We have a hurricane watch in full effect for Northeast Florida! Matthew the Monster as they are calling it from the now iconic imagery that has gone viral through the web is a full force category 4 hurricane that by many models is bearing down upon Florida in its path and will impact the First Coast. Exactly how much is yet to be seen, and we will be back online to give periodic updates as this storm approaches. We’ll talk surf later, but for now this storm cannot be taken lightly! Anyone that lived here 17 years ago and had to endure the madness of evacuating during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, knew of the chaos that was created upon 10-West getting out of Dodge! Plan your Potential evacuation route now, do not wait until the last minute. If you plan to hunker down, then get your provisions now and revert back to the helpful links and tips and tidbits in the Void archives from our Hurricane Central segments for more info.
From experience, if it’s at least a category 1, which is most likely, the Mayor of Jax Beach will evacuate, and it is best to follow the COJ evacuations routes and have a contingency plan and provisions. Matthew has been a slow churning storms and has gained its strength, but once it passes Cuba and the Bahamas it will likely increase in speed. We will know a lot more by tomorrow evening. Gas up the car(s), fill the coolers with ice and pick up plenty of water and non-perishables. A great alternate route of evac would be to take the country roads west and southwest of the storm, and unlike in 1999, we now have GPS! This storm is a buzz saw, and will impact us and the rest of the east coast of Florida in many ways. For now, we’ll table it until we know more tomorrow.
As for the surf … we’re talking full on nor’east windswell/groundswell mix while the storm approaches, and then a bit of a drop off until the storm then pushes off land and back out to sea beginning late weekend into next week recreating a rebound swell that could be really good! Until then, it remains to be seen, but the key thing here is don’t try to be a hero and go Bodi from Point Break. Take care of the home front and the fam, be leery of the strong surf and rip currents and ride it out safely until the quiet after the storm when the waves will be firing!
HURRICANE MATTHEW DISCUSSION NUMBER 28 NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142016 1100 PM EDT TUE OCT 04 2016 Hurricane Matthew made landfall along the extreme eastern coast of Cuba near Juaco around 0000 UTC this evening, and the eye is just now moving off of the northeastern coast of Cuba. Some weakening has occurred due to interaction with the mountains of eastern Cuba and western Haiti. However, latest reports from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the central pressure hasn't risen much and that the maximum winds have only decreased to an estimated 115 kt, keeping Matthew a dangerous category four hurricane. Radar and recon fixes indicate that Matthew is moving slightly west of due north, or 350/07 kt. Matthew is expected to begin turning toward the north-northwest during the next 12 hours or so, followed by a northwestward motion in 24-48 hours as the large ridge to the north of the powerful hurricane begins to build westward across the southeastern United States in response to a broad trough over the central U.S. weakening and lifting out to the northeast. The next upstream weather system that will affect the steering currents surrrounding Matthew is a large trough currently approaching the northwestern U.S. and southwestern Canada. That system is forecast to dig southeastward and amplify over the central U.S. during next several days, resulting in significant ridging downstream over the northeastern United States. As the next ridge builds and lifts northward, Matthew is expected to turn northward as well by 72 hours, and turn northeastward after that as the aforementioned trough moves eastward into the eastern United States by 96-120 hours. The official forecast track remains close to a blend of the GFS and ECMWF models. The current 10-15 kt of northwesterly vertical wind shear is forecast to weaken to around 5 kt by 36-48 hours while Matthew is moving over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, where SSTs are expected to be near 30 deg C. That combination, along with high mid-level humidity, should enable Matthew to maintain category four status, although eyewall replacement cycles, which can not be forecast with any skill, could result in fluctuations in the intensity not shown by the official forecast. By 72 hours and beyond, steadily increasing vertical wind shear is expected to induce gradual weakening. The official intensity forecast is close to but slightly above the consensus model IVCN. KEY MESSAGES: 1. Matthew is likely to produce devastating impacts from storm surge, extreme winds, heavy rains, flash floods, and/or mudslides in portions of the warning areas in Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas. Please consult statements from the meteorological services and other government officials in those countries. 2. When a hurricane is forecast to take a track roughly parallel to a coastline, as Matthew is forecast to do from Florida through South Carolina, it becomes very difficult to estimate impacts this far in advance. For example, only a small deviation of the track to the left of the NHC forecast could bring the core of a major hurricane onshore, while a small deviation to the right could keep all of the hurricane-force winds offshore. It will likely take another day or so for the potential impacts of Matthew in the United States to clarify. 3. Tropical storm or hurricane conditions could affect portions of Florida north of the current Hurricane Watch area, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later this week or this weekend, even if the center of Matthew remains offshore. It is too soon to specify what, if any, direct impacts Matthew might have on the remainder of the U.S. east coast farther to the north. At a minimum, very dangerous beach and boating conditions are likely along much of the U.S. east coast later this week and weekend.
WIND: NE winds 10-15+ all day
WIND: NE winds 15-20 all day
WIND: NE winds 15-20 all day
WIND: N to NW winds 20-25 all day
SWELL: N to E then ESE
WIND: WNW winds 15-20 all day
WIND: NE winds 10-15 all day
WIND: NW winds 5-10 all day