The National Weather Service graphic sums up warnings in South Florida. (Credit: NWS-Miami)
Hurricane Matthew was battered by its encounter with Cuba, but was expected to restrengthen as it churns toward the Florida coast on Thursday.
The major forecast models still show the storm hanging just off shore of the East Coast, except that the morning run of the GFS predicts a possible landfall near Cape Canaveral.
“The new NHC forecast is very similar to the previous advisory through 72 hours, and shows a track very close to much of the east coast of the Florida peninsula. Only a slight deviation to the west of forecast track could result in landfall in Florida,” National Hurricane Center Senior Hurricane Center Specialist Dan Brown said.
Incredibly, late Tuesday and early Wednesday runs of the GFS and ECMWF show Matthew heading up toward Georgia and then looping back south toward the Bahamas and — possibly — the Florida peninsula by the middle of next week for a Round Two.
In West Palm Beach and elsewhere in South Florida, there were reports of gas stations running out of fuel — and there is no propane to be had.
Despite the trend over the last 10 years of stores and gas stations being equipped with generators so that food and fuel becomes available again post-storm even without power, shoppers have cleaned the shelves a la 2004 and 2005.
Reports from the Bahamas, where the hurricane is expected to begin its rampage later on Wednesday (Caribbean Hurricane Network):
Long Island (southeast of Nassau): “Expecting the worse, while preparing frantically for Matthew. Residents are very wary after that awful experience with Joaquin. So, shutters up, important papers secured, gas stations busy and food stores bustling.
“Many of the elderly are being moved to higher ground, and others have left the island already. Praying Matthew passes quickly.”
Nassau: “We are getting more anxious and apprehensive. All preparations have been made we are battened up and have bought all necessary provisions. We are glued to all of the updates and are grateful for the planes that fly into the hurricane.
“We are regularly briefed by our local government who have actively researched
low lying areas so that as much as possible we can be safe.”
Caribbean satellite image 6:45 a.m. EDT. (Credit: NOAA)