Powerful Hurricane Matthew was just east of South Florida’s east coast late Thursday afternoon. At 5 pm, Matthew was located near 26.2 North, 78.6 West, or 100 miles east-southeast of West Palm Beach. Maximum sustained winds were 140 miles per hour, and the hurricane was moving northwest at 13 miles per hour.
The strongest winds from Matthew will affect Miami-Dade and Broward late Thursday afternoon until about midnight. Both counties will see sustained tropical storm force winds, and extreme northern Broward could see some gusts above 74 miles per hour. While the worst of Matthew will be to our north, no one in Miami-Dade or Broward should be outside or on the roads until officials say it’s safe to do so. We’ll see power outages, downed power lines, and debris on roadways in the wake of Matthew.
We’ve been watching two interesting developments regarding Matthew this afternoon. One was a very slight jog to the east, which made a big difference in how close Matthew came to our area. Another was the formation of a new, outer eyewall, what’s known as an eyewall replacement cycle. That indicates structural changes in a major hurricane, and it’s just about impossible to predict. Usually, it leads to a temporary weakening of a hurricane, but that hasn’t happened with Matthew.
South Florida’s weather will improve slowly on Friday. In Miami-Dade and Broward, look for tapering winds, clouds and passing showers, and highs mostly in the mid 80s. The Keys and the Gulf coast will see sun, clouds, and a few passing storms, along with highs in the upper 80s.