10pm Hurricane Matthew Update #alwx @wvua23
October 7, 2016 Leave a comment
Good Friday evening! Here’s the 10pm update on Hurricane Matthew. Winds are currently sustained at 105mph, making this a Category 2 hurricane. Winds are gradually decreasing and this trend will continue over the next 24 hours. The storm is moving north at 12mph and pressure is at 948mb.
After the center of the storm remained just offshore of the east coast of Florida lastnight and today by only 20 to 50 miles, the center of Hurricane Matthew is nearing the South Carolina Coast. A turn to the northeast is expected sometime tonight, so we’re hoping this turn will occur before the eyewall reaches the coast of South Carolina. I expect winds of 60mph to 80mph to be felt along the coast of South Carolina tonight, as well as storm surge and very heavy rain. Flash flooding will be a concern for areas near the Georgia Coast and within 60 miles of the South Carolina and North Carolina Coast tonight through Saturday afternoon. After that, the center of the storm will pull away from the US coastline, taking the rain and wind with it. By Sunday morning, the rain and wind should be well removed from the US coastline.
I’ve had several question about how Matthew did not make a “landfall”, yet still produced strong winds, flooding and storm surge along the coast of Florida today. It’s been 11 years (2005 season) since a category 3 or higher storm has made a US landfall. Yes, dangerous conditions can happen on or near the coast without the storm actually making landfall. If you look at the image above, you’ll see the center of the storm where the hurricane symbol is. It’s a good 50 miles offshore. I don’t make the rules, but according to the National Hurricane Center, for a storm to make landfall, the center or the eye or the lowest point of surface pressure must touch land. In the case of Matthew, the eye remained 20 to 50 miles out in the ocean, not reaching the coast. It’s actually very fortunate for residents of Florida this didn’t happen because the 100 to 140mph winds were all right around the eye. If it had moved inland, it would have caused catastrophic damage inland. This one produced some minor to moderate wind damage and a good bit of beach erosion and storm surge. While the center of the storm didn’t touch land, the outer portion of the storm did reach land, producing rough and dangerous conditions.
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WVUA Chief Meteorologist