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 evening everyone!
Hurricane MATTHEW remains a MAJOR HURRICANE. MATTHEW is a CATEGORY 4 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. As of the 8:00 p.m. intermediate advisory, the following was available on MATTHEW:
8:00 PM EDT Mon Oct 3
Location: 16.6°N 74.6°W
Moving: NNE at 8 mph
Min pressure: 934 mb / 27.58 IN
Max sustained: 140 mph
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
* Central Bahamas, including Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador, and Cat Island
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Cuban province of Camaguey
* Turks and Caicos Islands * Northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence
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.
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm- force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. 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, the southeastern Bahamas late Tuesday, and the central Bahamas on Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to continue spreading across Haiti this evening, reach eastern Cuba tonight, the southeastern Bahamas early Tuesday, and the central Bahamas Tuesday night, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
Tropical storm conditions are expected in portions of Jamaica and along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic within the warning area soon.
Hurricane conditions are possible in the northwestern Bahamas on Thursday, with tropical storm conditions possible on Wednesday. Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch areas in Cuba and the Turks and Caicos Islands by Tuesday night with tropical storm conditions possible on Tuesday.
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
The 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
The 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.
Based on my analysis of the current wind shear forecast and 200 mb streamline pattern, the 12Z run of the GFS indicates no change in the forecast shear/streamline pattern and still indicates very favorable upper level winds to remain in place during the next 96 hours, with the ECMWF following, but indicating the more favorable pattern as MATTHEW moves into the Central Bahamas. Regardless, there should some weakening of MATTHEW as the hurricane has brief, and limited land interaction. As MATTHEW enters the Bahamas and continues NNW, he should remain in fairly high OHC, albeit reduced somewhat, and given the forecast of the upper level anticyclone re-positioning over the storm and high amount of TPW, this should allow him to maintain MAJOR HURRICANE status. IF the core and overall structure remain tighter, then he could be stronger in the Bahamas than shown in the intensity forecast, however I believe not as strong as he currently is. 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, with the above noted exception.
NHC INTENSITY FORECAST
INIT 03/2100Z 16.3N 74.7W 120 KT 140 MPH
12H 04/0600Z 17.4N 74.6W 120 KT 140 MPH
24H 04/1800Z 19.2N 74.4W 120 KT 140 MPH
36H 05/0600Z 21.0N 74.7W 115 KT 130 MPH
48H 05/1800Z 22.8N 75.5W 110 KT 125 MPH
72H 06/1800Z 26.0N 78.0W 105 KT 120 MPH
96H 07/1800Z 29.5N 79.0W 100 KT 115 MPH
120H 08/1800Z 33.0N 78.0W 90 KT 105 MPH
The current shear product from CIMSS indicates the upper level anticyclone to still be displaced from the center of MATTHEW, however the upper level winds product indicates the upper level outflow pattern may be getting better established than it was a few hours ago.
MATTHEW is moving to the NNE and based on analysis of current and forecast steering layers maps, I expect this motion to continue for the next 24 hours, before a bend to the N then 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.
Based on analysis of the latest model runs, to include the HWRF and GFDL, along with the substantial shift of the ECMWF Ensemble members from 00Z yesterday evening, and substantial shift left of the GFS, I have to concur with the NHC forecast track, and based on the GFS and ECMWF in pretty good agreement of the ridge nosing toward the U.S. and centered west of the U.S. Coastline, I CANNOT rule out a landfall somewhere along the NC Coastline. Again, model guidance has been constantly shifting over the past 48 hours, and this is subject o change, however as of the latest model runs, the models appear to be in better agreement of track. The ECMWF brings MATTHEW closer to the Eastern Seaboard. The ECMWF does not indicate landfall, but may have MATTHEW close enough to the NC coast for that area to possibly feel hurricane force winds. It is noted that the 18Z Dynamic guidance made a shift left of about 60-70 miles.
The NHC indicates the following at the end of the forecast discussion:
The new NHC track forecast has been adjusted significantly westward at days 3-5, and now lies near the middle of the guidance envelope and close to the ECMWF/GFS blend. While there remains significant uncertainty in the track of Matthew in the long range, the threat to Florida and the southeastern U.S. coast has increased.
KEY MESSAGES: 1. Matthew is likely to produce devastating impacts from storm surge, extreme winds, heavy rains, flash floods, and/or mudslides in portions of the watch and warning areas in Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas. Please consult statements from the meteorological services and other government officials in those countries.
2. Direct hurricane impacts are possible in Florida later this week. Tropical storm and/or hurricane watches could be issued sometime tonight or early tomorrow for portions of the Florida peninsula and the Florida Keys.
3. Tropical storm or hurricane conditions could affect portions of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later this week or this weekend, even if the center of Matthew remains offshore. It is too soon to specify what, if any, direct impacts Matthew might have on the remainder of the U.S. east coast. At a minimum, very dangerous beach and boating conditions are likely along much of the U.S. east coast later this week and weekend.
Based on this new information, residents along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard from the FL. East Coast, to the North Carolina OBX, should closely monitor the progress of MATTHEW, and should review any Tropical Storm / Hurricane information and preparedness guides and be prepared to take the necessary precautions should the NHC issue any Watches and/or Warnings as stated in their forecast discussion. Residents of the Bahamas should prepare for a DANGEROUS CATEGORY 3 HURRICANE, and residents within the Hurricane WATCH and WARNING areas should rush preparations to completion.
The following are projected storm surge values for the Bahamas (plus or minus 20%) from SLOSH MODEL DATA for a Category 3 Hurricane moving NNW or NW, depending on MATTHEWS actual path:
I will hopefully have another update sometime late morning tomorrow.
Have a blessed evening!
T. F. “STORM” WALSH III
GMCS, USCG (ret)
METEOROLOGIST / HURRICANE SPECIALIST /SEVERE WEATHER SPECIALIST
MEMBER WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA AMS