Satellite Image of Hurricane Matthew from this morning
Hurricane Matthew has been an impressive storm so far and it doesn’t look like it is going to stop any time soon. It has been one of the most powerful storms the Atlantic has seen in the past Decade. Yesterday the storm made its first landfall in Haiti, dumping anywhere between 10″ to as much as 40″ of rain on the country.
Dominican Republic rainfall for 24 hours starting yesterday
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people of Haiti that they may be kept safe and can rebuild from the destruction this storm brought them. Above is a current satellite image from the storm this morning. It made landfall in Cuba last night and is on track to reach Florida over the next couple of days.
Current Hurricane Track
This is the current track right now for Matthew based on current model data. However, with Tropical Storms such as this, the models really have trouble 3-4+ days out, so other than the storm hitting Florida, not much else is known about what will happen after that. The thought earlier this week was that the storm would move towards Florida and Georgia, then move off the Coast of the Carolinas and north up to New England. However, as of yesterday, the models began to agree that the storm would not have much of an impact on New England (as seen in the Spaghetti Plots below)
Yesterday: Looks like New England may see some of Matthew
6 hours later: Oh wait……never mind New England won’t see Matthew
There was a massive shift in the model forecasts from the yesterday morning to last night and this morning. The models have since shifted the storm from moving off into the Atlantic right away, to lingering off the coast of the Carolinas and even spinning back towards Florida before moving away into the Atlantic. Why has there been such a dramatic shift? That is the question everyone is trying to answer.
First off, this is our main player to the storm track, a trough over the Western part of the United States. The shortwave which helped to form this trough only reached the coast of the United States last night and is only just beginning to form said trough. This means the models are basing the storm track after Florida on the formation of said trough, but the data for the trough isn’t fully there for input since it hasn’t formed yet. With the shortwave finally reaching land, this will allow for better data to help better establish how strong this trough will be and where it will set up.
Current thinking this morning is the trough will move to the Northeast by the end of this week and set up high pressure over the region, extending down the East Coast into Pennsylvania. This would create a blocking High, preventing the Hurricane from moving up the coast and causing the backlash at Florida the models are suggesting. This would have to be a pretty strong high and the timing of the trough would need to be exactly as it is for this to set up perfectly.
Keep in mind, this storm is days out and there is really low confidence on its track after it hits Florida. Florida will see Hurricane strength winds and heavy rains, so anyone in the area of Florida and Georgia should take Tropical Storm precautions seriously and prepare for this event.