Matthew is now a hurricane and predicted to reach major hurricane status shortly. With an uninhibited journey through the Caribbean Sea building notable fetch for east facing locations, think Panama for example. Destructive landfall is now likely both in the short term in Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti and also beyond this for Florida.
Update 30th September: Matthew is now forecast to reach major hurricane status before a potential Jamaica landfall. Significant swell is still possible for the US East Coast after this landfall transit.
Matthew became a tropical storm just hours ago. Its path leaves it over open ocean on a westward trajectory through the Caribbean Sea building solid potential size at hurricane strength as it rolls uninhibited by landfall. Most models have a sharp turn north on the cards for the weekend. This has three ramifications: Firstly it leaves spots further west likely to see solid swell with reasonable local winds. It hints at the possibilities of a journey into the Atlantic. It almost certainly means some kind of destructive landfall around Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti.
This second phase, by no means certain at this stage, offers a broad spread of possibility. Models are generally seeing conditions east of Florida as favourable for the development of hurricane strength, but the path over land will hugely affect this. The spread ranges from a Florida landfall (favoured by the Euro model as well as some US variants) or some distance from the coast (the lower odds option on a straight model probability basis at the moment). Our main model has something pretty crazy coming through at the moment and has at least been confident in its conviction for the last few days, for what that's worth at this stage. 13ft@15 with an offshore wind in Florida?
Questions below or find me on instagram for my latest updates. I'll post again, particularly when and if the post-caribbean stage looks likely. In the meantime if you're in or around Central America it might already be time to consider heading east.