The latest tropical system brewing in the Caribbean has intensified from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane. Matthew is now the 13th named storm and the 5th hurricane of the Atlantic 2016 hurricane season. As of Thursday evening, Matthew has sustained winds of 75 mph and is moving to the west at 17 mph.
Once it reaches the central Caribbean, Matthew is expected to take a sharp right turn this weekend. It is also expected to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 to 105 mph. This abrupt turn to the north will bring Matthew’s impacts to Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas.
If Matthew stays on this track, it could also impact the eastern United States by the middle of next week. Confidence in the track and intensity of Matthew is low beyond the current five day forecast, but U.S. coastal areas should keep a close watch on this storm.
As Matthew moved through the Lesser Antilles, it produced wind gusts of 40 to 90 mph and heavy rain. Here are some images of the damage Matthew has already caused on its trek through the Caribbean.
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Corey Christiansen