Hurricane Matthew was bringing wind and heavy rain to South Carolina and North Carolina on Saturday morning after causing damage along the coasts of Florida and Georgia on Friday. At 9:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Hurricane Matthew was located at latitude 32.6°N and longitude 79.7°W which put it about 30 miles (50 km) southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. Matthew was moving toward the northeast at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 963 mb.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Altamaha Sound, Georgia to Surf City, North Carolina. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the portion of the coast from Surf City to Cape Lookout, North Carolina. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Surf City to Duck, North Carolina.
The center of Hurricane Matthew is moving just south of the coast of South Carolina. The winds to hurricane force are occurring in a small area over the Atlantic ocean near the center of Matthew. Wind gusts to near hurricane force were occurring occasionally at the coast. Beaufort, South Carolina reported a wind gust to 71 m.p.h. (114 km/h). Earlier on Saturday a pier at Foley Beach, South Carolina reported a wind gust to 76 m.p.h. (122 km/h). Inland stations in South Carolina and North Carolina were reporting winds in the range of 20 to 50 m.p.h. (30 to 80 km) with occasional higher gusts.
The wind damage caused by Hurricane Matthew is likely to be minor in many locations. The winds are strong enough to bring down trees and cause widespread power outages. There are also some stronger thunderstorms in some of the rainbands that are capable of causing more severe local wind damage and could spin up brief tornadoes. Hurricane Matthew is also producing heavy rain over South Carolina and North Carolina. The relatively slow movement of Hurricane Matthew could produce prolonged periods of heavy rain and cause fresh water flooding. In addition, southeasterly winds on the east side of Hurricane Matthew are pushing water toward the shore and are causing storm surges at the coast.
An upper level trough over the eastern U.S. is steering Hurricane Matthew toward the northeast and that general motion will continue to today. On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Matthew will move very near the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina. Since about half of the circulation of Hurricane Matthew is over land, friction will cause the hurricane to weaken slowly.