A lot has become evident over the last 24 hours. Mathew's forecast is beginning to become more clear, so let's get started.
Hurricane Matthew has weakened a bit since yesterday, down from a Category 4 to a Category 3, but still powerful nevertheless. However, the forecast with Matthew has becoming increasingly more clear. The forecast models we rely on the most with tropical weather forecasting have been producing out to sea tracks over the last 24 hours, and it appears that the they should be right. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, Matthew's decreased speed means that it will not have time to race up the coast, rather, just slowly move off the southeast coast. Secondly, the late-week dip in the jet stream that we were talking about yesterday, that would send it into the coast, now looks significantly weaker, so it would have no steering flow to come up the coast.
We did talk about this being on the table, just about as much as storm racing up the coast, yesterday. Because that dip in the Jet Stream does not appear to be as much of a player anymore, the ridge of high pressure, along with the atmospheric currents, will bring the storm up the Florida coast, and then out to sea. Some models show the storm doing a "loop" in the ocean with its track, but nevertheless, impacts here seem to very little, if there are any.
While this is the best case for us, this is the worse case scenario for the southeast. The storm is still getting pulled north by the high pressure, it just won't come all the way off the coast. It does appear that a landfall could be possible anywhere along the Florida coast. The storm then parallels the Georgia and South Carolina coastlines, as a weakening, but still strong, hurricane before heading out to sea. It does look like the worst impacts will be just offshore, but what would this mean for them?
All in all, while some may criticize my earlier forecast, and call this a bust, I'm happy it is. A landfalling Category 2 or 3 hurricane in SoMD would cause so much destruction and devastation. This area would look like a natural disaster zone. We dodged a huge bullet this time, but next time we may not be so lucky. However, the southeast will not be so lucky. Stay tuned to JB Weather for the latest Southern Maryland weather forecasts.
Since yesterday, Hurricane Matthew has maintained it's Category 4 intensity. This storm continues to hold it's own, and I see no reason why that would stop over the next 72 hours. This storm might even gain some more strength. The 8am advisory from the National Hurricane Center is close to a "worst case scenario" for the Southeast US. I'm going to walk you through why this is happening, how the weekend is looking right now, and what you should be doing at this moment. For information on the different track scenarios, scroll down past the Steering Flow information.
This actually isn't too difficult of a pattern to explain. Here's the skinny of the setup:
As everything stands right now, it appears that Matthew will get "funneled northward" by the Jet Stream and the Strong High Pressure. As the dip in the Jet Stream fades away, the high pressure off the coastline will become the primary steering component for Matthew. However, there will be another dip in the Jet Stream that forms late this week, and into the weekend. The exact location, and timing, of this next dip will determine where this storm goes. If the dip in the Jet Stream late this week were to not form, or is further back towards the Midwest, then this high pressure off the coastline would really be the storms only steering component. That would mean that it would track near the SE Coastline, and then, essentially, get "flinged" out to sea once it reached the Outer Banks. However, if this next dip in the Jet Stream forms where we think it will, near the East, that means that once Matthew gets to the Outer Banks, the Jet Stream would take over as the primary steering component. Like with this current dip, winds go from south to north. That would mean that it would continue to carry Matthew northward, and up the coastline.
Putting it All Together
Now that you know what we are dealing with, and why, what should you be doing right now? Well, at the moment, you just need to keep it locked in with JB Weather and start thinking of what you would do if Scenario 2 occurred. Pray for the best case scenario, but be thinking what you'll do if the worst case happens. No need to run out to the stores just yet, but be aware. Both scenarios are just about as likely as each other. However, if you have interests along the Southeast Coast, then you will face issues. Both scenarios do should Southeast impacts. Over the next couple of days, residents south of Cape Hatteras have to start taking precautions. Below is an image showing the areas under the highest threat from Matthew:
Tomorrow afternoon and evening, it will be easier to say with more certainty what will happen. Nevertheless, keep it tuned in with us here at JB Weather. The weather team is working around the clock to keep you all informed. I will have a forecast update tomorrow, and will be doing a Facebook live stream, talking about Matthew, around 12pm. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.