Category 3 Major Hurricane Matthew: Jamaica Direct Hit and Longer Term US Update

Hurricane Matthew has rapidly intensified from a tropical storm to a major category 3 hurricane in the past 24 hours. The exceptionally high ocean heat content has won the battle against moderate wind shear, resulting in strong intensification. Matthew is the first major hurricane in the Caribbean since Omar in 2008.

Matthew looks to maintain major hurricane status today and then track very close to the eastern side of Jamaica and Cuba as a major hurricane. Today’s blog discusses the historic significance of this track.

Beyond five days, models are trending ever so slightly east. Day on day, this lowers the risk for a Florida or an Eastern U.S. landfall. We place a 35% probability of US landfall during the course of Matthew’s trek north and a 65% likelihood of staying out to sea beyond the Bahamas.

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