#Matthew takes aim on Florida, likely to end 4000 day major hurricane drought for USA

Hurricane Matthew is very likely to end the over decade long major hurricane drought for the USA. The question is will it do it before or after the 4000 day mark?

This visible-light image of Hurricane Matthew was taken from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite at 7:45 a.m. EDT on Oct. 4, 2016, within the hour of landfall in western Haiti. CREDIT NASA/NOAA GOES Project

[From NASA Goddard – source ] Hurricane Matthew made landfall in western Haiti during the morning hours of Oct. 4, and a NASA animation of NOAA’s GOES-East satellite covered the monster storm. Matthew was the first category 4 hurricane to hit Haiti since 1964.

NOAA’s GOES-East satellite provides continuous imagery of the Atlantic Ocean and eastern U.S. and has been keeping a close eye on powerful Hurricane Matthew. Infrared imagery shows Matthew’s movements at night, while visible imagery shows Matthew’s movements during the day. At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, both infrared and visible imagery were combined into an animation from Oct. 2 to Oct. 4. The animation ends just after Hurricane Matthew made landfall on Oct. 4 near Les Anglais in western Haiti about 7 a.m. EDT (1100 UTC).

A hurricane warning is in effect for Haiti; the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma and Las Tunas; the southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay and Ragged Island; the Central Bahamas, including Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Cat Island; and the northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Barahona westward to the border with Haiti, Jamaica, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

There are also hurricane and tropical storm watches in effect today, Oct. 4. A hurricane watch is in effect for the Cuban province of Camaguey. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata westward to the border with Haiti.

On Oct. 4 at 2:10 a.m. EDT (0610 UTC), NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Matthew and analyzed the hurricane in infrared light to show temperatures. The MODIS, or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed cloud top temperatures as cold or colder than minus 70 F (minus 56.6 C). NASA research indicates very cold cloud tops with the potential to generate very heavy rainfall.

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC) on Oct. 4 the eye of Hurricane Matthew was located inland Haiti near 18.4 degrees north latitude and 74.2 degrees west longitude. That’s just 10 miles (15 km) east of Tiburon, Haiti, and about 125 miles (200 km) south of the eastern tip of Cuba.

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Matthew was moving to the north near 9 mph (15 kph), and this general motion is expected to continue today. A turn toward the north-northwest is expected by Wednesday, Oct. 5, followed by a northwest turn Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the eye of Matthew will move near or over portions of the southeastern and central Bahamas tonight and Wednesday, and approach the northwestern Bahamas Wednesday night.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 145 mph (230 kph) with higher gusts. Matthew is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next couple of days, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through at least Wednesday night.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 934 millibars.

Hurricane drought likely to end

Hurricane Wilma was the last major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) to hit the U.S. It made landfall in Florida on October 24, 2005. The much ballyhooed Hurricane Sandy was Category 1 at landfall, and technically not a hurricane at that time, but an extra-tropical cyclone. Hurricane Ike in 2008, was a Category 2 when it made landfall.

Matthew is very likely to be the first major hurricane to strike the U.S. in almost 11 years, the question is will it be Florida, Gerogia, or the Carolinas?

Thursday, October 5th, will be the 4,000 day mark after Hurricane Wilma’s landfall, or 10 years, 11 months, 12 days including the end date. Source. NHC says landfall could be around 8 AM Saturday near the border of North and South Carolina where it meets the Atlantic:


The GFS model shows it paralleling Florida, and making landfall somewhere in the Carolinas:


As Matthew passes over the Bahamas, the frictional forces from the islands will introduce variations in Matthew’s strength and perhaps path. The model ensemble places landfall near Wilmington and Myrtle Beach.


The question on everyone;s mind besides the where and when of landfall is whether or not it will deviate into Florida first.

Note: This story was updated to include the source of the press release being NASA Goddard in the first paragraph, which was accidentally omitted.

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October 4, 2016 9:20 am

Globull warming is making the hurricane worse.

Larry McGeehan
October 4, 2016 9:27 am

I think in 24 hours we will have a lot better idea of where it will end up after leaving Cuba’s influence.

Reply to  Larry McGeehan
October 4, 2016 3:17 pm

The 5pm “predictions” have moved the eye closer to Florida.

October 4, 2016 9:28 am

Has anyone found surface….not flight…winds yet?
It passed right over a buoy….with light winds

Reply to  Latitude
October 4, 2016 12:30 pm

That was because the eye passed over the buoy. The graphic I saw had expected winds in the eyewall passages.

Reply to  Ric Werme
October 4, 2016 2:49 pm

I am totally unfamiliar with hurricanes and was unaware that there was a clear wind free passage for the eye to pass through. Look and learn is my motto.

Reply to  Latitude
October 4, 2016 1:08 pm

Let me Google that for you.
Here’s a plot – http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/show_plot.php?station=42058&meas=wdpr&uom=E&time_diff=-5&time_label=EST I’m at work, so I can’t post a .jpg and people will have to click on the link for now.
Here’s information about the location (which you don’t need) and other stuff about the buoy – http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42058
Compare the eyewall winds with the NHC estimate, you may indeed find them differ by quite a bit.
Determine the radius of hurricane force winds from the center of the storm.
From the NHC forecast maps, determine the minimum distance between the eye and the Florida coast.
Estimate the coastal wind speed at that moment, being sure to account for the forward motion of the storm.

Reply to  Ric Werme
October 4, 2016 1:48 pm

Thanks Ric…..but the highest winds it recorded was about 75 mph….NHC said it was a cat 4 at that time
Matthew hit it dead center

Reply to  Ric Werme
October 4, 2016 2:18 pm

Matthew made a direct hit on that buoy….when NHC said it was a cat 4
The buoy even caught the eye….
The highest winds it recorded were 75 mph…..that is a long way away from being a cat 4
NHC is pulling a fast one…

Owen in GA
Reply to  Ric Werme
October 4, 2016 3:35 pm

Latitude, that buoy looks to be way down south in the Carrib about 250 miles south south west of landfall. The hurricane would have passed there two days ago.

Reply to  Ric Werme
October 4, 2016 6:07 pm
October 4, 2016 9:29 am

Has anyone seen actual surface wind speed measurements since Matthew hit land? There must be some actual measurement from reliable sources on the surface. NHC never provides any actual surface wind speed data; only estimates.

Reply to  J Solters
October 4, 2016 9:42 am

Mumbles McGuirck
October 4, 2016 at 5:52 am
The eye is making landfall in Haiti now (9 AM EDT). Last USAF pass through eye off shore had 120 kt maximum winds at flight level and 90 kt observed by the SFMR (apporx. surface wind). The center is moving more NE than forecast, so it will run over Haiti’s southern mountains. This should knock it down a bit, but there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.

Phillip Bratby
Reply to  J Solters
October 4, 2016 11:38 am

Never mind measurements. The BBC says sustained wind speeds of 140mph, so that must be better than measurements.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
October 5, 2016 12:08 pm

Many thanks.
I do appreciate the humour that is highlighted from the Bolshevik Bantercasting Corruption.
(Is that right? Seems a bit mild . . . . )
Auto, still waiting for the sky to fall -even plummet – in after Brexit

Reply to  J Solters
October 4, 2016 12:38 pm

Why do you say that? The maximum winds are in the eyewall, that’s only a few miles thick. It would take hardened anemometers located every mile or so along the coast to record those winds. I’d be surprised if Haiti has more than about three in the whole country.
The Hurricane hunter airplanes report SFMR http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/project2005/sfmr.html and radiosonde data. They’re probably much better data than you’ll get from anemometers in Port au Prince.

October 4, 2016 9:37 am

That is a record that was destined to end. Hopefully it will be but a glancing blow. Of course that is still bad for the coastal areas.

J McClure
October 4, 2016 9:51 am

From a climate perspective, why have we had 10 years of decapitated hurricanes and now have the first of many events in the wake of the former influence?
We didn’t have a decade long ENSO event – so, what combination of factors led to the “switch”?
; )

J McClure
Reply to  J McClure
October 4, 2016 10:28 am

Unless I’m mistaken, and sadly it’s nearly absolute, there is a direct relationship sun to earth. Our Earth appears to compensate related to input from the Sun. Bit like wearing a leather jacket.
If it’s cold the jacket tightens to preserve heat. If hot, it expands.
I realize you’re likely to conclude “straight-jacket” yet … ; )

Reply to  J McClure
October 4, 2016 1:25 pm

There are several factors that affect Atlantic hurricane development. I learned a lot from following the early season predictions from Bill Gray and now Phil Klotzbach at http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Includes/Documents/Forecast_Schedule.html Some of the key things are:
AMO state: the current positive AMO started in 1995 and that brought a remarkable surge in tropical storm activity. Equally remarkable is hurricane drought in the US and some of the other inactive years since. The US had several landfalls during the waning positive AMO in the 1950s, don’t be surprised at landfalls during this waning AMO.
ENSO: One year an El Nino developed in the middle of the hurricane season and pretty much stopped it cold. Basically, El Nino brings wind shear and that blows the tops off tropical storms. BTW, dry air entrainment chops the storm off at the knees. It’s remarkable how little dry air can knock a major hurricane down to an also-ran and how long it takes to recover. Watch for that as storms approach coastlines, especially in the western Gulf of Mexico.
Sahara dust: This absorbs sunlight aloft and heats the air. Less sunlight reaches the ocean and reduces the SST. There’s a fairly dramatic difference in tropical storm generation as a function of SSTs, and even more so when the temperature gradient is relatively low so the atmosphere is stable.
There are several others, but I think these are the big ones.

Stephen Rasey
October 4, 2016 9:51 am

Nearly identical [1954] Hurricane Hazel sheds perspective on weather impacts

J McClure
Reply to  Stephen Rasey
October 4, 2016 10:54 am

If a cycle exists, what worth “stooges” who claim it doesn’t?

October 4, 2016 9:52 am

The critical issue is the strength of the high pressure building down across central Canada and pushing the Jet Stream to position parallel to the US east coast. This is bringing colder air than forecast.

Reply to  ren
October 4, 2016 12:53 pm

Ren – Great chart
Observers will note that the Arctic sea ice growth stopped at exactly the same time that Matthew became a became a TS, and has remained flat since (JAXA). The same autumn atmospheric displacement that is feeding Matthew is also displacing into the Arctic, stalling ice growth.
Typhoon Chaba may also miss land with luck.

Reply to  ren
October 4, 2016 1:01 pm

Ozonebust as it was in October 2012 (Sandy)?
AO index in 2012: -0.220 -0.036 1.037 -0.035 0.168 -0.672 0.168 0.014 0.772 -1.514 -0.111 -1.749

Reply to  ren
October 4, 2016 4:05 pm

I note with interest also your recent comments on JoNova on recent posts.
With Arctic sea ice my observations are that sea temperatures may “soften” the sea ice, but it is the atmospheric transport that breaks it up.The area reduction is too rapid for water temperatures alone. The Arctic minimum occurs when the atmospheric flow reduces. As we are witnessing currently a rapid ice increase can be stalled or reversed when the atmospheric flow returns.

October 4, 2016 9:53 am

Not so fast, record breakers.
I still don’t see adequate indication that this storm makes US landfall as a major.
(ref 12z model runs)

Reply to  exNOAAman
October 4, 2016 10:11 am


Data Soong
Reply to  Latitude
October 4, 2016 12:44 pm

my thoughts too

Reply to  exNOAAman
October 4, 2016 12:51 pm

Anthony’s NHC graphic shows no landfall as a major hurricane. The radius of Cat 3 winds is quite small, so I suspect Florida won’t see them (besides, being to the left of the track, the forward motion of the storm will further reduce wind speed). Someone on a weather segment last night referred to Matthew as a non-event in Jamaica, but then showed people pushing a disabled car through a flooded street. It didn’t look very windy.
I think people have gotten really rusty about tracking landfalling hurricanes since Wilma!

Reply to  Ric Werme
October 4, 2016 1:54 pm

The radius of Cat 3 winds is quite small,…
yep…smaller circles spin faster
PAP is about 70 miles away..and reported 34 mph winds at 8am

Reply to  exNOAAman
October 4, 2016 5:56 pm

I was wondering about that…

Joel O’Bryan
October 4, 2016 10:01 am

If the outer bands just touch land, the desparate for catastrophe CAGW alarmists will declare “landfall”. Never mind that the Matthew eyewall will likely stay over water, based on latest track forecasts.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
October 4, 2016 1:45 pm

Nope, landfall refers to center of rotation we all know, and I don’t think TWC celebrities like Jim Cantore or Mike Bettes are quite yet willing to pander away their what integrity they still retain. They strive always to educate (as well as indoctrinate) their precious viewers, and that is a two-edged sword. Most weather watchers know exactly what “landfall” means.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
October 4, 2016 2:03 pm

And landfall needs the center of the eye to be ‘feet dry’.

Jeff L
October 4, 2016 10:17 am

Note that the official NHC forecast drops winds into the cat 2 range by landfall ( note the “H” vs “M” on the map) so even if it goes as forecast, it is far from a done deal that the land falling cat 3 streak will be broken.
Not that there won’t be damage & huge problems, but as far as that statistic goes, it may just stay in tact

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Jeff L
October 4, 2016 2:06 pm

Looks to me that Matthew is going to follow the Gulf Stream for awhile…

Mark from the Midwest
October 4, 2016 10:19 am

I’m looking at the front that’s in Eastern Kansas right now, and moving very rapidly. My eyeballs tell me there’s a 2 in 5 chance this pushes across the Southeast by late tomorrow and takes the top right off ole Matty. Of course that gives the purveyors of doom about 30 hours to whip up a little global-warming-induced hysteria. My long wager is on “tropical storm in the Carolinas.”

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
October 4, 2016 6:05 pm

I like your scenario, because right now I’m staring right down the barrel.

Bruce Cobb
October 4, 2016 10:27 am

Still looking for a drought-buster up here in New Hampshire. Chances are we’ll only be grazed by it, but we could use a good dousing. Water tables are very low, farmers are suffering, and sources of water normally available for firefighting have vanished.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
October 4, 2016 11:24 am

Wish I had known. I would have shipped some of our rain up to you! August was very dry, but September was one of the wettest down here!

Frederick Michael
October 4, 2016 10:44 am

Matthew won’t end the drought. It’ll hit NC as a 2.

Stephen Rasey
Reply to  Frederick Michael
October 4, 2016 12:23 pm

It is not just the Category, it is also how fast it moves.
Tropical Storm Allison caused billions of dollars in flood damage to Houston, TX in early June 2001. Report: “Off the Charts” (PDF 19 MB)

A C Osborn
October 4, 2016 10:51 am

Yet again they are hyping up the wind speeds using Sattelite data.

Reply to  A C Osborn
October 4, 2016 11:26 am

Port-Au-Prince Airport reported 34 mph, with gusts to 52 mph, at 8 am EDT

Reply to  Latitude
October 4, 2016 1:27 pm

this is what I’ve been wondering.. what is the real world wind speeds, not upper level winds.

October 4, 2016 11:01 am

I must be nuts, what huge storm went thru Fla a month or so ago?

Reply to  teresa bacon
October 4, 2016 11:56 am

..That was Hermine at CAT 1….The record is for Cat 3 and above….

Reply to  Marcus
October 4, 2016 3:22 pm

I remember some talk that Hermine lost strength just before coming ashore and was only a tropical storm.

Reply to  teresa bacon
October 4, 2016 1:48 pm

You’re not nuts, you’re bacon. Perhaps even Bacon.

October 4, 2016 11:30 am

The model consensus has the storm paralleling the coast. The models that do make landfall do so in South Carolina/North Carolina as a category 2. All recent model runs never even make landfall. This article has nothing scientific to back it up. This has never been forecast to come onshore as a major hurricane? Additionally, since the western side of the cyclone will effect the coast, impacts will be minor. (Winds, rain, and surge are always less on the western side) The highest wind gusts forecast (not sustained) I could find over land was 60-70 MPH.

Ron Clutz
October 4, 2016 11:38 am

OK, but Hermine was technically a category 1 hurricane when passing over the northern part of Florida, so that event already set the fair weather record.

Reply to  Ron Clutz
October 4, 2016 12:08 pm

Maybe. There were two stations on the dirty side that recorded winds over 74 but under 80. Neither reported whether these were sustained for one minute. So very marginal Cat 1 if that.

October 4, 2016 12:06 pm

Am in the TS watch area right on the SF ocean in Fort Lauderdale. Has been interesting to observe as NHC makes subtle adustments to to the cone of uncertainty with each new batch of runs. Matthew has an unusual structure, with a strong second ‘center’ in its dirty NE quadrant. That is well east of the eye. So what clobbered Haiti likely won’t clobber Florida. And a bit early to say about the Carolinas. CFAN (Dr. Curry’s company) does adjustments to the model tracks based on the past 5 years of errors. Her operational product is shown by Jeff Masters at Wunderground. It presently predicts Matthew won’t come ashore in the Carolinas either. TS level winds from the west ‘clean side’ seem quite possible up around Daytona Beach to Jacksonville at the point of closest approach. That would not require much evacuation. And I don’t think the TS watch area (Deerfield Beach to Keys) is going to experience that. Surf will be up, though, Thursday.

Stephen Rasey
Reply to  ristvan
October 4, 2016 12:41 pm

Figure 3 in wunderground’s current report (at 10/4 3:30 EDT) has one scenario track that stalls out offshore South Carolina, circles back crossing Florida and then makes itself at home offshore TX and LA for several days.comment image
I just hope that is a model that went well outside reality.

Reply to  Stephen Rasey
October 4, 2016 1:35 pm

There’s really little point in trying to predict things beyond South Carolina at this time. If the storm is fast, it will catch the trough that can bring it up the coast. If it’s slow, it will head east from the Carolinas. Let’s worry about Florida for the next day or so, and by then we should have a decent track forecast for the northeast.

October 4, 2016 12:19 pm

The current position of the hurricane.

Stevan Reddish
October 4, 2016 12:48 pm

Even in the unlikely event Mathew makes landfall on the U.S. mainland as Cat 3 (or greater), it still will not be a confirmation of any Catastrophic Climate Change claims. Actually, a major hurricane landfall every decade or so is just the opposite. Furthermore, if Mathew’s strength is a consequence of the recent El Nino, that also is counter evidence that increasing CO2 atmospheric levels are causing “climate change”

October 4, 2016 1:02 pm

The 12Z Euro is pretty amazing on this! Looks like it grazes the coast and is gone by Sunday.

Reply to  Neil
October 4, 2016 1:07 pm

Thew Euro model has been closer to reality than the others of late. That is why I give it more weight than the others.

October 4, 2016 1:34 pm

How exactly do they decide on the top sustained wind speed ? Which part of the hurricane do they measure ? Top of the eye, bottom of the eye or overall average of the whole thing ?

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Marcus
October 4, 2016 2:33 pm

Measured 10 meters above the ground, unobstructed. Speed average of continuous readings for a minute is called the sustained speed. Highest speeds are usually at the eyewall.

Reply to  Marcus
October 4, 2016 2:38 pm

The windspeed is based on the highest sustained windspeed measured anywhere in the storm, They often estimate the speeds from other measurements. Read the discussion at NHC to get an idea of what data goes into the estimates for each update.

October 4, 2016 2:09 pm

Well I think it will be interesting to see if the predictions come true for US landfall. I was looking at this http://www.intelliweather.net/imagery/intelliweather/sat_goes8fd_580x580.htm and it seems like the course should be well off the coast given its current trajectory.

Larry McGeehan
October 4, 2016 2:10 pm

Just shifted the forecast to possibly impact the coast somewhere around Ft Lauderdale.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Larry McGeehan
October 4, 2016 2:37 pm

Formal NOAA description of landfall at this page…

Larry McGeehan
October 4, 2016 2:15 pm
October 4, 2016 2:20 pm

“The question on everyone;s mind besides the where and when of landfall is whether or not it will deviate into Florida first.”
No thanks, we have enough deviants here.

October 4, 2016 2:25 pm

Look at the NHC 5:00 PM EST ‘discussion’ on Matthew for today, Oct. 4, 2016. Very cryptic; hardly any meaningful data. As usual, not one word about actual surface level wind speed measurements which by now should be available from reliable sources. .These people need adult supervision. Their reports continue to be pathetic.

October 4, 2016 2:50 pm

The low pressure system south of Iceland is about as intense as any I can recall.
It must be too far away from the sensationalist media.
Matthew is not a very low low at 994. So, is there much damage to date?
What are the wind strengths?

Steve Fraser
Reply to  toorightmate
October 4, 2016 3:33 pm

Take a look on earth.nullschool…
The circle is quite close to where the Northabout was at 5:00 pm today. They should be having quite a ride, in what will be a gale shortly.

October 4, 2016 3:10 pm

I lived through Camille in 1969 – it was a strong Cat 5, winds above 175MPH, considered either the first or second strongest hurricane to make U.S. landfall. I’m in Myrtle Beach and not yet convinced that Gov “Nervous” Nikki Halley’s evacuation order should have been so all-encompassing. My part of Myrtle Beach is not easilly flooded – we sustained no flooding a year ago when Charleston and Georgetown and Little River got walloped. Predictions are for under 4 inches of rain from Matthew, nowhere near enough to flood my place. And a storm surge at their max 15 feet won’t affect me either. Only the winds could affect me as I see it, and my house is brick. I do not consider my situation as dangerous. Now, out on the evacuation highways… that’s where I see danger. At this point, neither North Carolina nor Florida has ordered massive coastal evacuation. WE shall see -hurricanes are usually interesting. Landfall in Myrtle has a prediction of sub 100 MPH winds, not a major hurricane

October 4, 2016 3:38 pm

Nobody watches the Weather Channel except when a hurricane comes along. The Weather Channel relentlessly hypes weather events in a shameful fashion. No they are characterizing hurricane Mathew as “The strongest storm on the planet.” And when it is reduced to a pathetic Cat 2 hurricane, it will STILL be the “strongest storm on the planet.”

Joel Snider
October 4, 2016 4:27 pm

Well, according to the Washington Post, a hurricane drought is ‘terrifying’, so this must be good news.
Yep. They really said it.
Gotta hand it to ’em – they are totally shameless about spinning literally anything if it preserves their disaster scenario. Or pretty much any agenda item for that matter.

October 4, 2016 4:37 pm

“Thursday, October 5th,”?

October 4, 2016 4:39 pm

As hurricane Charley showed, if you are in the cone, keep an eye out.

Bill 2
October 4, 2016 10:28 pm

Plagiarize much? The first several paragraphs of this piece are lifted from here http://phys.org/news/2016-10-nasa-hurricane-matthew-landfall-haiti.html without attribution.
[reply – no it is from this NASA press release, which phys.org used. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/nsfc-nsh100416.php making it public domain info /mod]

Reply to  Bill 2
October 5, 2016 5:49 am

There are better sources than phys.org for almost everything.

October 5, 2016 10:14 am

It’s crazy; I remember that the hurricane Wilma is the one that I remember the most and it’s been so long. So much has changed, it is slightly nerve-racking.

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