It’s another cool start to the day with temps in the 30s in the coolest burbs, but have no fear, the sunshine is here. That sunshine will do its thing, warming us up nicely with highs nearing 70 at the coast and 77 inland! With low humidity and blue skies, it’ll certainly be an enjoyable afternoon. The warm air continues tomorrow, although highs run in the low 70s with more clouds around in the afternoon. Those clouds foreshadow a front that’ll bring in a few showers Saturday night and Sunday morning. While a bit of tropical moisture may get pulled into this front, the bulk of it stays to our southeast as Matthew gets suppressed well to our south. Behind the front, it’s cooler and dries out for Sunday afternoon and Monday.
Matthew this morning is a category 3 hurricane with winds of 120mph. The eye, as of 6:30AM, is about 25miles east of Cape Canaveral, producing gusts across the Space Coast of 100+mph in and around Cape Canaveral. If there’s been on silver lining in the hurricane so far, it’s that the eyewall from Melbourne, south, has managed to stay just offshore, meaning the southern half of eastern Florida, while damaged, did not see the core of the strongest winds come onshore. It’s likely that out of this sideswipe of Florida, the highest winds will be felt around the Space Coast as that sticks out a bit. Near hurricane force winds are likely near Daytona to Jacksonville, but the question is whether the western eyewall hits them or not. That’s the difference between gusts around 70-75mph vs. gusts pushing past 100mph. Let’s hope for them, it’s the former. Anyhow, it’s a very close scrape with the Georgia and South Carolina coast with flooding rains becoming an issue from Southeast Georgia and eastern South and North Carolina.
On a side note, if Matthew does not make official landfall (center of eye coming onshore) as a cat 3 or higher, the record drought for lack of category 3+ hurricanes making landfall on the U.S. will continue.
Also, for what it’s worth with central/southern east coast of Florida so far, the track of Matthew was about 30-40mph east of the worst case scenario. That is the difference between a damaging storm and a catastrophic storm. When it’s all said and done, Florida preparations and evacuations were the right call. Fortunately, despite widespread damage/power loss, the track ended more toward the eastern side of the forecast cone and not the western for those folks. Still a ways to go with this storm, let’s hope the folks in the northeast part of Florida, through the Carolina’s take heed of the warnings as the eye wobbles awfully close to them. With such a close call, it’s not worth the risk to stay in evacuation zones. The storm surge will likely be the main threat from Northeast Florida, Georgia and the South Carolina coast too as low lying areas become inundated as the hurricane pushes ocean water inland.