Hurricane Matthew is now a category 4 storm

Posted at 1:00 PM, Sep 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-30 20:05:43-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Matthew became a hurricane Thursday morning in the eastern Caribbean.  By Friday evening, Matthew strengthened into a category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph.  It is not too far away from category 5 status.


The current westward track will change to a northerly track over the weekend.  The center will cross near eastern Jamaica, so the island will feel a large brunt of the hurricane.  The storm will then cross eastern Cuba and head to the Bahamas the first half of next week.


Where Matthew goes after that is still very uncertain.  A positive sign is that the spaghetti plot of all computer models are starting to develop more of a consensus than in previous days, keeping the center far enough off the east coast of the United States to not have a major impact, other than high surf, strong rip currents and some higher wind gusts.


While the consensus shows this, a few individual models are still showing a track closer to the coast and even the Outer Banks into southeastern Virginia.  It is important to note that Matthew is currently over an area where there is not a ton of data to feed into the computer models.  The Air Force continues to perform multiple reconnaissance missions, and this is providing a lot of important data for the models.  The forecast track will be refined many times over the weekend and early next week, so continue to check for our frequent updates.

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