE HURRICANE MATTHEW BEARING DOWN ON THE BAHAMAS AND AIMING
At 200 PM, the eye of Hurricane Matthew was located
near latitude 22.1 North, longitude 75.3 West. Matthew is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue during the next 24 to 48 hours. On this track, Matthew will be moving across the Bahamas today and tomorrow, and is expected to be very near the east coast of Florida by Thursday evening. Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts. Matthew is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Matthew is expected to remain at category 3 or stronger while it moves through the Bahamas and approaches the east coast of Florida. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane was 963 mb (28.44 inches).SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT: A Hurricane Warning is in effect for... * Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas * Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, and Ragged Island * Central Bahamas, including Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador, and Cat Island * Northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence * North of Golden Beach to the Flagler/Volusia county line * Lake Okeechobee A Hurricane Watch is in effect for... * Cuban province of Camaguey * North of the Flagler/Volusia county line to Fernandina Beach A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for... * Haiti * Chokoloskee to Golden Beach * Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge eastward * Florida BayHAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- WIND: Hurricane conditions will continue to gradually diminish over portions of eastern Cuba today. These conditions will continue over the southeastern Bahamas, and will spread over the central Bahamas later today and the northwestern Bahamas tonight. Hurricane conditions are expected to first reach the hurricane warning area in Florida by late Thursday and will spread northward Thursday night and Friday. Tropical storm conditions are first expected in Florida by early Thursday. RAINFALL: Matthew is expected to produce total rainfall amounts in the following areas: Southern Haiti and southwestern Dominican Republic...15 to 25 inches, isolated 40 inches Eastern Cuba and northwestern Haiti...8 to 12 inches, isolated 20 inches Eastern Jamaica...additional 1 to 2 inches, isolated storm totals 12 inches The Bahamas...8 to 12 inches, isolated 15 inches Turks and Caicos Islands...2 to 5 inches, isolated 8 inches Northeastern Haiti and the Northern Dominican Republic...1 to 3 inches, isolated 5 inches Coastal east-central Florida....4 to 7 inches, isolated 10 inches Florida Keys....1 to 3 inches, isolated 5 inches Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides are likely in southern and northwestern Haiti, the southwestern Dominican Republic, and eastern Cuba. STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large and destructive waves could raise water levels by as much as the following amounts above normal tide levels... Northern Coast of Cuba east of Camaguey...4 to 6 feet The Bahamas...10 to 15 feet The water could reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide... North Palm Beach to the Flagler/Volusia county line...3 to 5 ft Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. Large waves generated by Matthew will cause water rises to occur well in advance of and well away from the track of the center. The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. There is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along the Florida east coast from North Palm Beach to the Flagler/Volusia county line. There is the possibility of life-threatening inundation during the next 48 hours from north of the Flagler/Volusia county line to Fernandina Beach. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the Prototype National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office. The Prototype Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic is a depiction of areas that would qualify for inclusion under a storm surge watch or warning currently under development by the National Weather Service and planned for operational use in 2017. The Prototype Graphic is available at hurricanes.gov. SURF: Swells generated by Matthew will continue to affect portions of the coasts of Hispaniola, eastern Cuba, and the Bahamas during the next few days, and will spread northward along the east coast of Florida and the southeast U.S. coast tonight and Thursday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.