Hurricane Mathew – A massive sea storm hit northeast Florida

October 7, 2016

Hurricane Mathew

Hurricane Mathew – A massive sea storm hit northeast Florida

A strong tropical cyclone is present over Atlantic Ocean right now. It is the first CAT 5 Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Felix of year 2007. The fourteenth tropical cyclone, thirteenth storm, fifth hurricane and second major hurricane of the annual hurricane season, Matthew formed from a vigorous tropical wave that moved off the African coast on September 22, progressing on a westward track until it developed into a tropical storm while it was situated just to the east of the Leeward Islands on September 28. A day later, it became a hurricane while west of the Leeward Islands, and rapidly strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane. It impactedHaiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and The Bahamas. It is expected to significantly impact the southeastern United States, especially the U.S. state of Florida, as well as Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

US National Hurricane Center reported that this could be the most powerful storm to strike northeast Florida in 118 years.

Coastal villages and towns are devastated in In Haiti, where the death toll has surpassed 300.



Florida’s history of hurricanes

  • October 2005: Hurricane Wilma Deaths were reported in Haiti, Mexico, Cuba. Struck Florida as a Category Three, killing five people. South Florida suffered widespread damage
  • August 2004: Hurricane Charley Struck Florida as a Category Four, killing nine and causing billions of dollars in property damage
  • August 1992: Hurricane Andrew Category Five storm struck South Florida, killing 44 and damaging more than 125,000 houses

— courtesy BBC.

Hurricane Mathews Detail Taken From Wunderground:

The satellite appearance of Matthew has become rather disheveled

looking in infrared satellite imagery since the previous advisory.

Land-based Doppler radar data indicate that Matthew has been going

through an eyewall replacement cycle for the past 12 hours or so,

but the inner eyewall has yet to dissipate within the 35-40 nmi wide

outer eyewall. Both Doppler velocity data and recon SFMR surface

winds and flight-level winds indicate that hurricane-force winds are

and have been occuring within the outer eyewall just 5-10 nmi east

of the Florida coastline. Although the central pressure has

remained steady between 938-940 mb, the intensity has been lowered

to 105 kt based on 700-mb flight-level winds of 118 kt and several

patches of Doppler velocities of 120-122 kt between 5000-7500 feet.

The initial motion estimate is 330/12 kt. For the next 48 hours,

Matthew is expected to move northward and then northeastward around

the western periphery of a deep-layer subtropical ridge. After that

time, a weakening Matthew is expected to turn slowly southeastward

and then southward as the cyclone gets cut off from the influence of

the mid-latitude westerlies and becomes embedded within the

aforementioned large-scale high pressure ridge. The latest model

guidance has shifted to the left of the previous forecast track

after 36 hours, and the official forecast has been nudged in that

direction, but remains well to the right of the model consensus and

close to the GFS-ECMWF consensus.

Matthew is expected to slowly weaken some more during the next 12

hours or so while the cyclone completes the eyewall replacement

cycle. By 24 hours and beyond, more significant weakening is

expected due to the combination of strong southwesterly vertical

shear increasing to more than 30 kt and entrainment of very dry

mid-level air with humidity values less than 20 percent. The new

intensity forecast closely follows the consensus model ivcn.

Special thanks to the Air Force Reserve and NOAA hurricane hunters

for their tireless efforts in having already completed more than 90

center or eye fixes.

Key messages:

1.  Matthew is likely to produce devastating impacts from storm

surge, extreme winds, and heavy rains along extensive portions of

the east-central and northeast coast of Florida today.

2.  Evacuations are not just a coastal event.  Strong winds will

occur well inland from the coast, and residents of Mobile

homes under evacuation orders are urged to heed those orders.

3.  Hurricane winds increase very rapidly with height, and residents

of high-rise buildings are at particular risk of strong winds. Winds

at the top of a 30-story building will average one Saffir-Simpson

category higher than the winds near the surface.

4.  When a hurricane is forecast to take a track roughly parallel to

a coastline, as Matthew is forecast to do from Florida through South

Carolina, it becomes very difficult to specify impacts at any one

location.  Only a small deviation of the track to the left of the

NHC forecast could bring the core of a major hurricane onshore

within the Hurricane Warning area in Florida and Georgia.  Modest

deviations to the right could keep much of the hurricane-force winds

offshore.  Similarly large variations in impacts are possible in the

Hurricane Watch and warning areas in northeast Georgia and South


5.  The National Hurricane Center is issuing potential storm surge

flooding maps, and prototype storm surge watch/warning graphics for

Matthew.  It is important to remember that the potential storm surge

flooding map does not represent a forecast of expected inundation,

but rather depicts a reasonable worst-case scenario -- the amount of

inundation that has a 10 percent chance of being exceeded.

Forecast positions and Max winds

Init  07/0900z 28.2n  80.0w  105 kt 120 mph

 12h  07/1800z 29.6n  80.6w  100 kt 115 mph

 24h  08/0600z 31.5n  80.5w   90 kt 105 mph

 36h  08/1800z 32.6n  79.2w   80 kt  90 mph

 48h  09/0600z 33.1n  77.7w   65 kt  75 mph

 72h  10/0600z 31.5n  74.5w   50 kt  60 mph

 96h  11/0600z 29.0n  75.0w   40 kt  45 mph

120h  12/0600z 27.0n  76.5w   35 kt  40 mph


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