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My latest thoughts on Tropical Storm Matthew

Tropical Storm Matthew is getting better organized in the Eastern Caribbean Sea. At the moment it is battling some strong wind shear, and that is keeping the storms from wrapping around the center of circulation.  The wind shear is expected to relax tomorrow, and then it is forecast to be a hurricane in the Central Caribbean Sea.  A turn to the north is expected as a front/upper level trough moves off the eastern U.S. pulls the storm northward.  
The forecast models are not in agreement on how fast Matthew will pull to the north, but they show it happening by next week. The other issue the models do not agree on is the speed the storm moves, or the amount of wind shear.  GFS shows less shear than the ECMWF, and that would mean a stronger system.  The GFS is also much quicker showing Matthew over Cuba on Tuesday AM and the ECMWF shows it only south of Haiti.  Then the GFS shows the system off North Carolina on Thursday Evening while the ECMWF has it just east of the Bahamas - that is a BIG difference! 

Needless to say we will watch how Matthew evolves over the next few days.  Right now, the models are trending on it moving over the Greater Antilles (Cuba and Hispaniola) as a Cat. 2 hurricane, and then moving north just off the U.S. East Coast.  There is a chance it could be stronger once the wind shear dies down, and it moves over very warm waters. It is worth noting that climatologically the Central Caribbean is an area where storms do not intensify.  

At this time, it is not expected to go into the Gulf, but we will still keep an eye on it due to the uncertainties in the models. However, the recent model trends want to put it in the Atlantic vs Gulf. Stay tuned for updates. -Dave


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