WTOC First Alert Update: Matthew Latest (Oct. 3) - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

WTOC First Alert Update: Matthew Latest (Oct. 3)

(Source: NWS) (Source: NWS)

Hurricane watches have been posted for South Florida up to Cape Canaveral, a watch meaning hurricane conditions are possible in a watch area in the next 48 hours. 

Tropical storm watches extended over the Florida Keys. Here we go!  The latest advisory on MATTHEW tracks this major hurricane a little farther east and faster, passing Savannah now mid-afternoon Friday.

If its track is a little farther east, does that change our forecast? Only a little. Tropical-storm-force winds are now expected along our coastal communities with high and dangerous surf, life-threatening rip currents, major beach erosion issues and some coastal salt-water flooding. There will be some locally heavy rainfall, but the heaviest rains will stay offshore.

Does this mean evacuations? Hard to say now. Your county may choose to be pro-active, especially with our senior citizens who are sometimes hard-to-move. We will stand by for those decisions, but with the increased forward speed now, decisions may have to be made sooner rather than later. Either way, finish your hurricane planning now and be ready!

Also, and this almost goes without notice, we have a new Tropical Storm NICOLE. This tropical cyclone has formed northeast of MATTHEW, several hundred miles away. There was concern that this feature might push MATTHEW into us, but it is too weak and too far ahead to be much of a problem to anyone. 

Today’s forecast is “inspired” by the giant circulation that is MATTHEW. Onshore flow may generate some showers this afternoon, note the stronger northeast winds.  The “slight” chance of showers stays with us until Thursday when we jump to a 30 percent chance during the day, and tropical showers likely Thursday night with a rumble of thunder and winds increasing.

In fact, tropical storm conditions are possible Friday, Friday night and early Saturday. Think HERMINE but more focused on the coast (HERMINE’s center went west of Savannah, MATTHEW’s center will go east of Savannah).  Our biggest concern will be damaging winds and some locally heavy rainfall.  Stay off and out of the waters and we’ll be watching!

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