First thing, this system won’t impact the Tennessee Valley or our Gulf Coast. This is one of the few times where we have a good idea where this system is headed. There is no guarantee of a direct landfall in the United States, but we are confident there will be areas impacted along the east coast this weekend. Here are a few things we know:
- Model Agreement: For one of the few times in tracking hurricanes this far in advance, the models are together on the general path of this system. Most of the time, models bring it on shore here, or onshore there, or even miss everyone altogether. This time, it appears there will be at least some tropical storm force to hurricane force gusts along the east coast this weekend.
2. Matthew is a large system. It’s over 500 miles across. Even if the center of circulation stays offshore, strong winds and rain will be felt several miles inland from the coast. Always pay attention to cone and not just the red line in the middle in future forecast tracks.
3. Historic Storms: Previous storm tracks don’t mean there is a guarantee of a repeat. But two hurricanes, Hazel & Floyd respectively, were in similar spot or had similar path as Matthew. Both made landfall in North Carolina, though several cities along the east coast including Savannah and Charleston evacuated during Floyd in 1999.
Here is a look at the 5am Tuesday morning track and an idea of some of the winds around the center of circulation. Remember some of the strongest winds and rain are to the right of the hurricane. This is subject to change, but it at least gives us and idea of what could happen through Friday. Hurricane force winds are possible along the Florida coastline into the Carolinas this weekend.
Always stay tuned to the latest track, intensities, and updates in the coming days. Have the WHNT News 19 app and Live Alert 19 on your home to track the progress of Hurricane Matthew. We’ll know more in the coming days on the impacts along the east coast through our forecast discussion.