Tropical Storm Matthew expected to be a hurricane by Friday, hit Jamaica on Monday

Tropical Storm Matthew is expected to strengthen into a category 2 storm before possibly striking Jamaica on Monday. Image via NHC

MIAMI, Sept. 28 (UPI) — Tropical Storm Matthew has formed in the Windward Islands and is expected to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane over the Caribbean before turning north for a possible direct hit on Jamaica by Monday.

The National Hurricane Center issued the first advisory on Matthew late Wednesday morning after the storm rapidly gained strength. Now packing 60 mph winds and gusts up to 70 mph, Matthew is moving west northwest at 20 mph.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for the Windward Islands chain, including Guadeloupe, Martinique, Barbados, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands and St. Lucia. Barbados has been the first to experience the storm’s effects early Wednesday morning with strong winds and pockets of heavy rain.

Matthew is expected to become a hurricane by Friday as it slows down over warm waters in the Caribbean. The current forecast track consensus gives the storm an abrupt turn to the north-northwest Saturday, potentially putting Jamaica into the sights of a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds and stronger gusts by Monday.

Matthew poses a potential threat to Florida and the Southeast United States next week, but it’s too early to tell if it will survive potentially crossing mountains in Jamaica and Cuba, and how close it could be to the U.S. coast. Weather systems over the United States could curve the storm out into the open Atlantic.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here