TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION: MAJOR HURRICANE MATTHEW
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(T. F. “Storm” Walsh III)
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CURRENT 2016 ATLANTIC TROPICAL CYCLONE TOTALS:
TOTAL STORMS: 13
MAJOR HURRICANES: 2
StormW’s Seasonal Hurricane Forecast:
TOTAL STORMS: 13-15
INTENSE HURRICANES: 3-4
Good day everyone!
Hurricane MATTHEW still remains a MAJOR HURRICANE. The hurricane had weakened slightly, but has recovered and is still a CATEGORY 4 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. As of the 11:00 a.m. advisory, the following was available on MATTHEW:
11:00 AM EDT Mon Oct 3
Location: 15.6°N 75.0°W
Moving: N at 6 mph
Min pressure: 941 mb / 27.79 in
Max sustained: 140 mph
Based on current I.K.E (Integrated Kinetic Energy) calculations, MATTHEW has a SDP (Surge Destructive Potential) at the moment of 3.278 The Surge Destructive Potential Rating based on a scale of zero to 6. SDP is interpreted similar to the Saffir Simpson scale in that the most destructive storms are rated above 5 and the least destructive storms < 1.
WATCH and WARNINGS SUMMARY is at the end of this synopsis.
Based on my analysis of the current wind shear forecast and 200 mb streamline pattern, the GFS indicates very favorable upper level winds to remain in place during at least the next 96 hours, and the ECMWF indicates pretty much the same, with some fluctuation as to the actual 200 mb streamline pattern. Regardless, given the forecast of the presence of the upper level anticyclone, which model analysis indicates should re-position over Matthew there should be only slight weakening as MATTHEW as the hurricane has a brief, and limited land interaction. As MATTHEW enters the Bahamas and continues NNW, he should remain in fairly high OHC, which combined with the upper level pattern and high amount of TPW, should allow him to maintain MAJOR HURRICANE status. This will also depend on any fluctuations caused by any EWRC’s (EyeWall Replacement Cycles).
Based on if the forecast pattern and parameters hold true, I have to concur with the current NHC intensity forecast, however based on the last shear forecast I analyzed, I feel MATTHEW may be somewhat of a stronger MAJOR HURRICANE than projected by the NHC. Even though the OHC decreases somewhat, the values are still fairly high. The ONLY way I see MATTHEW being a weaker CAT3, is IF the shear does increase over the Bahamas. Regardless, residents of the Bahamas should have preparations almost complete and be prepared for a MAJOR HURRICANE.
NHC INTENSITY FORECAST
INIT 03/1500Z 15.6N 75.0W 120 KT 140 MPH
12H 04/0000Z 17.0N 74.7W 120 KT 140 MPH
24H 04/1200Z 18.9N 74.5W 115 KT 130 MPH
36H 05/0000Z 20.8N 74.5W 115 KT 130 MPH
48H 05/1200Z 22.6N 74.9W 110 KT 125 MPH
72H 06/1200Z 25.5N 76.5W 105 KT 120 MPH
96H 07/1200Z 28.5N 77.5W 95 KT 110 MPH
120H 08/1200Z 32.0N 77.0W 95 KT 110 MPH
MATTHEW had become pretty much quasi-stationary yesterday evening, before making the long awaited north turn. MATTHEW is now moving to the north, and based on analysis of current and forecast steering layers maps, I expect this motion to continue for the next 36 to 48 hours, before a bend to the NW occurs. This turn to the NW will be in response to ridging that is forecast to build briefly, north of MATTHEW over the NE/New England states, which is forecast to progress quickly eastward. Albeit there is a little more agreement on the 2 major global models, the GFS and ECMWF, there is still some uncertainty of how close to the U.S. East Coast MATTHEW may pass. The 06Z run of the GFS (12Z was not available at the time of this forecast) brings the hurricane very close to the OBX. The NHC indicates the following at the end of the forecast discussion:
While all of the deterministic track models currently keep Matthew east of Florida, there is still enough uncertainty in the global ensembles that direct impacts in Florida cannot be ruled out. In addition, it is still too soon to determine whether, or how Matthew could affect the remainder of the U.S. east coast.
Having analyzed the forecast path from both the GFS and ECMWF, the latest available ECMWF Ensemble members, and 500 mb anomaly maps from both the GFS and ECMWF, I do have to concur with the NHC forecast track at this time. However, based on the solutions from the GFS, ECMWF, and CMC GGEM, the exact track after 5 days is still somewhat uncertain. As I stated prior, the update model runs were not available for me to analyze, so I am having to use data from the 00Z ECMWF, and 06Z GFS. The GFS brings MATTHEW fairly close tot he U.S. East coast as stated, brushing the NC OBX. It then carries it NNE and in 10 days places it in the Gulf of Maine and very close to the Maine shoreline. The ECMWF in response to the ridge/trof pattern, takes an initial NW turn as indicated, but keeps MATTHEW further off the U.S. coast, by around day 7-8, the ECMWF stalls the storm midway between the U.S. and Bermuda, has it do a semi-anticyclonic loop, then takes it out by day 10. Given the forecast close proximity to the U.S., I cannot rule out the brush with the NC OBX.
Based on the blend of the GFS and the 00Z ECMWF Ensembles package (which preformed a serious shift left) and the dynamic guidance shifting left on the last 3 runs, I am with the NHC on forecast track for this synopsis. Again, it is unknown what effects the U.S. East Coast may experience, however the WaveWatch III modeling from STORMSURF tends to indicate the following winds and seas for the Bahamas:
STORMSURF SEA HEIGHTS AND WIND VELOCITY FOR THE BAHAMAS AREA (click for loop)
The following are projected storm surge values (plus or minus 20%) from SLOSH MODEL DATA for a Category 3 Hurricane:
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas
* Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, and Ragged Island.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Cuban province of Camaguey
* Turks and Caicos Islands
* Central Bahamas, including Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador, and Cat Island.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic from Barahona westward to the border with Haiti.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata westward to the border with Haiti.
Interests elsewhere in Hispaniola, the Bahamas, and in the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys should monitor the progress of Matthew. For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND:
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to first reach Haiti tonight, eastern Cuba Tuesday, and the southeastern Bahamas late Tuesday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach Haiti this afternoon, eastern Cuba tonight, and the southeastern Bahamas early Tuesday, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
Tropical storm conditions are expected in Jamaica and along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic within the warning area beginning today. Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch areas by Tuesday night with tropical storm conditions possible on Tuesday. Tropical storm conditions are also possible in the tropical storm watch area in the Dominican Republic by late today.
RAINFALL: Matthew is expected to produce total rainfall amounts in the following areas: Southern Haiti and southwestern Dominican Republic…15 to 25 inches, isolated 40 inches.
Eastern Cuba and northwestern Haiti…8 to 12 inches, isolated 20 inches.
Eastern Jamaica…5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 to 20 inches.
Southeastern Bahamas…8 to 12 inches, isolated 15 inches
Turks and Caicos Islands…2 to 5 inches, isolated 8 inches
Northeastern Haiti and the Dominican Republic…1 to 3 inches, isolated 5 inches
Western Jamaica…1 to 2 inches
Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides are likely from this rainfall in southern and northwestern Haiti, the southwestern Dominican Republic, and eastern Cuba.
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large and destructive waves could raise water levels by as much as the following amounts above normal tide levels…
Southern Coast of Cuba east of Cabo Cruz…7 to 11 feet
South Coast of Haiti…7 to 10 feet
Northern Coast of Cuba east of Camaguey…4 to 6 feet
Jamaica…2 to 4 feet
Gulf of Gonave in Haiti…3 to 5 feet
Southern coast of the Dominican Republic…1 to 3 feet
Central and southeastern Bahamas…10 to 15 feet
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.
SURF: Swells generated by Matthew will continue to affect portions of the coasts of Hispaniola, Jamaica, Aruba, Colombia, eastern Cuba, and the Caribbean coastline of Central America during the next few days. Swells from Matthew will begin affecting portions of the Bahamas on Tuesday. These swells are likely to cause life- threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.
I may try to update again this evening, if time allows.
Have a blessed day!
T. F. “STORM” WALSH III
GMCS, USCG (ret)
METEOROLOGIST / HURRICANE SPECIALIST /SEVERE WEATHER SPECIALIST
MEMBER WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA AMS