- RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT FINDS MATTHEW STRENGTHENING NEAR THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS
|DOWNTOWN NASSAU. -Chris Saunders|
At 500 AM EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Matthew was located near latitude 24.2 North, longitude 77.1 West. Matthew is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue today. A turn toward the north-northwest is expected tonight. On the forecast track, the eye of Matthew should pass near Andros Island and New Providence in the northwestern Bahamas early this morning, then pass near Grand Bahama Island late today, and move very close to the east coast of the Florida peninsula tonight through Friday night. Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 125 mph (205 km/h) with higher gusts. Matthew is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Additional strengthening is expected during the next day or so, and Matthew is forecast to be a category 4 hurricane as it approaches the east coast of Florida. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km). The latest minimum central pressure estimated from reconnaissance aircraft data is 944 mb (27.88 inches).
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT: A Hurricane Warning is in effect for... * 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 Florida to Altamaha Sound Georgia * Lake Okeechobee A Hurricane Watch is in effect for... * North of Altamaha Sound to South Santee River South Carolina A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for... * Chokoloskee to Golden Beach * Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge eastward * Florida Bay A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for... * North of Chokoloskee to Suwannee River A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. 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 Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area.