10/6/2016 – Matthew Approaching Florida

Good afternoon,

Sorry for the delay. Matthew appears to be strengthening as it crosses the open water between the Bahamas and Florida. The latest satellite imagery is impressive, with a compact but intense core of the hurricane showing better symmetry over the past several hours. The radar loop is likewise impressive, and provides a very nice way to follow the storm in near-real-time: Click here for the latest Radar Loop (via Univ Wisc).

Models have settled down, and Matthew does not pose a threat to the Mid-Atlantic, at least not directly. The storm will essentially follow the FL/GA/SC coast – give or take 50 miles – and produce heavy rain and strong winds along its path. The good news is Matthew is a small storm, and the hurricane-force winds only extend out ~ 60 miles from the center, and most of this is likely on the east side of the storm. The heavy rain from the storm will spread northward up toward the Outer Banks, and perhaps graze the lower Eastern Shore. Matthew will turn northeast and remain south of Cape Hatteras, and then get nudged out to sea over the weekend. However, a strong high behind this weekend’s cold front will enhance the winds at the beaches from DE to NC on Sunday… with a strong pressure gradient (and strong winds) developing from the strengthening high to our north and the hurricane to the south. I suspect Sunday at the beaches will feature howling north winds, but the rain will remain south of MD/DE. It looks to be a brutal weekend at the Outer Banks, altho the core of the hurricane will not make it that far.

Up here… I don’t think we’ll see much, if any, rain up this way. Hurricanes have a lot of sinking air around their perimeter (aka subsidence)… which helps to squash any rain that might be approaching. As a side note, this subsidence… sinking air… is nature’s answer to what goes up, must come down… with tons of rising air at the center of the storm balanced by sinking air around the perimeter of the storm. This is often why those just outside the hurricane have beautiful, sunny, dry weather, while 100 miles away it’s a living hell.

Well, expect lots of wind at the beaches, especially on Sunday. Rain could make it as far north as the MD-DE beaches, but up this way we’ll stay mostly dry. At least that’s my hope. Some models still suggest some rain Saturday morning, but not heavy.

If anything changes, I’ll let u know asap.

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