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.