Hello, guys. I have moved back to my birthplace, Jacksonville Florida. Hurricane Matthew is closing in, and several people have already lost their lives. There are 123 shelters and 2,334 people are in them.
Hurricane Matthew is blasting eastern Florida's Space Coast, and is poised to deliver a punishing combination of storm surge flooding, rainfall flooding, and destructive winds in northeast Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and southern North Carolina into the weekend. Some areas near the coast in Georgia and South Carolina may see flooding comparable to last October's event.
Wind gusts as high as 107 mph have been clocked at Cape Canaveral, Florida, prompting a rare NWS "extreme wind warning", as the hurricane's western outer eyewall scrapes the Space Coast.
Matthew's precarious track in which the eyewall may scrape the coast with destructive hurricane-force winds will spread north through Saturday along the northeast Florida coast, Georgia coast, and parts of the South Carolina coast.
Of more concern is the storm surge. According to the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, Florida, Friday morning, "Barrier islands are likely to be breached and it is extremely possible that new inlets will be cut off in the worst affected areas." The NWS office in Charleston, South Carolina, said Friday tide levels at both Charleston, South Carolina, and Ft. Pulaski, Georgia, could approach or even surpass those seen during the October 2015 epic flood event.
Hurricane warnings extend from Sebastian Inlet, Florida to South Santee River, South Carolina. This includes locations such as Orlando, Jacksonville, Florida, Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. Jacksonville had not been under a hurricane warning in 17 years, until now.
The hurricane warning has been dropped in the Bahamas.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect from north of the South Santee River, South Carolina, to Surf City, North Carolina. Tropical storm warnings are also in effect from south of Jupiter Inlet to Boca Raton, Florida. On the West Coast of Florida, a tropical storm warning remains in effect from the Anclotte River in Pasco County to the Suwannee River.
All preparations in the eastern Florida peninsula should already be completed, while coastal Georgia and southern South Carolina should rush to completion.
Latest Status and Storm Reports
Satellite and radar imagery show the eye of Matthew marching north-northwest roughly paralleling the Florida coast. The center of Matthew, denoted by an inner eyewall in the double eyewall structure, was as close as 25 miles east of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 6 a.m. EDT.
urrent Wind Speed and Gusts
Multiple elevated wind sensors on towers near Cape Canaveral have already clocked wind gusts up to 107 mph, with sustained winds of 77 mph in the western outer eyewall Friday morning.
Melbourne International Airport has gusted as high as 70 mph, so far. A 71-mph gust was recorded at Jensen Beach, Florida. A 71 mph gust was also reported in Vero Beach, Florida, and wind gusts to 67 mph have been clocked at Daytona Beach, and some damage has already been reported, there.
Gusts from 60-70 mph have worked their way as far north as Marineland, just south of St. Augustine Beach and gusts over 50 mph have been recorded as far west as Orlando International Airport.
Bands of locally heavy rain had already spread over 500 miles north-northeast of Matthew into parts of the Carolinas, an ominous sign for the rainfall flood potential, though no reports of flash flooding had yet been received.
he heaviest rainfall totals, as of Friday morning, have been near Orlando, Florida, with some reports of 6 to 7 inches of rainfall, per the CoCoRaHS network.
Timing For Matthew
Here is the approximate timing of the worst wind and surge impacts, coinciding with the nearest passage of the eyewall of Matthew. (Note that Matthew's eye may never make landfall, but its eyewall, containing the hurricane's strongest winds, may do so.)
Southeast Florida: Through early Friday
East-central, northeastern Florida: Through Friday night
Georgia coast: Friday evening through Saturday morning
South Carolina: Saturday through Saturday night
North Carolina (mainly south): Saturday afternoon through early Sunday
Note that there may be coastal flooding occurring well ahead of the closest approach of Matthew in Georgia and parts of the Carolinas.
Small, subtle changes in the path of the eyewall, sometimes not resolvable until hours before the passage, will make a large difference on wind impact.
Storm Surge, Battering Waves, Beach Erosion Dangers
So far, storm surge has peaked at roughly 4 feet at Trident Pier, near Cape Canaveral, and water levels are roughly 3 feet above normal Mayport, Florida, and just under 3 feet above normal at Ft. Pulaski, Georgia, according to NOAA/