Tropical storm conditions ‘possible’ in Florida next week as forecasters await Matthew’s turn north


Tropical storm wind probabilities were through Thursday were put at around 20 percent in Southeastern Florida and there is “an increasing trend” in the probabilities, according to the National Weather Service. (Credit: NHC)

Tropical Storm conditions are possible in South Florida on Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Miami said, if Hurricane Matthew stays on its projected path to the east of the Florida peninsula.

Matthew, still a Category 5 hurricane in the southern Caribbean Saturday morning, was forecast to turn northwest and then north later this weekend toward Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas.

Tropical storm conditions are defined as 39 mph winds for a duration of one minute.

So far, NOAA predicts heaviest rains will remain off shore of Florida, with 13.6 inches forecast over Grand Bahama over the coming week. Under this scenario, Florida’s East Coast would be clipped by about 2-3 inches of rain as Matthew passes off-shore.

While the GFS has continued a disturbing trend more toward Florida’s East Coast, several other forecast models shifted slightly to the east, the National Hurricane Center said. Their Saturday morning track remained basically unchanged.

The NHC continued its forecast discussion language stating that it’s “too soon to rule out possible hurricane impacts from Matthew in Florida.”

The NWS in Miami said in their Saturday analysis:

“The long term period continues to remain highly uncertain and dependent upon the evolution, strength, and track of Hurricane Matthew including where the northward turn in the central Caribbean occurs and its forward speed along its track. While the latest forecast track cone from the National Hurricane Center continues to remain east of greater South Florida, there continues to remain much uncertainty in the track, with the 00z GFS slightly further west and the 00z ECMWF slightly further east with many ensemble members in between.

“The ultimate track will be determined by the relative position of high pressure over the western Atlantic, and the placement of upper-level lows over the Gulf of Mexico and northeast CONUS.

“At this time, the greatest threat period appears to be beginning Tuesday, with the length of the threat period determined by how fast Matthew`s forward speed is. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible through the long term period, with the eventual track of Matthew ultimately determining the areal coverage of convective activity. It will likely be breezy at times as well during the long term period, especially along the east coast.”

Saturday morning’s GFS has Matthew centered over Freeport, on Grand Bahama Island, on Thursday morning. The European (ECMWF), the Canadian (CMC) and the Navy’s forecast model (NAVGEM) all have it about 100 miles east of Great Abaco on Thursday, as does the HWRF and the GFDL.


Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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