From NASA Goddard:
Satellites from NASA and NOAA have been tracking and analyzing powerful Hurricane Matthew since its birth just east of the Leeward Islands on Sept. 28.
On October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew made landfall on southwestern Haiti as a category-4 storm–the strongest storm to hit the Caribbean nation in more than 50 years. Just hours after landfall, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a natural-color image that showed the western extent over the eastern tip of Cuba and the eastern-most extent over Puerto Rico.
At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland the NASA/NOAA GOES Project combined infrared and visible imagery from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite into an animation of Matthew. The animation of imagery from Oct. 3 to Oct. 5 shows Hurricane Matthew making landfall in Haiti and eastern Cuba then move toward the Bahamas.
On Oct. 5, there were many warnings and watches in effect on Oct. 5 from Cuba to the Bahamas to Florida.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for 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; the Northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence. In Florida a Hurricane Warning is in effect from north of Golden Beach to the Flagler/Volusia county line and Lake Okeechobee.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Cuban province of Camaguey and north of the Flagler/Volusia county line to Fernandina Beach. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Haiti, Turks and Caicos Islands. In Florida a Hurricane Watch is in effect for Chokoloskee to Golden Beach, the Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge eastward, and Florida Bay.
At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Matthew was located near 21.8 degrees north latitude and 75.2 degrees west longitude. That’s about 55 miles (90 km) north-northwest of Cabo Lucrecia, Cuba and about 105 miles (165 km) south of Long Island, Bahamas.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said “Matthew is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph (19 kph), and this motion is expected to continue during the next 24 to 48 hours. On this track, Matthew will be moving across the Bahamas through Thursday, and is expected to be very near the east coast of Florida by Thursday evening, Oct. 6.
Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph (195 kph) with higher gusts. Matthew is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Matthew is expected to remain at category 3 or stronger while it moves through the Bahamas and approaches the east coast of Florida. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).”
The minimum central pressure reported by both Hurricane Hunter planes was 962 millibars.
An unconfirmed wind gust of 155 mph (250 kph) was reported in Baracoa, Cuba, on the night of Oct. 4 as the eye of Matthew passed nearby.
Meanwhile, the latest spaghetti model runs (18Z) are markedly different than yesterday, showing loops and wider curves out into the Atlantic. Click for much larger images.
While some models show landfall through Florida, many others show it away from the coast, and never actually making landfall at all.
Link to .kmz file is here if you want to look at it in Google Earth yourself.
Do a right click and “save as”, complete download, double click it and it will open Google Earth (assuming you have it installed) . See the model output in “temporary places” folder in the left sidebar pane. Loads of data available that you can enable and disable with checkboxes.
Hurricane expert Dr. Ryan Maue had this to say:
Paul Dorian of Vencore weather seems to think (as we did earlier) that we may have a loopback on our hands. He writes:
After its arrival in east-central Florida – perhaps even as a category 4 (major) hurricane – Hurricane Matthew is likely to slide parallel to the coastline of northeast Florida and Georgia before beginning to turn more sharply to the northeast near the South Carolina/North Carolina border region. This sharp right turn will likely be the beginning of a loop to be made by Matthew which will quite likely prevent it from moving close to the Mid-Atlantic region. In fact, this expected loop by Matthew could actually result in a second hit to hit the Bahamas/Florida region sometime next week – albeit in a weakened state. While somewhat unusual, it is not unprecedented for Atlantic Basin tropical systems to move in a looping fashion at some point during their lifetime; especially, during the latter stages of the tropical season when weather systems can slow down due to atmospheric blocking patterns.
Latest computer forecast models tend to agree on an eventual looping pattern for Matthew which will become influenced by a deep upper-level trough moving east from the middle of the country. Another factor in the ultimate track of Matthew will be Tropical Storm Nicole which currently sits out over the central Atlantic. These two systems could “dance around” each other for a number of days and we may just end up dealing with Matthew near the Southeast US coastline later next week. The 12Z GFS forecast maps feature an arrival of Hurricane Matthew near or at the east-central coast of Florida early tomorrow (map above) and then there might be a return visit around Monday night (map below) after a complete loop over the western Atlantic Ocean. The low pressure system seen to the east of Matthew on both forecast maps is Tropical Storm Nicole. While the center of Matthew could stay south of the North Carolina coastline, heavy rain and strong winds could actually extend northward well into North Carolina and perhaps even into southeastern Virginia.
It’s a forecasting and evacuation nightmare at this point. Maue adds the nightmare model scenario:
Meanwhile, despite the increased uncertainty, the usual doomsters are out in force: