So far, Florida has been lucky. While the storm remains dangerous, it seems it has continued just off the coast, and has begun the first steps towards a northeast turn. NHC’s 9AM EST reports had this to say:
...EYEWALL OF DANGEROUS HURRICANE MATTHEW HUGGING THE COAST OF CENTRAL FLORIDA... SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...28.9N 80.3W ABOUT 35 MI...55 KM NNE OF CAPE CANAVERAL FLORIDA ABOUT 45 MI...75 KM ESE OF DAYTONA BEACH FLORIDA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...120 MPH...195 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 330 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...944 MB...27.86 INCHES DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK ------------------------------ At 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Matthew was located near latitude 28.9 North, longitude 80.3 West. Matthew is moving toward the north-northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue today. A turn toward the north is expected tonight or Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will be moving near or over the east coast of the Florida peninsula through tonight, and near or over the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina on Saturday. Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts. Matthew is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Although weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, Matthew is expected to be a category 3 hurricane as it moves near the coast of Florida today. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km). Cape Canaveral recently reported and wind gust to 97 mph (155 km/h), and Daytona Beach reported a wind gust of 67 mph (110 km/h). The latest minimum central pressure reported by the reconnaissance aircraft was 944 mb (27.86 inches). HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- WIND: Hurricane and tropical storm conditions are expected to continue over the warning area in Florida during the next several hours, and spread northward within the warning area through today. Tropical storm conditions will continue to spread northward in the warning area along the Florida west coast today. Hurricane conditions are expected to spread northward in the warning area in Georgia and South Carolina tonight and Saturday with tropical storm conditions expected later today. Winds increase rapidly in elevation in a tropical cyclone. Residents in high-rise buildings should be aware that the winds at the top of a 30-story building will be, on average, about one Saffir-Simpson category higher than the winds near the surface. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the tropical storm warning area in the Carolinas tonight and Saturday. STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge, the tide, and large and destructive waves will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide... Sebastian Inlet, Florida, to Edisto Beach, South Carolina, including portions of the St. Johns River...7 to 11 ft Edisto Beach to South Santee River, South Carolina...4 to 6 ft Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet, Florida...4 to 6 ft South Santee River, South Carolina, to Cape Fear, North Carolina...2 to 4 ft The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. Large waves generated by Matthew will cause water rises to occur well in advance of and well away from the track of the center. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office. Water levels in the northwestern Bahamas should continue to subside during the day. There is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along the Florida east coast, the Georgia coast, and the South Carolina coast from Jupiter Inlet, Florida, to South Santee River, South Carolina. There is the possibility of life-threatening inundation during the next 48 hours from north of South Santee River, South Carolina, to Cape Fear, North Carolina. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the Prototype National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office. The Prototype Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic is a depiction of areas that would qualify for inclusion under a storm surge watch or warning currently under development by the National Weather Service and planned for operational use in 2017. The Prototype Graphic is available at hurricanes.gov. RAINFALL: Matthew is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 8 to 12 inches over the Atlantic coast of the United States from central Florida to eastern North Carolina...with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches. This rainfall may result in flooding and flash flooding. TORNADOES: An isolated tornado or two is possible along the east-central Florida coast today. SURF: Swells generated by Matthew will continue to affect portions of the Bahamas and the east coast of Florida during the next few days, and will spread northward along the southeast U.S. coast through the weekend. These swells will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.
Dr. Ryan Maue notes this morning:
Here are the latest satellite, radar, and model plots for the 12Z run. The models mostly indicate a turn to the northeast, and a loop.