Buckle up kids because there is a vicious hurricane heading towards the East Coast of the United States. Hurricane Matthew was a Category 5 in the early hours of Saturday morning, becoming the first to do so since Hurricane Felix in 2007. At its peak, Matthew was as powerful as Hurricane Gilbert, which was called “the most destructive storm in the country’s modern history.” However, the hurricane has weakened in the last 24 hours, but it is still a ferocious Category 4 that packs 150-mph winds.
Hurricane Matthew is gearing up to ravage many islands in the Caribbean. Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic are bracing for torrential rainfall on Sunday. The hurricane has a pace of 6 mph and is expected to make landfall on those tropical islands on Monday. When it is all said and done, Matthew is expected to dump 15 to 25 inches or rain in Haiti, with as much as 40 inches in some areas, the National Weather service said.
“This rainfall will produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” the National Weather Service said Sunday. “Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.”
The storm is also expected to smash into Cuba, where the Navy said it will evacuate hundreds of personnel family members from Guantanamo Bay Naval Base to a Florida base.
“The remaining military and civilian personnel will shelter in place and be able to support recovery efforts once safe to do so following the storm’s passage,” the Navy said in a press release.
Experts expect that Hurricane Matthew will move up the southern East Coast of the U.S., but the exact path of this monster storm has yet to be determined.
Factors that will determine if Matthew’s destructive path goes out to sea or come inland include the timing and strength of upper-level high pressure along the East giving way to a southward dip in the jet stream.
Even if the hurricane stays well off the coast of the East Coast, there still could be dangerous swells, coastal flooding, and beach erosion as far north as Virginia. Even the Mid-Atlantic and New England states could be affected the week within the next two weeks.