First things first, we have a couple fantastic days ahead of us with highs pushing past 70 away from the coast today, and near 70 at the coast tomorrow to 77 inland! Sure, it’s cool in the morning, but the recovery is nothing short of awesome.
The good news for us: The trend of keeping Hurricane Matthew well south of New England that started 36hours ago, continues at this time. It’s highly likely that Matthew doesn’t get north of the Carolina coast as it either slides out to sea, or even gets pushed back to the south. For us, the biggest influence in the weekend forecast is whether or not enough moisture gets in here ahead of a cool front to provide some showers Saturday afternoon or Saturday night. Right now, we’ll leave in the chance for showers then, with most towns picking up less than 0.5″ of rain. If the fronts a touch slower, and more moisture sneaks in along a trough, then it’s possible for a period of heavier rain, but right now, that set-up favors locations south and east of us. Anyway, we’ll see how it plays out as major winds and coastal concerns continues to be excluded from the forecast. Sunday and Monday look good with returning sun and highs in the low 60s. Overall, the weekend will feature many more dry hours than wet!
Matthew will be damaging for Florida as there’s no way of escaping a damaging storm at this point along much of the east coast of Florida. The question becomes, how much damage? That depends on whether the eye makes landfall, or remains just offshore? If the eye comes onshore, then you bring in the highest storm surge as well as the strongest winds which typically reside on the eastern side of the eyewall. With landfall, damage is much higher with some areas devastated. Obviously, with the projections of a category 4 hurricane running along the east coast of Florida tonight and tomorrow, mass evacuations/preparations along the coast have taken place. Below are some projections from the National Hurricane Center.
By the way, the last time a “major” (cat 3 or higher) hurricane hit the U.S. was Hurricane Wilma in south Florida back in 2005. 11 years ago! That 11 year stretch is the longest on record without a major hurricane hit for the U.S. The most active period? Look at the hurricane stats from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. They’re mind boggling. The U.S. had 26 cat 3 or higher hits in 30 years! That’s almost average one a year! Of course, during those decades, we too had historic hurricanes too from 1938 to Carol and Edna in 1954.