Tag Archives: Jamaica

TD 31 Strengthens to Tropical Storm Iota

Former Tropical Depression Thirtyone strengthened to Tropical Storm Iota on Friday afternoon. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Iota was located at latitude 13.8°N and longitude 73.8°W which put it about 335 miles (540 km) south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. Iota was moving toward the west-southwest at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

The low level circulation around former Tropical Depression Thirtyone appeared to reform a little farther to the southeast near a band of showers and thunderstorms on Friday afternoon. Based on data from satellites the National Hurricane Center upgraded the depression to Tropical Storm Iota. The circulation around Iota was still organizing. A band of thunderstorms wrapped about three quarters of the way around the center of circulation on the southern, eastern and northern sides of the center. Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of the Tropical Storm Iota. Storms near the center generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the north and east of the tropical storm. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) on the eastern side of Iota. The winds on the western side of Iota were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Iota will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the weekend. Iota will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. An upper level trough over the western Caribbean Sea will produce southwesterly winds which blow toward the top of Iota during the next 12 hours. Those winds will cause vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent Tropical Storm Iota from becoming more organized. The upper level trough will move westward away from the depression and the wind shear will decrease during the weekend. Tropical Storm Iota is likely to strengthen more rapidly after an inner core is formed. Iota could rapidly intensify into a hurricane on Saturday and it could strengthen to a major hurricane by Sunday.

Tropical Storm Iota will move south of a high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean. The high will steer Iota toward the west during the next several days. On its anticipated track Iota could approach the coast of Nicaragua on Sunday. It will likely be a hurricane at that time and it could be a major hurricane. Nicaragua and Honduras are still trying to cope with floods and other damage caused by Hurricane Eta a few days ago. Another hurricane could have catastrophic consequences for that region.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Theta Passed south of the Azores. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Theta was located at latitude 31.9°N and longitude 22.6°W which put it about 490 miles (785 km) south-southeast of the Azores. Theta was moving toward the east at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 993 mb.

Tropical Depression 31 Forms over Caribbean Sea

Tropical Depression Thirtyone formed over the Caribbean Sea on Friday morning. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Depression Thirtyone was located at latitude 14.2°N and longitude 74.3°W which put it about 310 miles (500 km) south-southeast of Kingtson, Jamaica. The depression was moving toward the west-southwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

The circulation around an area of low pressure over the Caribbean Sea exhibited much better organization on visible satellite imagery on Friday morning and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Depression Thirtyone. A band of thunderstorms wrapped about three quarters of the way around the center of circulation on the southern, eastern and northern sides of the center. Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of the depression. Storms near the center generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the north and east of the depression.

Tropical Depression Thirtyone will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the weekend. The depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. An upper level trough over the western Caribbean Sea will produce southwesterly winds which blow toward the top of the depression during the next 12 hours. Those winds will cause vertical wind shear, but the shear may not be strong enough to prevent Tropical Depression Thirtyone from strengthening into a tropical storm. The upper level trough will move westward away from the depression and the wind shear will decrease during the weekend. Tropical Depression Thirtyone is likely to strengthen into a tropical storm during the next 12 hours. It could rapidly intensify into a hurricane on Saturday and it could strengthen to a major hurricane by Sunday.

Tropical Depression Thirtyone will move south of a high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean. The high will steer the depression toward the west during the next several days. On its anticipated track it could approach the coast of Nicaragua on Sunday. It will likely be a hurricane at that time and it could be a major hurricane. Nicaragua and Honduras are still trying to cope with floods and other damage caused by Hurricane Eta a few days ago. Another hurricane could have catastrophic consequences for that region.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Theta Passed south of the Azores and Tropical Storm Eta completed a transition to an extratropical cyclone. At 10:00 a.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Theta was located at latitude 31.7°N and longitude 23.8°W which put it about 470 miles (760 km) south-southeast of the Azores. Theta was moving toward the east at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 993 mb.

Tropical Depression 29 Forms over the Central Caribbean Sea

Tropical Depression Twentynine formed over the central Caribbean Sea on Saturday afternoon. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Depression Twentynine was located at latitude 15.0°N and longitude 73.2°W which put it about 315 miles (510 km) southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. The depression was moving toward the west at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Visible satellite images strongly suggested that a low level center of circulation had developed in an area of thunderstorms over the central Caribbean Sea on Saturday afternoon and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Depression Twentynine. The circulation around the depression exhibited more organization. Thunderstorms developed near the center of circulation. Bands of showers and thunderstorms formed and began to revolve around the center. Storms near the center started to generate upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical depression.

Tropical Depression Twentynine will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours. The depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. It will be in a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. The depression could intensify into a tropical storm during the next 12 hours. It could strengthen into a hurricane within 48 hours.

Tropical Depression Twentynine will move south of a ridge of high pressure over the western Atlantic Ocean. The ridge will steer the depression toward the west during the next couple of days. On its anticipated path the depression could approach Nicaragua and Honduras in about 48 hours. It could be a hurricane when it gets there.

Tropical Storm Delta Develops South of Jamaica

Former Tropical Depression Twentysix strengthened into Tropical Storm Delta south of Jamaica on Monday morning.  At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Delta was located at latitude 16.4°N and longitude 78.4°W which put it about 65 miles east of the Mouth of the Mississippi River and about 130 miles south of Negril, Jamaica.  Delta was moving toward the west-northwest at 9 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h.  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the Isle of Youth, Pinar del Rio and Artemisa, Cuba.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the Cayman Islands.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for La Habana, Cuba.

More thunderstorms developed near the center of former Tropical Depression Twentysix on Monday morning and the National Hurricane Center upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Delta.  The circulation around Tropical Storm Delta was still organizing.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Delta.  The strongest rainbands were in the southern half of the circulation.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical storm.  The removal of mass allowed the pressure to decrease, which caused the wind speed to increase.

Tropical Storm Delta will move through an environment which will be very favorable for intensification.  Delta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30˚C.  It will move under an upper level ridge where the winds are weak.  There will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Delta will intensify and it could strengthen into a hurricane by Tuesday night.  Once an inner core with an eye and an eyewall develops, Delta could intensify rapidly.  There is a chance Tropical Storm Delta could strengthen into a major hurricane.

Tropical Storm Delta will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Delta toward the northwest during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Delta could reach the Cayman Islands on Monday night.  Delta could be near the western end of Cuba by Tuesday night and it is likely to be a hurricane at that time.  Delta could approach the central Gulf Coast on Thursday night.  It could be a major hurricane when it approaches the Gulf Coast.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Gamma weakened as it meandered north of the Yucatan Peninsula.  Strong southerly winds in the upper levels blew the top off of Tropical Storm Gamma on Sunday night.  At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Gamma was located at latitude 22.6°N and longitude 87.5°W which put it about 165 miles (270 km) east-northeast of Progreso, Mexico.  Gamma was moving toward the south-southwest at 2 m.p.h. (3 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1001 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Cancun to Dzilam, Mexico.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coat from Dzilam to Campeche, Mexico.

Tropical Storm Nana Forms South of Jamaica

Tropical Storm Nana formed over the Caribbean Sea south of Jamaica on Tuesday.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Nana was located at latitude 16.7°N and longitude 78.4°W which put it about 110 miles (175 km) south of Negril, Jamaica.  Nana was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the entire coast of Belize.  A Tropical Storm Watch was also issued for the north coast of Honduras from Punta Patuca to the border with Guatemala including Roatan Island and the Bay Islands.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter flight into a low pressure system south of Jamaica found a defined low level center of circulation and winds to tropical storm force on Tuesday.  Based on data from the reconnaissance aircraft the National Hurricane Center designated the system Tropical Storm Nana.  The circulation around Tropical Storm Nana was organizing quickly.  Thunderstorms were developing near the center of circulation.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center.  Storms near the center began to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical storm.  The strongest winds were occurring in the northern half of the circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 80 miles (130 km) from the center of Nana.

Tropical Storm Nana will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours.  Nana will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29.5°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Nana will continue to intensify and it is likely to strengthen to a hurricane within 36 hours.

Tropical Storm Nana will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Nana toward the west during the next day or two.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Nana will pass north of Honduras on Wednesday.  Nana could reach Belize on Thursday and it is likely to be a hurricane by that time.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Depression Fifteen moved away from the East Coast of the U.S.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Depression Fifteen was located at latitude 34.7°N and longitude 73.1°W which put it about 140 miles (225 km) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  The depression was moving toward the east-northeast at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

Tropical Storm Kirk Brings Rain to Lesser Antilles

Tropical Storm Kirk brought rain to some of the Lesser Antilles on Friday.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Kirk was located at latitude 13.8°N and longitude 63.6°W which put it about 360 miles (575 km) south-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Kirk was moving toward the west-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.  All Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches have been discontinued.

An upper level trough over the Caribbean Sea is producing strong westerly winds which is blowing over the top of Tropical Storm Kirk.  Those winds are causing strong vertical wind shear, which is causing the strongest thunderstorms to occur on the far eastern side of the circulation.  Bands west of the center of circulation and near the center consist primarily of showers and lower clouds.  The center of circulation is over the eastern Caribbean Sea and the heavy rain is falling hours after the center passed the Lesser Antilles.  Locally heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.

Tropical Storm Kirk will move through an environment that will be unfavorable for intensification during the weekend.  Kirk will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  However, the upper level trough will continue cause strong vertical wind shear for the next several days.  Tropical Storm Kirk will likely weaken to a tropical depression or a tropical wave during the next 24 to 48 hours.

Tropical Storm Kirk will move south of a subtropical high pressure system that is over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Kirk in a general west-northwesterly direction during the weekend.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Kirk should stay south of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.  Kirk or its remnants could be near Jamaica in a few days.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen Prompts Warnings for Cuba and Bahamas

Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen prompted the governments of Cuba and the Bahamas to issue Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches for portions of those countries on Friday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen was located at latitude 17.5°N and longitude 84.5°W which put it about 415 miles (670 km) south-southwest of Havana, Cuba.  It was moving toward the north-northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were issued for the Cuban provinces of Isla de la Juventud, La Habana, Ciudad de la Habana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Villa Clara.  Tropical Storm Warnings were also issued for the northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Island, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence.  Tropical Storm Watches were issued for the Central Bahamas including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance plane investigated the system formerly known as Invest 93L on Friday afternoon.  The plane found sustained winds to tropical storm force.  The plane also found a broad circulation center with several smaller centers of circulation revolving around inside the broader center.  Based on the observations from the plane, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) chose not to upgrade the system to Tropical Storm Philippe in its 5:00 p.m. EDT advisory.  However, NHC did change the designation of the system from Invest 93L to Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen.  If a more well defined center of circulation develops, then NHC could still change designation of the system to Tropical Storm Philippe.

The circulation of Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen is still organizing.  As mentioned above, there is a broad center of counterclockwise rotation.  There are also several smaller counterclockwise swirls within the broader center.  More showers and thunderstorms developed closer to the center of circulation on Friday afternoon.  The storms closer to the center of circulation were generating some upper level divergence which was pumping away mass to the northeast of the system.  Some bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing in the outer portions of the circulation.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The system is embedded in a flow over warm moist air.  However there is a stationary front northwest of the system and there is cooler, drier air north of the stationary front.  The system is currently under the western side of an upper level ridge.  The upper level winds are weak and there is not much vertical wind shear.  Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen could slowly intensify during the next 24 hours as the circulation becomes more well organized.

The ridge east of Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen is steering the system toward the north-northwest.  That general motion should continue for another six to twelve hours.  An upper level trough will approach the system from the west on Saturday and the trough will start to steer it more toward the northeast.  On its anticipated track Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen will approach Cuba on Saturday afternoon.  The center of the system will move south of the Florida Keys on Saturday night and it could move across the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday.

The system will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to those locations.  The locally heavy rain could cause flooding.  There could be a storm surge of several feet (one to two meters) on parts of the south coast of Cuba, where the wind blows the water toward the coast.  There could also be some storm surge along the coasts of the Florida Keys.

Tropical Storm Harvey Weakens to a Tropical Wave

Tropical Storm Harvey weakened to a tropical wave on Saturday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Wave Harvey was located at latitude 14.3°N and longitude 71.8°W which put it about 765 miles (1230 km) east of Cape Gracias a Dios.  The wave was moving toward the west at 22 m.p.h. (35 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

An upper level ridge east of Harvey produced northerly winds that blew toward the top of the former tropical storm.  A subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean produced strong easterly winds in the lower levels of the atmosphere.  The combination of northerly winds in the upper levels and easterly winds in the lower levels produced strong vertical wind shear which disrupted the vertical structure of Harvey.  A reconnaissance plane was unable to locate a low level center of low pressure on Saturday evening and the National Hurricane Center reclassified the system as a tropical wave.

Tropical Wave Harvey will continue to move west across the Caribbean Sea during the next several days.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  So, there will be sufficient energy in the ocean to support a tropical cyclone. When the tropical wave moves under the core of the upper level ridge, the wind shear will decrease.  If the tropical wave moves into a more favorable environment and slows down, a new center of circulation could redevelop.  Models are not forecasting significant redevelopment of the tropical wave at the current time, but the National Hurricane Center will continue to monitor the wave for possible redevelopment.

NHC Monitoring Two Areas for Tropical Development

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) was monitoring two areas for possible tropical development on Thursday afternoon.  A strong tropical wave was moving through the southeastern Caribbean Sea and the wave was designated as Invest 90L.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Invest 90L was located at latitude 12.2°N and longitude 65.8°W which put it about 160 miles (260 km) east of Bonaire.  The tropical wave was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (29 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55km/h) and there were gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1011 mb.

Another tropical wave moved off the coast of West Africa on Thursday and NHC designated that wave as Invest 99L.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Invest 99L was located at latitude 10.2°N and longitude 20.9°W which put it about 370 miles (595 km) south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands.  The tropical wave was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (29 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1010 mb.

The tropical wave over the southeastern Caribbean Sea will have the most immediate impact to land.  The wave could bring gusty winds to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao within 24 hours.  The circulation of Invest 90L is elongated in an east-west direction and that is probably because of strong easterly winds blowing in the lower atmosphere.  There are some indications of a counterclockwise rotation on loops of visible satellite imagery, but it is not clear if the rotation extends all the way down to the surface.  The tropical wave is generating winds to near tropical storm force in the northern portion of the wave.  There are numerous thunderstorms developing along the axis of the wave.

Invest 90L is moving under the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is producing southerly winds which are blowing over the top of the tropical wave and those winds are contributing to moderate vertical wind shear.  The strong easterly winds in the lower levels are also contributing to the shear.  Invest 90L could develop into a tropical cyclone when it moves farther west.  The shear could diminish and the Sea Surface Temperatures in the western Caribbean Sea and Bay of Campeche are very warm.  NHC is indicating that there is a 20% probability Invest 90L will become a tropical cyclone during the next five days.

The tropical wave over the far eastern Atlantic has a better chance of developing into a tropical cyclone.  Invest 99L is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It is moving under the eastern end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is causing northeasterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the tropical wave.  Those winds are producing moderate vertical wind shear.  When the wave moves farther west, it will move under weaker winds and the wind shear will decrease.  NHC is indicating that there is a 70% probability that Invest 99L will become a tropical cyclone during the next five days.

Hurricane Matthew Crosses Southwest Haiti, Watches Issued for Florida

Hurricane Matthew crossed the western end of the Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti on Tuesday morning.  The eye emerged intact over the Golfe de la Gonave and the center of Hurricane Matthew is about half way between Haiti and the eastern end of Cuba.  At 2:00 pm. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Matthew was located at latitude 19.4°N and longitude 74.3°W which put it about 65 miles (105 km) east-southeast of Guantanamo, Cuba.  Matthew was moving toward the north at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 145 m.p.h. (230 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 170 m.p.h. (275 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 949 mb.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the portion of the coast of Florida from Deerfield Beach to the Volusia/Brevard County line.  A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys to Deerfield Beach.  Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Haiti and the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma and Las Tunas.  Hurricane Warnings are also in effect for the Southeastern Bahamas including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, Ragged Island, and for the Central Bahamas including Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Cat Island.  A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence.  A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Cuban province of Camaguey.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Turks and Caicos and the south coast of the Dominican Republic from Barahona to Haiti.  Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for the northern coast of the Dominican Republic from Puerto la Plata to Haiti.

Even after passing over the mountains of the Massif de la Hotte on the southwestern peninsula of Haiti, the structure of Hurricane Matthew remained well organized.  Matthew has a circular eye with a diameter of 24 miles (39 km).  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms.  The wind field around Hurricane Matthew actually expanded after it crossed southwestern Haiti.  Winds to hurricane force extend out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  Thunderstorms around the eye are generating upper level divergence which is pumping out mass in all directions.  Additional rainbands are rotating around the core of Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew is moving through a very favorable environment.  It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is 30°C.  The winds in the upper levels are weak and the is little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Matthew could weaken slightly when the center passes over eastern Cuba, but it will likely restrengthen when it moves over the very warm water around the Bahamas.  Matthew is likely to remain a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. and it could become a Category 5 hurricane while it is moving over the Bahamas.  Hurricane Joaquin almost reached Category 5 while it was near the Bahamas in early October last year.

Matthew is moving around the western end of subtropical high pressure system, which is steering the hurricane toward the north.  That general motion is expected to continue for another 12 hours or so.  The high is expected to strengthen and extend west on Wednesday.  When that happens, Hurricane Matthew will be steered more toward the northwest.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Matthew will move across the eastern end of Cuba later on Tuesday and across the Bahamas on Wednesday.  Hurricane Matthew could be very near the east coast of Florida on Thursday.  Matthew could come very close to the coast of South Carolina on Friday and it could be near the coast of North Carolina on Saturday morning.  It is still not clear if the eye of Hurricane Matthew will reach landfall in any of those places.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Matthew is 29.8.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 19.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 49.3.  Those indices mean that Hurricane Matthew is capable of causing regional significant wind damage.  Matthew will also generate a significant storm surge over eastern Cuba and the Bahamas.  Water level rises will occur along the southeast coast of the U.S. where easterly winds push the water toward the shore.  Hurricane Matthew is stronger, but a little smaller than Hurricane Jeanne was in 2004, when Jeanne made landfall on the coast of Florida.